Taking a class? No. As for negotiating, the person doing the hiring is the one who can sign off the budget, not HR. HR do not set departmental budgets, those are set by directors and passed onto managers who take the budget and run the department accordingly - including the salaries to run the department. If they have a tight budget, then not much wiggle room for negotiating with them, but if they want you - then they would have to go to the director of their division and get approval. Basically, managers are the ones who fight your corner for you, and protect you from the tonne of crap dumped on them by the director.