Submitted by malex_sd on
Lets say up front that if you are looking for ANY job, you more or less comply with any (legal) request made by a company. Their company, their job, their rules. I've learned that if you comply with SOME requests, you mark yourself as a target to be taken advantage of during your employment. Hence my question...
This is NOT meant to be a thread on salary negotiation and how to ask for or get more money. Just whether, in this particular industry, this is "how things are done" or not.
Is it appropriate in an online job posting for a company to request a salary history included in your cover letter, before they have even decided wither or not to speak to you (much less interview you)? Note that this is different from asking for your salary requirements.
If you comply with this request, then you have no reason NOT to comply with all similar requests. Is this not effectively the same as making your salary history a matter of public record, by the time you've applied to several dozen positions?
Does the fact that I'm asking about the computer industry, where we sometimes play things differently, and the most common salary in job postings is "DOE", change the answer? (Depending on Experience)
I've heard the Interviewing Series and I'm on board with the idea that it IS ok to ask for a candidate's salary requirements, or, in an interview setting, to ask current salary. They have a right to not waste time interviewing someone who wants something outside their range. Agreed.
We all know that in the real world, companies that find out exactly what you are/were earning will try and give you the lowest offer they can, that you would still accept. Additionally, we know that there do exist some companies that behave unprofessionally, willing to lose some good candidates until they find the ones who, for any number of reasons, will tolerate less fair and professional treatment.
My take is: confirming that you're in the same ballpark is one thing. Asking you for information that could ONLY be used against you seems inappropriate and to me, gives the appearance that the company has prioritized plugging that hole in the org chart at salary X over hiring the best candidate for doing the job. Isn't that the same as the candidate starting off a job interview by asking about pay and benefits (showing they care less about meeting the needs of the employer than they do about salary)?
If you asked for similar information from the company (i.e. salaries of other employees at that level), it would be similarly ridiculous, because it's confidential, it's personal, it's information that can only be used against the company, and it's information you do not need in order to determine whether you and the job are a good fit.
I could be looking at this the wrong way, which is why I'm posting here. I'm not trying to get clever, get cute, or play games with salary. My biggest worry is actually that the number would be higher than what they wanted to see and my application would be discarded based on that.
Although I think that showing my personal history actually strengthens my position, something I could not have said five years ago, the idea of sending it into the public domain seems a little more than unsettling to me. Just to restate, there is no phone number, this would be in the first contact email, before they acknowledge my existence. A hundred applications like that later, and the question would be 'who does NOT know my salary history?'
Seeking the wisdom of the MT community and, if I were truly fortunate, the MT leaders themselves.
Appreciate all the great work.
Good companies are not scheming to rip you off
I've learned that if you comply with SOME requests, you mark yourself as a target to be taken advantage of during your employment.
Asking you for information that could ONLY be used against you seems inappropriate and to me, gives the appearance that the company has prioritized plugging that hole in the org chart at salary X over hiring the best candidate for doing the job.
We all know that in the real world, companies that find out exactly what you are/were earning will try and give you the lowest offer they can
That's not how good companies behave. Good companies want to know that your range overlaps with theirs. This kind of demand is coming from HR. As a hiring manager, I looked at qualifications first. If I thought it would be an issue, I'd ask. It rarely is an issue.
And I disagree that "we all" know it. I know it's not true for many companies.
Isn't that the same as the candidate starting off a job interview by asking about pay and benefits (showing they care less about meeting the needs of the employer than they do about salary)?
No, they have power, you don't. It's not a symmetric situation.
A hundred applications like that later, and the question would be 'who does NOT know my salary history?'
I'm being a bit facetious here, but so what? Let's assume they know your history. If you know the market, and you have the skills, you'll be able to get the salary that matches your value in the market. Good companies want good people at fair wages.
So you actually have a couple decisions: do I want to post my resume with this company at all? (ie, do I think they're a good company?) AND, if so, do I give salary? You should at least indicate that you are willing to look at the entire opportunity, and that salary is just part of your decision.
You should read some of hmac's recent threads on job hunting.