Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

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KlangFool
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

DaftInvestor wrote:What's interesting about this thread is some of the folks who are the most vehement about NOT sharing current salary information have mentioned in other thread that they have spent periods of time unemployed.
DaftInvestor,

The same people that have the ability to "cash flow" their children's college education and fully funded their retirement with a single income in the household. Probably early retire in a few years if things went well. Meanwhile, people that do not know how to negotiate may never be unemployed but could not accomplish the same goals.

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SmileyFace
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by SmileyFace »

KlangFool wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:What's interesting about this thread is some of the folks who are the most vehement about NOT sharing current salary information have mentioned in other thread that they have spent periods of time unemployed.
DaftInvestor,

The same people that have the ability to "cash flow" their children's college education and fully funded their retirement with a single income in the household. Probably early retire in a few years if things went well. Meanwhile, people that do not know how to negotiate may never be unemployed but could not accomplish the same goals.

KlangFool
I am not sure why you are drawing a parallel between good negotiation and whether-or-not to discuss current salary - that's where you are wrong. Maybe it works for you to hide information from a prospective employer but I have always used it to my advantage - Personally I have always divulged my salary as part of my negotiation strategy and it has served me well. It has also saved me time in the cases where the company wasn't willing to pay top-dollar for a position because they couldn't meet my requirements. It also establishes good-will between me and the hiring employer. If I am making more than the person hiring me that I will be reporting to we discuss why I got to where I am and how I feel we should handle the situation (in one case I managed to get hired into a position while the person I was reporting to to get a raise at the same time so that their salary would equate to mine). If they feel my salary is above range for the position they are hiring for we can discuss equity levels and other information that might be able to accommodate my requirements. Hiding the fact that I am highly paid for my job/level would only hurt my negotiations.
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HomerJ
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by HomerJ »

DaftInvestor wrote:Hiding the fact that I am highly paid for my job/level would only hurt my negotiations.
And the reverse? Can disclosing the fact that you are underpaid for your job/level hurt your negotiations?

People have posted in this very thread that they would make a lower offer to someone with a current low salary.

I'm fine with disclosing one's lower salary, and then sticking to your guns asking for a much higher salary. But it really should be irrelevant.

The important thing is the "desired salary - the number that will make me leave my current job and come work for you".

Of course one can disclose their current salary if it's already high. That means there's no huge disconnect between desired and existing. I think you misunderstood what we were talking about here.

And for the record, I haven't been unemployed for 25 years.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

DaftInvestor wrote:
I am not sure why you are drawing a parallel between good negotiation and whether-or-not to discuss current salary - that's where you are wrong. Maybe it works for you to hide information from a prospective employer but I have always used it to my advantage - Personally I have always divulged my salary as part of my negotiation strategy and it has served me well. It has also saved me time in the cases where the company wasn't willing to pay top-dollar for a position because they couldn't meet my requirements. It also establishes good-will between me and the hiring employer. If I am making more than the person hiring me that I will be reporting to we discuss why I got to where I am and how I feel we should handle the situation (in one case I managed to get hired into a position while the person I was reporting to to get a raise at the same time so that their salary would equate to mine). If they feel my salary is above range for the position they are hiring for we can discuss equity levels and other information that might be able to accommodate my requirements. Hiding the fact that I am highly paid for my job/level would only hurt my negotiations.
DaftInvestor,
<< Hiding the fact that I am highly paid for my job/level would only hurt my negotiations.>>

I guess you miss what had been said so far. Do not be the FIRST to give out a number. Let the employer tell you the salary range of the job first before you tell them anything. Then, if it is advantageous for you to mention your previous salary, you mention it.

Timing is everything.

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by SmileyFace »

HomerJ wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Hiding the fact that I am highly paid for my job/level would only hurt my negotiations.
And the reverse? Can disclosing the fact that you are underpaid for your job/level hurt your negotiations?

People have posted in this very thread that they would make a lower offer to someone with a current low salary.

I'm fine with disclosing one's lower salary, and then sticking to your guns asking for a much higher salary. But it really should be irrelevant.

The important thing is the "desired salary - the number that will make me leave my current job and come work for you".

Of course one can disclose their current salary if it's already high. That means there's no huge disconnect between desired and existing. I think you misunderstood what we were talking about here.

And for the record, I haven't been unemployed for 25 years.
This is a good point. It might be better for someone that is underpaid not to provide salary history. My main point was drawing a parallel between a good negotiator and whether or not to divulge salary history wrong.

If I am hiring and have a range for a position between $150K-$200K I am likely to give the guy that says he is currently making $205K the $200K salary and then discuss giving them additional equity in the company to help bridge the gap. If he didn't want to tell me and simply demanded $200K I am less likely to offer him $200K - I might shoot for $190K and say that's the best I can do. However, if someone tells me they make $150K currently I might consider what it will take for the person to move from their current position - a 15% uplift might do it versus the 25% uplift they are asking for. This person might be better off not letting me know how much they make. Of course I am also looking at years of experience, job knowledge, etc. to make sure the number is in line with what they are asking for.
The other negotiation strategy is to always let the prospective employer know you are coming close to getting other offers from other companies.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by MittensMoney »

So the employer has contacted me after the initial interview asking about my current salary and my desired salary before they commit to making an offer. I've included a link below to my previous post on the subject... which, suffice to say, I'm being significantly underpaid at the moment. What kind of answer do I give to optimize my chances of getting the offer at the highest rate?
So many of these responses are awful, if you follow their advice I doubt you'll receive any offer at all..

Do you want to work there? If yes, give them an honest answer. Be honest about your compensation, be honest about your expectations, be honest about the reasoning behind X, Y, and Z. If they give you an offer you are happy with, then accept it. If it's too low, reject it and tell them what you'd be willing to accept, if they don't acquiesce then move on.

Employers and employees need to be able to have frank conversations about these items, open and truthful. If you follow the advice from other posters, you'll come across as cagey and hard to work with. If you want to work somewhere, pay is only a factor in the equation, you're likely moving for a number of reasons. Don't jeopardize a good opportunity for yourself over 5% more money. You can get the pay you want without jeopardizing the opportunity, and if you truly enjoy the company and role you'll perform well and have ample opportunity to increase your income through your success.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

Folks,

Please note that at higher income level, the salary range is very wide for each job.

80K to 120K
120K to 150K
150K to 200K

So, how much you actually get paid for the same job is dependent on how well you negotiate. Know how to play this game well. It is worth a lot of money to you.

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by BW1985 »

DaftInvestor wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Hiding the fact that I am highly paid for my job/level would only hurt my negotiations.
And the reverse? Can disclosing the fact that you are underpaid for your job/level hurt your negotiations?

People have posted in this very thread that they would make a lower offer to someone with a current low salary.

I'm fine with disclosing one's lower salary, and then sticking to your guns asking for a much higher salary. But it really should be irrelevant.

The important thing is the "desired salary - the number that will make me leave my current job and come work for you".

Of course one can disclose their current salary if it's already high. That means there's no huge disconnect between desired and existing. I think you misunderstood what we were talking about here.

And for the record, I haven't been unemployed for 25 years.
However, if someone tells me they make $150K currently I might consider what it will take for the person to move from their current position - a 15% uplift might do it versus the 25% uplift they are asking for.
Yes, this is exactly what we've been talking about - leaving money on the table by disclosing salary first and paying the price for it.

You make a good point that that if you know (for a fact) that you are already at the higher end of their range for that role then disclosing your current salary can help you, or atleast not waste your time. You need to be careful here though because I've experienced employers/recruiters giving a range but that range is in reality lower than the real range. No different than me saying I currently make more than I actually do.
Last edited by BW1985 on Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by njboater74 »

This isn't about winning a one-off negotiation like buying a car. You're hiring someone for your business. This person is going to be very important to your success in the future. I don't want to 'win' a negotiation with them. They're a candidate now, a trusted employee later. You don't want to start off by strong arming them and taking a position 'disclose this personal information or i won't hire you'.

It's a partnership. You want them to work for you. Both sides win, there are no losers.

If you take a position that anybody who refuses to disclose salary info is automatically excluded, get used to having a team of B- and C players, because A players and rock stars won't put up with employers who think they have the upper hand.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by Steve723 »

njboater74 wrote:This isn't about winning a one-off negotiation like buying a car. You're hiring someone for your business. This person is going to be very important to your success in the future. I don't want to 'win' a negotiation with them. They're a candidate now, a trusted employee later. You don't want to start off by strong arming them and taking a position 'disclose this personal information or i won't hire you'.

It's a partnership. You want them to work for you. Both sides win, there are no losers.

If you take a position that anybody who refuses to disclose salary info is automatically excluded, get used to having a team of B- and C players, because A players and rock stars won't put up with employers who think they have the upper hand.
...but most A-players and rock stars are already paid competitively and are the least likely to suffer from disclosing their current salary. If they are really that good, they should be confident negotiators and demand what they believe they are worth, regardless of current salary. Employers that want a rock star will be willing to pay for one.

This notion that all of these discussions come down to Machiavellian gamesmanship between blood-sucking employers and the proletariat that is being taken advantage of is not the norm of what I've experienced in 20+ years.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

Steve723 wrote:
This notion that all of these discussions come down to Machiavellian gamesmanship between blood-sucking employers and the proletariat that is being taken advantage of is not the norm of what I've experienced in 20+ years.
Steve723,

1) Just because you have not experienced it, it does not mean it is not real.

2) How do you know that you have not experienced it and being taken advantaged of? Unless you know the pay range and you know your offer is at the max or close to the max of the pay range, how would you know?

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
OlHickory
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by OlHickory »

Terribly interesting thread.
My last job change was an internal transfer so my compensation was very transparent to HR.
I got a 100% raise but you can bet I wasn't a penny over the minimum pay for the new position. I'm now at 2nd percentile of pay nationally and will be looking to repeat the process after 2 years in my current role.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by Steve723 »

KlangFool wrote:
Steve723 wrote:
This notion that all of these discussions come down to Machiavellian gamesmanship between blood-sucking employers and the proletariat that is being taken advantage of is not the norm of what I've experienced in 20+ years.
Steve723,

1) Just because you have not experienced it, it does not mean it is not real.

2) How do you know that you have not experienced it and being taken advantaged of?

KlangFool

1 - I agree, some people are taken advantage of by employers/hiring managers. I've seen it happen on occasion at my company, but it's not the norm. Most hiring situations involve a reasonable negotiation that strives for win-win. You happen to see things differently.

2 - I make a very fair salary for what I do - if anything I sometimes feel guilty about how much I make for what I do - and am grateful to have a well paying job with an employer and management team I really like. Could I go out on the open market and go find something that pays me more? If I looked hard enough, I'm sure I could. Does that mean my current employer is "taking advantage of" me? Not in my book. Money isn't everything - there is a lot more to job satisfaction from my perspective than trying to scratch and claw as much from my employer as possible.

You obviously see things through a much darker, suspicious set of lenses. To each his own, but I'm not buying your narrative.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

Steve723 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
Steve723 wrote:
This notion that all of these discussions come down to Machiavellian gamesmanship between blood-sucking employers and the proletariat that is being taken advantage of is not the norm of what I've experienced in 20+ years.
Steve723,

1) Just because you have not experienced it, it does not mean it is not real.

2) How do you know that you have not experienced it and being taken advantaged of?

KlangFool

1 - I agree, some people are taken advantage of by employers/hiring managers. I've seen it happen on occasion at my company, but it's not the norm. Most hiring situations involve a reasonable negotiation that strives for win-win. You happen to see things differently.

2 - I make a very fair salary for what I do - if anything I sometimes feel guilty about how much I make for what I do - and am grateful to have a well paying job with an employer and management team I really like. Could I go out on the open market and go find something that pays me more? If I looked hard enough, I'm sure I could. Does that mean my current employer is "taking advantage of" me? Not in my book. Money isn't everything - there is a lot more to job satisfaction from my perspective than trying to scratch and claw as much from my employer as possible.

You obviously see things through a much darker, suspicious set of lenses. To each his own, but I'm not buying your narrative.
Steve723,

<< it's not the norm. Most hiring situations involve a reasonable negotiation that strives for win-win. >>

1) Whether it is normal or not, a person needs to learn how to negotiate and protect themselves. Counting on being lucky and not being taken advantage of is a lousy strategy.

2) If you are happy to leave money on the table for your employer, that is your choice. But, please do not make this decision for others. And, please do not claim that those money does not exist.

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by njboater74 »

Steve723 wrote: ...but most A-players and rock stars are already paid competitively and are the least likely to suffer from disclosing their current salary. If they are really that good, they should be confident negotiators and demand what they believe they are worth, regardless of current salary. Employers that want a rock star will be willing to pay for one.

This notion that all of these discussions come down to Machiavellian gamesmanship between blood-sucking employers and the proletariat that is being taken advantage of is not the norm of what I've experienced in 20+ years.
The point is that by taking a position 'give me your salary history, or this negotiation is over', is not going to sit well with anyone, especially the A players. This isn't the 1950's.

It's perfectly fine to ask for it, but it shouldn't be a pre-condition to continuing the hiring process.
When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world - 'No, YOU move'--Captain America, Boglehead
BW1985
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by BW1985 »

There have already been multiple people in hiring positions in this thread say that use salary history to their advantage, offering the same candidate less than they otherwise would have. This is not debatable, it happens, a lot. [In most cases] there is no benefit for the candidate to disclose salary. Since there is no benefit, and possible detriment, why do it?
Last edited by BW1985 on Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:37 am, edited 3 times in total.
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njboater74
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by njboater74 »

Steve723 wrote: 1 - I agree, some people are taken advantage of by employers/hiring managers. I've seen it happen on occasion at my company, but it's not the norm. Most hiring situations involve a reasonable negotiation that strives for win-win. You happen to see things differently.
I agree with you here. In my experience with the companies I've worked for, this is not the norm. Hiring managers see themselves as advocates for their new hires, and try and get them the best salary they can. HR's job is to limit compensation within a range. If you start someone out with an uncompetitive salary, even one that is higher than their previous salary, they will eventually feel slighted. My megacorp pays competitive, regardless of your previous salary.

That's why I was taken aback by some of the previous posts of 'if they fail to provide this information, I don't make an offer'. That's too heavy handed, and there are enough good employers to work for that talented people will move on when they see potential employers acting that way.
When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world - 'No, YOU move'--Captain America, Boglehead
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by vested1 »

DaftInvestor wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:What's interesting about this thread is some of the folks who are the most vehement about NOT sharing current salary information have mentioned in other thread that they have spent periods of time unemployed.
DaftInvestor,

The same people that have the ability to "cash flow" their children's college education and fully funded their retirement with a single income in the household. Probably early retire in a few years if things went well. Meanwhile, people that do not know how to negotiate may never be unemployed but could not accomplish the same goals.

KlangFool
I am not sure why you are drawing a parallel between good negotiation and whether-or-not to discuss current salary - that's where you are wrong. Maybe it works for you to hide information from a prospective employer but I have always used it to my advantage - Personally I have always divulged my salary as part of my negotiation strategy and it has served me well. It has also saved me time in the cases where the company wasn't willing to pay top-dollar for a position because they couldn't meet my requirements. It also establishes good-will between me and the hiring employer. If I am making more than the person hiring me that I will be reporting to we discuss why I got to where I am and how I feel we should handle the situation (in one case I managed to get hired into a position while the person I was reporting to to get a raise at the same time so that their salary would equate to mine). If they feel my salary is above range for the position they are hiring for we can discuss equity levels and other information that might be able to accommodate my requirements. Hiding the fact that I am highly paid for my job/level would only hurt my negotiations.
I'm also unsure why having been temporarily unemployed at some point makes one unqualified to have an opinion concerning the desire to have a level playing field. I have always been the documented highest performer, and have been asked by my various employers to mentor younger engineers, as if there were a secret to obtaining knowledge. This made little difference when I was laid off due to my refusal to do something unethical which was demanded by my employer.
Steve723 wrote: This notion that all of these discussions come down to Machiavellian gamesmanship between blood-sucking employers and the proletariat that is being taken advantage of is not the norm of what I've experienced in 20+ years.
This member of the proletariat (a member of the lowest working class as described by Webster) has had his fill of gamesmanship, and would have preferred honesty to subterfuge when dealing with prospective employers who invariably pursued my services due to my abilities and reputation. Luckily, those days are in the past. That doesn't preclude me from wanting the best for those who find themselves in a similar plight.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by Big Dog »

You are willing to pay him $85k based on all those things above.
That is an incorrect assumption. (We are only willing to pay someone $85k who is has been proven to be performing at mid-level. BUT, and here's the point, until that person has been with us for several months, we have no way of knowing if the resume is solid or just puffery.)
But you actually are demanding that the prospective employee give you the information upfront that will allow you to pay them less than they are worth.
That is also an incorrect assumption. If the candidate believes that they are worth, xx, no harm in asking for that amount and stating the reasons why s/he believes s/he is "worth" it. And if they will only accept xx, they should state that too, in a professional manner, not a take-it-or leave it style. (But "worth" is subjective, and my money, my subjectiveness. And we might just pass on that candidate. Sure, we may miss out on say, the next Steve Jobs, but that is the business risk that we take.)
But you don't get to pretend to be a good guy.
Never pretended to be a good guy.
The point is that by taking a position 'give me your salary history, or this negotiation is over', is not going to sit well with anyone, especially the A players.
We hire folks all the time, including six last month, and its never been an issue, never been questioned. But then, perhaps we don't get applications from A players....

btw: not trying to argue with those who have a strong opinion to the contrary, but just pointing out that our company has a different pov. Nothing wrong with that. Plenty of other companies to work at.
Last edited by Big Dog on Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by Xpe »

covertfantom wrote:
slayed wrote:Don't give a salary range. When the time comes, give a single number and give it with confidence. I suggest you start with the high end of your range. Let them come back at you with a counter offer.
Playing it a little strong there don't you think? I'm worried that kind of approach will get me laughed out the door and they'll simply give up on me at that point. Kind of hard for me to see their side of the table... I've interviewed my fair share of people looking to come on board... but have never had to deal with the salary negotiations part of the whole deal. Based on my previous thread and my own online research, I think my range is fairly reasonable.
Honestly I agree with slayed. Give a specific number and give it with confidence. Where you want to start within your range is up to you, but giving a range I don't think ends well for anyone.

If you give them a range and they offer you the minimum within that range, they'll think they satisfied your requirements, while you think they did the absolute minimum they needed.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
― C.S. Lewis

Folks,

When an employer knows that he / she can make you an offer without knowing your desired salary and / or your salary history. And, he / she knows that those pieces of information will only be used to lower your offer. But, they still ask for it. They are seriously lacking in integrity.

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by HomerJ »

Another answer is just keep moving until you are paid fairly, and then you'll won't have any problems giving out your current salary.

So you start as desktop tech, making $35k... You work hard, get promoted to server admin, but the HR policies at the company are terrible, and after 5 years you are only making $50k, even though you are worth $70k on the market.

So you go find another job, but the hiring manager gets you to say that you are only making $50k, so he figures he can lowball you for $60k.

Fine, go work for him, and look for another job in a year, where you can tell them you're currently making $61k, and get them to pay you $72k to move.

It's more work than just waiting for one company that will pay you fairly, but you do get the satisfaction of wasting everyone's time at the company that lowballed you.

(Yes that last line was facetious; You will work hard at that job, just like every other job... in fact that's better since that will make them even more sad when you leave)
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HomerJ
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by HomerJ »

The point I want to make to hiring managers:

If it's obvious that I'm leaving my last job at least partly because I'm underpaid, recognize that if you underpay me as well, I will be leaving you too.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by Jags4186 »

Not to hijack the thread but my present interesting scenario is a former coworker of mine reached out to recruit me to his new company. He is the hiring manager. He knows what I make, and when he called I told him that I'm "okay" with my current position but if the offer was right I would be willing to move.

He knows the issues I have with the company and after 5 rounds of interviews we went out to dinner and instead of touting his company he was putting down my current one (understandably so, he got screwed which was why he left. Also all the "issues" he brought up with my current company are valid). I finally got around to asking him what salary they are thinking of and he railroaded me with "you make X right? It's in the ballpark".

I dropped it there, but I don't know if I even want to consider the job anymore if I feel like their sell on the company is that it's a better company where I'm at for the same money. As far as I'm concerned the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by leonard »

"I have signed non-disclosure agreements with my prior employers. These cover all confidential information, including salary. Perhaps we can use budgeted or planned salary for the position as a start point?"

Many/most of us have in fact signed confidentiality agreements, so have this built in response.

Also, it's pretty ironclad. It puts the requestor in the position of encouraging you to break an agreement with your former employer. First, it's unethical. Second, it's a catch-22. If you disclose prior salary and violate a prior confidentiality agreement, you'd likely do the same if hired by them. Which, presumably, they wouldn't want in the first place.
Last edited by leonard on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

HomerJ wrote:Another answer is just keep moving until you are paid fairly, and then you'll won't have any problems giving out your current salary.

So you start as desktop tech, making $35k... You work hard, get promoted to server admin, but the HR policies at the company are terrible, and after 5 years you are only making $50k, even though you are worth $70k on the market.

So you go find another job, but the hiring manager gets you to say that you are only making $50k, so he figures he can lowball you for $60k.

Fine, go work for him, and look for another job in a year, where you can tell them you're currently making $61k, and get them to pay you $72k to move.

It's more work than just waiting for one company that will pay you fairly, but you do get the satisfaction of wasting everyone's time at the company that lowballed you.

(Yes that last line was facetious; You will work hard at that job, just like every other job... in fact that's better since that will make them even more sad when you leave)
HomerJ,

Or, don't give out your previous salary and get pay a lot quicker

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

leonard wrote:"I have signed non-disclosure agreements with my prior employers. These cover all confidential information, including salary. Perhaps we can use budgeted or planned salary for the position as a start point?"

Many/most of us have in fact signed confidentiality agreements, so have this built in response.
leonard,

But, why can't you tell us your desired salary so that we can pay you less?

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by leonard »

KlangFool wrote:
leonard wrote:"I have signed non-disclosure agreements with my prior employers. These cover all confidential information, including salary. Perhaps we can use budgeted or planned salary for the position as a start point?"

Many/most of us have in fact signed confidentiality agreements, so have this built in response.
leonard,

But, why can't you tell us your desired salary so that we can pay you less?

KlangFool
It addresses the salary history question. The desired salary question is fairly easy to redirect and - well - negotiate. Presumably the company wants to hire a smart employee with the faculty to negotiate and communicate in tough conditions. So, do it. The exact approach depends on how the interviewer/offerer approaches it.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by leonard »

One thing strange about the "Tell them your salary history" crowd is that they seem to assume that there is a horrible consequence to saying no.

Companies don't want employees that cave in tough negotiating situations. For example, they don't want employees that will bargain with vendors and immediately hand over the company's financial models, pricing, confidential assessments of vendors, RFP results, etc. How employees handle salary negotiating is the way they'll handle any other negotiation.

I'd go further, if a potential employee told me salary at the first ask - I'd most likely flag as a Do Not Hire. Unless there was some extenuating circumstance.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

Leonardo wrote:One thing strange about the "Tell them your salary history" crowd is that they seem to assume that there is a horrible consequence to saying no.
Leonardo,

Of course, there are. Those people are the HR and employer. They will have to pay more. It is not in their best interest for people to learn to negotiate better.

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by BW1985 »

leonard wrote:"I have signed non-disclosure agreements with my prior employers. These cover all confidential information, including salary. Perhaps we can use budgeted or planned salary for the position as a start point?"

Many/most of us have in fact signed confidentiality agreements, so have this built in response.

Also, it's pretty ironclad. It puts the requestor in the position of encouraging you to break an agreement with your former employer. First, it's unethical. Second, it's a catch-22. If you disclose prior salary and violate a prior confidentiality agreement, you'd likely do the same if hired by them. Which, presumably, they wouldn't want in the first place.
This is my response as well. I will not be coerced out of my position.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by SmileyFace »

Leonardo wrote:One thing strange about the "Tell them your salary history" crowd is that they seem to assume that there is a horrible consequence to saying no.
It's been 10 days since the OP asked the question so he/she/they has likely made his/her/their decision but I'll tie this off by one more response with an attempt to answer this question.
Some of the consequences might be:
1) The employer/HR are left thinking you are a difficult person and will be hard to manage by taking such a stance. If you aren't the only A player they are interviewing you might be passed over for another.
2) The employer/HR feels you are hiding something. You are probably underpaid and your last employer perhaps didn't value your contributions highly. Your prior performance may now be in question.

With all my years of leadership/hiring I've never had anyone NOT tell me what their prior salary is (And I've had this discussion in excess of 200 times). In fact, I'm not sure what I would do or think for sure if they didn't tell me - I guess I'd need to understand more about the person. The first time I'm in the situation I guess I'll know how I will really feel. I always ask the question not to try to cheat the prospective employee - I want to make sure I can offer the employee the best salary for his level and I want to make sure that will be greater than what he made in the past (or if not - I want to understand why he might have been over-paid). I don't want to waste the prospective employee's time if I can't pay appropriately - I want to make sure the employee won't be insulted or unhappy if I am offering less (and this wastes everyone's time). I do know which of my company's competitors pay on the higher side versus the lower side so I can usually guess pretty closely what someone makes based upon years of experience and prior employers but always like to know from the individual. I work really hard to give everyone I hire the best salary I can - at my company it is easier to get someone a salary they will be excited about when they are hired - it is much harder to give really good raises after first year as budgets are limited.

Additionally - salary certainly isn't everything - you should always look at total compensation. Differences in 401K matching, equity offers, Health-Care contribution percentages, etc. can mean several thousand dollars difference. I generally know which companies have better or worse benefit programs compared to my own and always take this into account as well.
Lastly - company strength and individual happiness and career progression should be considered. We bogleheads oftentimes forget that money isn't everything.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

DaftInvestor wrote:
Leonardo wrote:One thing strange about the "Tell them your salary history" crowd is that they seem to assume that there is a horrible consequence to saying no.
It's been 10 days since the OP asked the question so he/she/they has likely made his/her/their decision but I'll tie this off by one more response with an attempt to answer this question.
Some of the consequences might be:
1) The employer/HR are left thinking you are a difficult person and will be hard to manage by taking such a stance. If you aren't the only A player they are interviewing you might be passed over for another.
2) The employer/HR feels you are hiding something. You are probably underpaid and your last employer perhaps didn't value your contributions highly. Your prior performance may now be in question.

With all my years of leadership/hiring I've never had anyone NOT tell me what their prior salary is (And I've had this discussion in excess of 200 times). In fact, I'm not sure what I would do or think for sure if they didn't tell me - I guess I'd need to understand more about the person. The first time I'm in the situation I guess I'll know how I will really feel. I always ask the question not to try to cheat the prospective employee - I want to make sure I can offer the employee the best salary for his level and I want to make sure that will be greater than what he made in the past (or if not - I want to understand why he might have been over-paid). I don't want to waste the prospective employee's time if I can't pay appropriately - I want to make sure the employee won't be insulted or unhappy if I am offering less (and this wastes everyone's time). I do know which of my company's competitors pay on the higher side versus the lower side so I can usually guess pretty closely what someone makes based upon years of experience and prior employers but always like to know from the individual. I work really hard to give everyone I hire the best salary I can - at my company it is easier to get someone a salary they will be excited about when they are hired - it is much harder to give really good raises after first year as budgets are limited.

Additionally - salary certainly isn't everything - you should always look at total compensation. Differences in 401K matching, equity offers, Health-Care contribution percentages, etc. can mean several thousand dollars difference. I generally know which companies have better or worse benefit programs compared to my own and always take this into account as well.
Lastly - company strength and individual happiness and career progression should be considered. We bogleheads oftentimes forget that money isn't everything.
DaftInvestor,

<<With all my years of leadership/hiring I've never had anyone NOT tell me what their prior salary is (And I've had this discussion in excess of 200 times). >>

A) Do you ask the candidates' prior salary before or after you tell them the salary range of the job?

B) If the candidate told you about their prior salary, do you disclose the salary range of the job at all?

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by TPT »

BW1985 wrote:
leonard wrote:"I have signed non-disclosure agreements with my prior employers. These cover all confidential information, including salary. Perhaps we can use budgeted or planned salary for the position as a start point?"

Many/most of us have in fact signed confidentiality agreements, so have this built in response.

Also, it's pretty ironclad. It puts the requestor in the position of encouraging you to break an agreement with your former employer. First, it's unethical. Second, it's a catch-22. If you disclose prior salary and violate a prior confidentiality agreement, you'd likely do the same if hired by them. Which, presumably, they wouldn't want in the first place.
This is my response as well. I will not be coerced out of my position.
This seems like a reasonable approach if expecting only one offer. For top performers expecting multiple offers, though - presumably all with significantly better comp - a better approach might be to indicate that you (1) prefer not to share your current comp because you don't know whether your it reflects your market value and/or don't think it is in your best interest to share that information and (2) expect competing offers from other companies that will help you understand your market value.

Direct and honest, and you can easily share your comp or competing offers as more appealing alternatives - without contradicting yourself - if they happen to make an unimpressive offer. I believe this would be a lot more compelling than saying "Gee - another 10k, and I'm yours". Competing offers (companies and $ offered) are also strong signals of your competence.

Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)? Also...I guess you would not be bound by an NDA for competing offers, so sticking to the NDA angle (in addition to being honest and easy) would only prohibit you from using your current comp for leverage.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by BW1985 »

TPT wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
leonard wrote:"I have signed non-disclosure agreements with my prior employers. These cover all confidential information, including salary. Perhaps we can use budgeted or planned salary for the position as a start point?"

Many/most of us have in fact signed confidentiality agreements, so have this built in response.

Also, it's pretty ironclad. It puts the requestor in the position of encouraging you to break an agreement with your former employer. First, it's unethical. Second, it's a catch-22. If you disclose prior salary and violate a prior confidentiality agreement, you'd likely do the same if hired by them. Which, presumably, they wouldn't want in the first place.
This is my response as well. I will not be coerced out of my position.
This seems like a reasonable approach if expecting only one offer. For top performers expecting multiple offers, though - presumably all with significantly better comp - a better approach might be to indicate that you (1) prefer not to share your current comp because you don't know whether your it reflects your market value and/or don't think it is in your best interest to share that information and (2) expect competing offers from other companies that will help you understand your market value.

Direct and honest, and you can easily share your comp or competing offers as more appealing alternatives - without contradicting yourself - if they happen to make an unimpressive offer. I believe this would be a lot more compelling than saying "Gee - another 10k, and I'm yours". Competing offers (companies and $ offered) are also strong signals of your competence.

Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)? Also...I guess you would not be bound by an NDA for competing offers, so sticking to the NDA angle (in addition to being honest and easy) would only prohibit you from using your current comp for leverage.
The problem with simply denying their request citing those reasons is that you have some people (like the one's commenting above) who [mis]interpret that as you're trying to hide something or be difficult.

Simply saying my hands are tied by the confidentiality agreement I signed with my current employer takes that out of the equation.

PS. I don't know if it's legal or not and frankly it doesn't matter to me. I"m using this as a clean sidestep around the question "what's your current salary" which is clearly a negotiation tactic. It shouldn't anger anyone, invoke doubt or lead to further pressuring to disclose like the reasons you cited (1) above.

I agree with you that the best strategy is likely citing you expect other offers/have other offers in hand.
Last edited by BW1985 on Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by TPT »

BW1985 wrote:
TPT wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
leonard wrote:"I have signed non-disclosure agreements with my prior employers. These cover all confidential information, including salary. Perhaps we can use budgeted or planned salary for the position as a start point?"

Many/most of us have in fact signed confidentiality agreements, so have this built in response.

Also, it's pretty ironclad. It puts the requestor in the position of encouraging you to break an agreement with your former employer. First, it's unethical. Second, it's a catch-22. If you disclose prior salary and violate a prior confidentiality agreement, you'd likely do the same if hired by them. Which, presumably, they wouldn't want in the first place.
This is my response as well. I will not be coerced out of my position.
This seems like a reasonable approach if expecting only one offer. For top performers expecting multiple offers, though - presumably all with significantly better comp - a better approach might be to indicate that you (1) prefer not to share your current comp because you don't know whether your it reflects your market value and/or don't think it is in your best interest to share that information and (2) expect competing offers from other companies that will help you understand your market value.

Direct and honest, and you can easily share your comp or competing offers as more appealing alternatives - without contradicting yourself - if they happen to make an unimpressive offer. I believe this would be a lot more compelling than saying "Gee - another 10k, and I'm yours". Competing offers (companies and $ offered) are also strong signals of your competence.

Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)? Also...I guess you would not be bound by an NDA for competing offers, so sticking to the NDA angle (in addition to being honest and easy) would only prohibit you from using your current comp for leverage.
The problem with simply denying their request citing those reasons is that you have some people (like the one's commenting above) who [mis]interpret that as you're trying to hide something or be difficult.

Simply saying my hands are tied by the confidentiality agreement I signed with my current employer takes that out of the equation.
Agreed. The more I think about this, the more I believe that citing the NDA (whether comp is part of it or not - no benefit in finding out!) is the best approach...regardless of your scenario. In fact, using the reasons I gave above (preferring not to share current comp) would often be interpreted as "it must be low - I wonder why - and this is a difficult person", while citing the NDA would more often be interpreted as "this person plays by the rules and (more subtly) won't let me walk all over him/her."

I had no idea that NDAs can/often/typically include comp. Thank you. :D
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by BW1985 »

TPT wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
Agreed. The more I think about this, the more I believe that citing the NDA (whether comp is part of it or not - no benefit in finding out!) is the best approach...regardless of your scenario. In fact, using the reasons I gave above (preferring not to share current comp) would often be interpreted as "it must be low - I wonder why", while citing the NDA would more often be interpreted as "this person plays by the rules and (more subtly) won't let me walk all over him/her."

Thank you. :D
Exactly. While the reasons you gave initially are sufficient and understandable, they may not be to the employer. You'd likely face further questioning and pressure to disclose the info they want (not need). They may even try to strong-arm you by saying they have to have it to move forward in the process. Citing your NDA is much more effective to sidestep this question. It doesn't even matter if there is an NDA, they have no idea and no way to find out.
Last edited by BW1985 on Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by HomerJ »

DaftInvestor wrote:I work really hard to give everyone I hire the best salary I can - at my company it is easier to get someone a salary they will be excited about when they are hired - it is much harder to give really good raises after first year as budgets are limited.
This is exactly why negotiating that starting salary is so important. What you just wrote is true at many companies. For some reason, it's far easier to give a new hire a good salary than to bump up an existing employee to the same salary. In my experience, people have to leave to get good raises.

Note you said this earlier.
If I am hiring and have a range for a position between $150K-$200K I am likely to give the guy that says he is currently making $205K the $200K salary and then discuss giving them additional equity in the company to help bridge the gap. If he didn't want to tell me and simply demanded $200K I am less likely to offer him $200K - I might shoot for $190K and say that's the best I can do. However, if someone tells me they make $150K currently I might consider what it will take for the person to move from their current position - a 15% uplift might do it versus the 25% uplift they are asking for. This person might be better off not letting me know how much they make.
Giving away your current salary (if it's low for your experience and skill) is very likely to cost a candidate money.

But like I said before, one can just move multiple times until you are making what you worth. It's unfortunate that most hiring managers will seek to lowball employees based on their old salary, but that's the game. You can either try to avoid giving your current salary, and get that one big jump you think you deserve, or you can just switch companies a couple of times until you're making what you worth.

Additionally - salary certainly isn't everything - you should always look at total compensation. Differences in 401K matching, equity offers, Health-Care contribution percentages, etc. can mean several thousand dollars difference. I generally know which companies have better or worse benefit programs compared to my own and always take this into account as well.
Lastly - company strength and individual happiness and career progression should be considered. We bogleheads oftentimes forget that money isn't everything.
This is very true.

A personal story:

At my current job, I actually offered to take a small pay-cut when it came time to talk about salary, because I wanted the job badly. The company has great benefits, excellent work-life balance, and is 5 minutes from my house (instead of the 40 minute commute I had before). So I was actually willing to take a pay-cut because I'd still come out ahead.

The director offered me the same salary I was already making, even though he didn't have to (I am very fairly paid, maybe even a little high). He pointed out that he didn't want to short-change me; he felt I would be worth the money, and wanted to make sure I was happy about the decision to join his team.

This company has my loyalty for life now. I intend to stay here until I retire.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by leonard »

DaftInvestor wrote:
Leonardo wrote:One thing strange about the "Tell them your salary history" crowd is that they seem to assume that there is a horrible consequence to saying no.
It's been 10 days since the OP asked the question so he/she/they has likely made his/her/their decision but I'll tie this off by one more response with an attempt to answer this question.
Some of the consequences might be:
1) The employer/HR are left thinking you are a difficult person and will be hard to manage by taking such a stance. If you aren't the only A player they are interviewing you might be passed over for another.
2) The employer/HR feels you are hiding something. You are probably underpaid and your last employer perhaps didn't value your contributions highly. Your prior performance may now be in question.

With all my years of leadership/hiring I've never had anyone NOT tell me what their prior salary is (And I've had this discussion in excess of 200 times). In fact, I'm not sure what I would do or think for sure if they didn't tell me - I guess I'd need to understand more about the person. The first time I'm in the situation I guess I'll know how I will really feel. I always ask the question not to try to cheat the prospective employee - I want to make sure I can offer the employee the best salary for his level and I want to make sure that will be greater than what he made in the past (or if not - I want to understand why he might have been over-paid). I don't want to waste the prospective employee's time if I can't pay appropriately - I want to make sure the employee won't be insulted or unhappy if I am offering less (and this wastes everyone's time). I do know which of my company's competitors pay on the higher side versus the lower side so I can usually guess pretty closely what someone makes based upon years of experience and prior employers but always like to know from the individual. I work really hard to give everyone I hire the best salary I can - at my company it is easier to get someone a salary they will be excited about when they are hired - it is much harder to give really good raises after first year as budgets are limited.

Additionally - salary certainly isn't everything - you should always look at total compensation. Differences in 401K matching, equity offers, Health-Care contribution percentages, etc. can mean several thousand dollars difference. I generally know which companies have better or worse benefit programs compared to my own and always take this into account as well.
Lastly - company strength and individual happiness and career progression should be considered. We bogleheads oftentimes forget that money isn't everything.
Despite it being 10 days, my guess is the OP will have additional interviews and will encounter this question again in the future.

So, if you take a look at the part of my post that you cut off, you might find a compelling reason why employers would want the candidate to be a good negotiator and not knee jerk reveal salary.

Anyone else still reading this thread - take a look at the book "Getting More" by Stuart Diamond regarding negotiating. Excellent book on negotiating everything - including Salary.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by leonard »

TPT wrote:Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)?
The NDA's I have signed cover all confidential company information. Salaries are considered confidential. Therefore, covered under NDA.

Also, you don't lose any leverage with this approach. You can still simply say "no" and counter if they offer below your current compensation, without telling them your salary.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by SmileyFace »

leonard wrote:
TPT wrote:Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)?
The NDA's I have signed cover all confidential company information. Salaries are considered confidential. Therefore, covered under NDA.

Also, you don't lose any leverage with this approach. You can still simply say "no" and counter if they offer below your current compensation, without telling them your salary.
Salary information is NOT legally part of any NDA agreement. The NLRB prohibits employers from forcing confidentiality of salary data so you can try this excuse to your peril with a knowledgeable employer.

You can think you are negotiating smartly by trying to come up with various reasons not to disclose your salary but you will likely just be viewed as a difficult person in many situations.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

DaftInvestor wrote:
leonard wrote:
TPT wrote:Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)?
The NDA's I have signed cover all confidential company information. Salaries are considered confidential. Therefore, covered under NDA.

Also, you don't lose any leverage with this approach. You can still simply say "no" and counter if they offer below your current compensation, without telling them your salary.
Salary information is NOT legally part of any NDA agreement. The NLRB prohibits employers from forcing confidentiality of salary data so you can try this excuse to your peril with a knowledgeable employer.

You can think you are negotiating smartly by trying to come up with various reasons not to disclose your salary but you will likely just be viewed as a difficult person in many situations.
DaftInvestor,

Vice versa. The employer that ask for this information will be viewed as an unfair employer that wants to take advantage of its employee. Ditto on the hiring manager.

What goes around, comes around.

I always use my Linkedin network and glassdoor to check out the employer and the hiring manager. Hence, we will know who to avoid.

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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by leonard »

DaftInvestor wrote:
leonard wrote:
TPT wrote:Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)?
The NDA's I have signed cover all confidential company information. Salaries are considered confidential. Therefore, covered under NDA.

Also, you don't lose any leverage with this approach. You can still simply say "no" and counter if they offer below your current compensation, without telling them your salary.
Salary information is NOT legally part of any NDA agreement. The NLRB prohibits employers from forcing confidentiality of salary data so you can try this excuse to your peril with a knowledgeable employer.

You can think you are negotiating smartly by trying to come up with various reasons not to disclose your salary but you will likely just be viewed as a difficult person in many situations.
Do you think companies want to hire poor negotiators? Employees that - when confronted with putting out an RFP and negotiating with vendors - they simply disclose confidential data to the vendor? If one knee jerks and tells salary - they are a very poor negotiator. I think you can draw the conclusion from there.

And, the NDA's I signed covered all confidential information - and didn't call out any NLRB exceptions. And, I'd be uninterested to test the courts on that matter anyway with my former employer.

And, if a potential employer CONFUSES good negotiating with being difficult - I have no interest in working with them anyway.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by SmileyFace »

leonard wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
leonard wrote:
TPT wrote:Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)?
The NDA's I have signed cover all confidential company information. Salaries are considered confidential. Therefore, covered under NDA.

Also, you don't lose any leverage with this approach. You can still simply say "no" and counter if they offer below your current compensation, without telling them your salary.
Salary information is NOT legally part of any NDA agreement. The NLRB prohibits employers from forcing confidentiality of salary data so you can try this excuse to your peril with a knowledgeable employer.

You can think you are negotiating smartly by trying to come up with various reasons not to disclose your salary but you will likely just be viewed as a difficult person in many situations.
Do you think companies want to hire poor negotiators? Employees that - when confronted with putting out an RFP and negotiating with vendors - they simply disclose confidential data to the vendor? If one knee jerks and tells salary - they are a very poor negotiator. I think you can draw the conclusion from there.

And, the NDA's I signed covered all confidential information - and didn't call out any NLRB exceptions. And, I'd be uninterested to test the courts on that matter anyway with my former employer.

And, if a potential employer CONFUSES good negotiating with being difficult - I have no interest in working with them anyway.
The point I was trying to make is telling someone to tell a propsective employer you don't want to disclose your salary due to a confidentiality agreement is bad advise since federal law prohibits your employer stopping you from telling folks your salary. You should know this and not state this to a protective employer. If you want to withhold your salary because you feel it puts you in a better negotiating position that is up to you. And as I stated before (with examples) - withholding your current salary doesn't necessarily make you a better negotiator - making this generalization is just plain wrong.

I think at this point we need to agree to disagree since you are missing my points and arguing past me - hopefully the OP doesn't take some of the bad advise given throughout this thread.
KlangFool
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by KlangFool »

DaftInvestor wrote: The point I was trying to make is telling someone to tell a propsective employer you don't want to disclose your salary due to a confidentiality agreement is bad advise since federal law prohibits your employer stopping you from telling folks your salary. You should know this and not state this to a protective employer. If you want to withhold your salary because you feel it puts you in a better negotiating position that is up to you. And as I stated before (with examples) - withholding your current salary doesn't necessarily make you a better negotiator - making this generalization is just plain wrong.

I think at this point we need to agree to disagree since you are missing my points and arguing past me - hopefully the OP doesn't take some of the bad advise given throughout this thread.
DaftInvestor,

A) You had told everyone that by disclosing the salary, the person will get paid less. But, you still advice people to disclose their salary?

B) You had told everyone that you expect the candidate to disclose their desired salary and salary history. But, you as a hiring manager will not disclose the salary range of the job. You probably will use company policy as an excuse to avoid doing that.

C) But, you are telling people that they cannot use their company policy as an excuse to do not disclose their salary.

So, please tell us why anyone wants to listen to you? They will get pay less and treated unfairly by following your advice.

KlangFool
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HomerJ
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by HomerJ »

KlangFool wrote:DaftInvestor,

A) You had told everyone that by disclosing the salary, the person will get paid less. But, you still advice people to disclose their salary?
I'm confused by this as well. Multiple people, including DaftInvestor, have admitted they will pay an employee less if the employee discloses their salary. But they think it's good advice to disclose one's salary? Why?

One doesn't have to be "difficult" to at least try and avoid this question. I'm even okay with throwing out my desired number first (instead of making the employer tell me the range first). I have said in the past, "Here is the salary I am looking for. I will need something close to that to consider moving to your company. I'd love to join your team; I think I could make a tremendous contribution very quickly."

If the manager presses me for my current salary, I will give it, but I will again remind them of the number I am looking for. If they lowball me, I'll say no...

If the OP is in a position where it's hard to say no, you can say yes, learn some new stuff for a year, and jump again later to get another bump.
leonard
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by leonard »

DaftInvestor wrote:
leonard wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
leonard wrote:
TPT wrote:Edit: BTW, why is it legal for companies to make compensation part of an NDA if it is essentially fixed (i.e., not tied to complex formulas that might be proprietary)?
The NDA's I have signed cover all confidential company information. Salaries are considered confidential. Therefore, covered under NDA.

Also, you don't lose any leverage with this approach. You can still simply say "no" and counter if they offer below your current compensation, without telling them your salary.
Salary information is NOT legally part of any NDA agreement. The NLRB prohibits employers from forcing confidentiality of salary data so you can try this excuse to your peril with a knowledgeable employer.

You can think you are negotiating smartly by trying to come up with various reasons not to disclose your salary but you will likely just be viewed as a difficult person in many situations.
Do you think companies want to hire poor negotiators? Employees that - when confronted with putting out an RFP and negotiating with vendors - they simply disclose confidential data to the vendor? If one knee jerks and tells salary - they are a very poor negotiator. I think you can draw the conclusion from there.

And, the NDA's I signed covered all confidential information - and didn't call out any NLRB exceptions. And, I'd be uninterested to test the courts on that matter anyway with my former employer.

And, if a potential employer CONFUSES good negotiating with being difficult - I have no interest in working with them anyway.
The point I was trying to make is telling someone to tell a propsective employer you don't want to disclose your salary due to a confidentiality agreement is bad advise since federal law prohibits your employer stopping you from telling folks your salary. You should know this and not state this to a protective employer. If you want to withhold your salary because you feel it puts you in a better negotiating position that is up to you. And as I stated before (with examples) - withholding your current salary doesn't necessarily make you a better negotiator - making this generalization is just plain wrong.

I think at this point we need to agree to disagree since you are missing my points and arguing past me - hopefully the OP doesn't take some of the bad advise given throughout this thread.
No we should agree to disagree because I do understand your points and have addressed them head on - and yet we continue to disagree.

Unless you can quote some NLRB - confidentiality is just that and it is clearly implied to apply to salary according to the agreements I have signed. Confidentiality agreements - btw - do not call out each data point individually - Salary, Earnings Per Share, Net Profit, Employee Demographics, Sales information, etc. The agreements simply address confidential information. Try posting your salary on the door of your office at work - and see if the company considers that data point confidential.

And, being careful with information is one of the best indicators of a good negotiator. Revealing some information to keep the conversation going forward, yet being careful not to compromise your own position. Sort of like not revealing salary in a conversation with a job offerer.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.
jackholloway
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by jackholloway »

As quoted in http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/sa ... sions.html, I suspect claiming your NDA blocks discussions of comp would be a non starter. That said, 'I do not want to be the test case for my company NDA" might work.

As far as hiring A list players, I know hiring managers at all four of GooAmSoftAp, and they virtually always get salary info. I also know of cases where a candidate applied at level X, succeeded at X-1, but failed at X, and hiring committee asked whether the comp for an offer for X-1 was reasonable. There are very good statistics, IIRC that offering someone x% less than their current comp usually results in termination shortly thereafter unless they were changing roles.

Certainly, no law forces disclosure, but like any negotiation that is part of a long term relationship, you need to keepyour eye on the long term goal.
TPT
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by TPT »

It's clear that the NLRB protects sharing of compensation info between employees within a given company, but it is not clear (to me, at least) that they assert the right to share comp info with employees of other companies even if in violation of an NDA (though I have not spent much time investigating).
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Nestegg_User
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Re: Prospective Employer Wants Salary History & Desired Salary

Post by Nestegg_User »

I'm going to have to agree with Klangfool and Leonard on this one...

It's entirely consistent with data that has shown that those who start work in recessions ( and hence may not be able to adequately get what **was** market rate due to inability to leverage scarce labor resource) NEVER achieve the same trajectory those hired in " normal" periods do-- they get only minor corrections from starting salaries versus a reset to market values. The framing by those claiming otherwise , especially with careful reading of these posts, shows that indeed revealing salary first may seriously hinder achieving a reset to market rate. Their claim that they "need" the info would ONLY be correct if they needed to stretch their budget to get you; but without them first revealing their monetary values to justify their request they instead reveal their corporate values that they WILL underpay at all opportunities. If you don't push back by either only giving them you required salary or just walking away you likely have given up significant current salary, and has been seen in this thread, you will have anchored your future compensation to that level as well. Spouse and I saw that during our working lives -- moving on ("selling it") was almost always the only way to get ahead by any significant measure.
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