Employers asking salaries

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airahcaz
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Employers asking salaries

Post by airahcaz » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:21 am

Seems employers can’t ask candidates for their salary in NYC, but what about NY state and NJ for that matter?

“New York City
Effective Date: Oct. 31, 2017
Employers Affected: All employers, employment agencies or employees or agents thereof
Employers in New York City are prohibited from requesting information about job applicants' previous pay or benefits. If an employer already has that information, it is prohibited from using that information to set pay.”
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course. (Plagiarized, but worth stealing)

Stormbringer
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by Stormbringer » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am

Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Albert Einstein

fabdog
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by fabdog » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:08 am

A few cities have made this illegal, but unless you are talking to an employer in one of those jurisdictions, you should prepare to have it asked at some point. As noted, some places use it to benchmark what to offer you. some use it to screen

You're not required to answer, but you may get dropped in the screening process.

There are many threads on google on how to work around the question

Mike

maroon
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by maroon » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:52 am

Yes, I think the reason employers ask about salaries is to determine the lowest salary they can offer.

A couple of years ago, I completed an online job application that included a question about my minimum salary requirement. An answer was required and the field wouldn't accept "negotiable" or anything like that so I entered an amount at the top of the posted salary range. I was interviewed a couple of times, then HR asked for my current salary - which I honestly provided - and shortly thereafter I was offered the job at a minimal increase from my current salary (something about parity with their employees, blah blah).

I advised they had required me to specify my minimum salary requirement and that their offer was considerably less. They subsequently increased the offer to the exact amount I'd listed on the online application.
Last edited by maroon on Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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SquawkIdent
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by SquawkIdent » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:09 am

Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
+1

BW1985
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:35 am

SquawkIdent wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:09 am
Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
+1
Yep. Never answer that question, use a workaround.

I've had success just saying "I'm open to a fair offer" when asked about salary requirements. If pushed for current salary I say I have a NDA with my employer and am not at liberty to share the information. If the company is stubborn and won't move forward without me giving the first number then I have no problem moving on, it's not a good sign.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

ssquared87
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by ssquared87 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:40 am

BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:35 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:09 am
Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
+1
Yep. Never answer that question, use a workaround.

I've had success just saying "I'm open to a fair offer" when asked about salary requirements. If pushed for current salary I say I have a NDA with my employer and am not at liberty to share the information. If the company is stubborn and won't move forward without me giving the first number then I have no problem moving on, it's not a good sign.
+1

Although I don’t say that I have an NDA, I find a way to wiggle out of the question. I usually say that I’m aware of the market rates for the position and say I’m flexible and open to a fair offer. Usually that’s enough but sometimes they push. If they do then I tell them that my current comp isn’t a great benchmark because the job expectations of the new role are very different. If they keep pushing I just look at the highest salary on Glassdoor and add 20% and tell them that’s what I’d need to leave my current company. That has never ended the convo...usually they say they can’t go quite that high but they offer pretty close to it

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am

BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:35 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:09 am
Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
+1
Yep. Never answer that question, use a workaround.

I've had success just saying "I'm open to a fair offer" when asked about salary requirements. If pushed for current salary I say I have a NDA with my employer and am not at liberty to share the information. If the company is stubborn and won't move forward without me giving the first number then I have no problem moving on, it's not a good sign.
If they ask what you are currently making, you should tell them 1) what you are currently making; and 2) what you are looking to make at your next job.

Academic research has shown that making the first offer will anchor the other side closer to your number than to theirs.

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/when-to-m ... gotiations
Anchoring research helps clarify the question of whether to make the first offer in a negotiation: by making the first offer, you will anchor the negotiation in your favor. In fact, Mussweiler and I have shown that making the first offer affords a bargaining advantage. In our studies, we found that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.

student
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by student » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:46 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am
If they ask what you are currently making, you should tell them 1) what you are currently making; and 2) what you are looking to make at your next job.
I think this is a very smart way to handle this.
Last edited by student on Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

JD2775
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by JD2775 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:17 am

I recently was interviewing for jobs and a coworker of mine had good advice for a reply to this exact question, should it come up.

"What is the salary range for this position"?

The question was asked, and I gave that response. The recruiter gave me the range, which was 25% more on the LOW end of the range than I currently make. 55% more on the high end. I said "that works fine".

Had I actually given my current salary, that range which I'd never know of, could have been thrown out the window

Trader Joe
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by Trader Joe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:58 pm

airahcaz wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:21 am
Seems employers can’t ask candidates for their salary in NYC, but what about NY state and NJ for that matter?

“New York City
Effective Date: Oct. 31, 2017
Employers Affected: All employers, employment agencies or employees or agents thereof
Employers in New York City are prohibited from requesting information about job applicants' previous pay or benefits. If an employer already has that information, it is prohibited from using that information to set pay.”
Yes you cited the correct applicable law for NYC. However, I can tell you that the question still gets asked, just in different/various ways. The correct answer to any variation of this question is to state what you will need to accept a role. Best of luck.

bampf
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by bampf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:04 pm

In the tech world I generally lead with salary expectations so we don't waste each others time. There is no point in going through half a dozen interviews if the job range is never going to be satisfactory. Contrary to some folks experience, I want to set the salary so it is not a dissatisfier. When you are employing people that provide unique value, you want to keep them relatively happy. If the difference of $10k means happy dedicated employee, then you do it.

I literally don't care what you made at your last job. I know around what I can offer you and I know how much room I need to keep so you are not topped out and have a progression. I ask what your expectations are so I can frame the kind of discussion and offer you something you will likely take. Conversely, if you expect $50K more than I can pay, well, I need to move on and so do you. My .02 for what its worth. If you are cagey about it, then you are not the right fit.

As an aside, mega corp generally sets ranges you have to fit. Very unlikely a package will get approved that is in the top 80% of the range. Same is true in the lower 20%... Generally we try and bring people that just barely meet the profile at the 25% penetration and people that are quite senior at the 50 to 60% penetration. Also, hiring managers rarely get a lot of choice on salary ranges.We try and fit the curve.

--Bampf

fabdog
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by fabdog » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:19 pm

I literally don't care what you made at your last job. I know around what I can offer you and I know how much room I need to keep so you are not topped out and have a progression. I ask what your expectations are so I can frame the kind of discussion and offer you something you will likely take. Conversely, if you expect $50K more than I can pay, well, I need to move on and so do you. My .02 for what its worth. If you are cagey about it, then you are not the right fit.
Completely different conversation and agree it's needed to make sure there is a reasonable chance for a fit, and don't waste each others time.

But the focus on what you make now often leads to an offer that is lower than what the candidate might have gotten if they had focused on the range and what value they could bring to the job

Mike

Topic Author
airahcaz
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by airahcaz » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:20 pm

There’s more room for negotiation if going directly and no recruiter involved. Somewhat true?
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course. (Plagiarized, but worth stealing)

investingdad
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by investingdad » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:25 pm

I had a laugh when I had a phone screening with a company and the question came up. I told them (truthfully) and the reply was that they were more like in 70k range.

I told them I thought that was insulting given the engineering experience they were asking for.

Call ended shortly after.

bampf
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by bampf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:27 pm

airahcaz wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:20 pm
There’s more room for negotiation if going directly and no recruiter involved. Somewhat true?
I have very little experience with that and its a pretty unanswerable question. It simply depends. Put another way, for us, even if you have your aunt negotiating, the package is going to be largely the same. But, it depends. Every company and recruiting firm is different.

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HomerJ
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by HomerJ » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:28 pm

bampf wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:04 pm
In the tech world I generally lead with salary expectations so we don't waste each others time. There is no point in going through half a dozen interviews if the job range is never going to be satisfactory. Contrary to some folks experience, I want to set the salary so it is not a dissatisfier. When you are employing people that provide unique value, you want to keep them relatively happy. If the difference of $10k means happy dedicated employee, then you do it.

I literally don't care what you made at your last job. I know around what I can offer you and I know how much room I need to keep so you are not topped out and have a progression. I ask what your expectations are so I can frame the kind of discussion and offer you something you will likely take. Conversely, if you expect $50K more than I can pay, well, I need to move on and so do you. My .02 for what its worth. If you are cagey about it, then you are not the right fit.

As an aside, mega corp generally sets ranges you have to fit. Very unlikely a package will get approved that is in the top 80% of the range. Same is true in the lower 20%... Generally we try and bring people that just barely meet the profile at the 25% penetration and people that are quite senior at the 50 to 60% penetration. Also, hiring managers rarely get a lot of choice on salary ranges.We try and fit the curve.

--Bampf

The problem is that is 30% of the companies are like you, just looking for a good fit, and 70% of the companies are looking to get the employees at the lowest salary possible.

So, if we're cagey, it's because the standard company tries to screw us.

It's hard when you're first starting out (the first 5-10 years), and you're not sure what you're worth.

Nowadays, I know exactly what I'm worth, and I'm totally upfront with what I require, so I give that number. I agree with you, let's not waste each other's time.

But that's a lot harder when one is young and inexperienced, and it's too bad that most companies are fine with lowballing employees and hoping most won't leave later.

(As you know, the good ones always leave at some point if you lowball them, but many companies are okay with getting a year or two from the good ones, and being mostly stuck with the average ones, but all at a lower cost)
The J stands for Jay

TheDDC
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by TheDDC » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 pm

bampf wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:27 pm
airahcaz wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:20 pm
There’s more room for negotiation if going directly and no recruiter involved. Somewhat true?
I have very little experience with that and its a pretty unanswerable question. It simply depends. Put another way, for us, even if you have your aunt negotiating, the package is going to be largely the same. But, it depends. Every company and recruiting firm is different.
How does that make any sense? Does your aunt skim 10-20% salary off the top like a recruiter does when negotiating, too? Going direct would probably give you an extra 5-10% on comp methinks at the very least. When I was once given a job offer through a recruiter, he lobbied me pretty hard to take the job and I felt that I was on top in terms of my benefit ask, though I do believe I could have gotten more going direct.

-TheDDC

quantAndHold
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:26 pm

airahcaz wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:20 pm
There’s more room for negotiation if going directly and no recruiter involved. Somewhat true?
Not really. The salary will be the same either way. The recruiter usually gets a percentage of your first year’s salary. In some companies and industries, you might be able to convince them to give you a starting bonus (or a bigger one) if they don’t have to pay the recruiter. But that would be all.

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willthrill81
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:52 pm

airahcaz wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:21 am
If an employer already has that information, it is prohibited from using that information to set pay.
That sounds about as sage as a judge instructing a jury to disregard a comment someone made in the courtroom.
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am
If they ask what you are currently making, you should tell them 1) what you are currently making; and 2) what you are looking to make at your next job.

Academic research has shown that making the first offer will anchor the other side closer to your number than to theirs.

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/when-to-m ... gotiations
Anchoring research helps clarify the question of whether to make the first offer in a negotiation: by making the first offer, you will anchor the negotiation in your favor. In fact, Mussweiler and I have shown that making the first offer affords a bargaining advantage. In our studies, we found that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.
That sounds like an excellent strategy to me.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Bacchus01
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:53 pm

airahcaz wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:20 pm
There’s more room for negotiation if going directly and no recruiter involved. Somewhat true?
Have never seen this to be true.

SoAnyway
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:01 pm

This is a VERY hot topic in employment law in municipalities/states across the country, OP, and the rules are changing rapidly.

To OP and anyone else lurking/reading: Stay up-to-date on your rights and the rules/regs in whatever geography you're looking re. salary history questions. Even where the question is banned, if a candidate (air-quotes) "volunteers" past salary info, often the prospective employer can then use it in setting the offered comp.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this site or whatever its business model is - i.e. I didn't click the link to sign up for its"newsletter" or whatever. Best I know, though, the free info on the landing page for the state where I currently reside is accurate. Good luck, OP!
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

bampf
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by bampf » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:30 am

TheDDC wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 pm
bampf wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:27 pm
airahcaz wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:20 pm
There’s more room for negotiation if going directly and no recruiter involved. Somewhat true?
I have very little experience with that and its a pretty unanswerable question. It simply depends. Put another way, for us, even if you have your aunt negotiating, the package is going to be largely the same. But, it depends. Every company and recruiting firm is different.
How does that make any sense? Does your aunt skim 10-20% salary off the top like a recruiter does when negotiating, too? Going direct would probably give you an extra 5-10% on comp methinks at the very least. When I was once given a job offer through a recruiter, he lobbied me pretty hard to take the job and I felt that I was on top in terms of my benefit ask, though I do believe I could have gotten more going direct.

-TheDDC
Methinks you would be wrong. But, what the heck do I know, I only work at megacorp and manage several hundred folks.

cheesepep
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by cheesepep » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:37 am

To me, it should be perfectly legal. If they offer you a salary, you aren't forced to accept. There are other places. There is still bargaining. Nothing is set.

bampf
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by bampf » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:41 am

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:28 pm
bampf wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:04 pm
If you are cagey about it, then you are not the right fit.
--Bampf

The problem is that is 30% of the companies are like you, just looking for a good fit, and 70% of the companies are looking to get the employees at the lowest salary possible.

So, if we're cagey, it's because the standard company tries to screw us.

It's hard when you're first starting out (the first 5-10 years), and you're not sure what you're worth.
I hear you and you aren't wrong. A couple observations:

If you are respected in the tech world you can work for companies that will pay you fairly. Frequently well.
If they lowball you, you don't want to work for them, unless you have no choice. If you have no choice, you need to make your full time job getting your next full time job.

I think that salary is important only so much as it is a disatisfier and rarely a satisfier.

I have turned down jobs that would double my salary because it would have been an awful place to work. I recognize the amount of privilege this displays, but, I am, in no small part, a product of my environment.

To the OP, find a company, if you can, with human beings in it. Find a manager that at least at some level cares about you and your goals, aspirations and choices. Find a company, leadership team, environment that speaks as straightly as possible, deals with you honestly and relatively fairly and tries to do great things. If that fails, at least affiliate with a company that does good things. I promise you that this will transform your experience and the amount of pay you make, as long as it is fair, will become the least of your concerns.

There are no right answers, only answers that help you achieve what you aspire to achieve. Best of luck!

student
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by student » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:45 am

bampf wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:41 am
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:28 pm
bampf wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:04 pm
If you are cagey about it, then you are not the right fit.
--Bampf

The problem is that is 30% of the companies are like you, just looking for a good fit, and 70% of the companies are looking to get the employees at the lowest salary possible.

So, if we're cagey, it's because the standard company tries to screw us.

It's hard when you're first starting out (the first 5-10 years), and you're not sure what you're worth.
I hear you and you aren't wrong. A couple observations:

If you are respected in the tech world you can work for companies that will pay you fairly. Frequently well.
If they lowball you, you don't want to work for them, unless you have no choice. If you have no choice, you need to make your full time job getting your next full time job.

I think that salary is important only so much as it is a disatisfier and rarely a satisfier.

I have turned down jobs that would double my salary because it would have been an awful place to work. I recognize the amount of privilege this displays, but, I am, in no small part, a product of my environment.

To the OP, find a company, if you can, with human beings in it. Find a manager that at least at some level cares about you and your goals, aspirations and choices. Find a company, leadership team, environment that speaks as straightly as possible, deals with you honestly and relatively fairly and tries to do great things. If that fails, at least affiliate with a company that does good things. I promise you that this will transform your experience and the amount of pay you make, as long as it is fair, will become the least of your concerns.

There are no right answers, only answers that help you achieve what you aspire to achieve. Best of luck!
Thank you for the wise analysis.

gtd98765
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by gtd98765 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:27 am

"Ask the Headhunter" blog is useful and frequently entertaining:
While not all HR departments will back off if you politely but firmly decline to disclose (“My salary information is private and confidential.”), readers report that HR usually lets it go and proceeds with the job interview. You must judge for yourself how to respond, but you must also realize that if you do disclose, you’ve probably destroyed your ability to negotiate the best job offer. An employer may have the right to ask for your salary, and it may be legally free to terminate your application, but you also have the right to say NO.
https://www.asktheheadhunter.com/11733/ ... ry-because

student
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by student » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:32 am

gtd98765 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:27 am
"Ask the Headhunter" blog is useful and frequently entertaining:
While not all HR departments will back off if you politely but firmly decline to disclose (“My salary information is private and confidential.”), readers report that HR usually lets it go and proceeds with the job interview. You must judge for yourself how to respond, but you must also realize that if you do disclose, you’ve probably destroyed your ability to negotiate the best job offer. An employer may have the right to ask for your salary, and it may be legally free to terminate your application, but you also have the right to say NO.
https://www.asktheheadhunter.com/11733/ ... ry-because
Good quote. I think in general, it depends on the unemployment rate and whether they can fill a position with acceptable candidate easily. (BTW, my analysis is probably worthless as I have only been to about three interviews.)

BW1985
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by BW1985 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:53 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am
BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:35 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:09 am
Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
+1
Yep. Never answer that question, use a workaround.

I've had success just saying "I'm open to a fair offer" when asked about salary requirements. If pushed for current salary I say I have a NDA with my employer and am not at liberty to share the information. If the company is stubborn and won't move forward without me giving the first number then I have no problem moving on, it's not a good sign.
If they ask what you are currently making, you should tell them 1) what you are currently making; and 2) what you are looking to make at your next job.

Academic research has shown that making the first offer will anchor the other side closer to your number than to theirs.

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/when-to-m ... gotiations
Anchoring research helps clarify the question of whether to make the first offer in a negotiation: by making the first offer, you will anchor the negotiation in your favor. In fact, Mussweiler and I have shown that making the first offer affords a bargaining advantage. In our studies, we found that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.
I don't agree with this so I won't be doing it. The problem is you don't know what their number is, if you knew then I'd agree. Here's the problem:

let's say their number is $100k
your current salary is $80k
your number is $90k

So following your method above you just lost out on $10k since the company was prepared to pay $100k for this role. Most companies will try to get you for as cheaply as they can.

This happens all the time.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 2770
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:54 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:53 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am
BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:35 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:09 am
Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
+1
Yep. Never answer that question, use a workaround.

I've had success just saying "I'm open to a fair offer" when asked about salary requirements. If pushed for current salary I say I have a NDA with my employer and am not at liberty to share the information. If the company is stubborn and won't move forward without me giving the first number then I have no problem moving on, it's not a good sign.
If they ask what you are currently making, you should tell them 1) what you are currently making; and 2) what you are looking to make at your next job.

Academic research has shown that making the first offer will anchor the other side closer to your number than to theirs.

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/when-to-m ... gotiations
Anchoring research helps clarify the question of whether to make the first offer in a negotiation: by making the first offer, you will anchor the negotiation in your favor. In fact, Mussweiler and I have shown that making the first offer affords a bargaining advantage. In our studies, we found that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.
I don't agree with this so I won't be doing it. The problem is you don't know what their number is, if you knew then I'd agree. Here's the problem:

let's say their number is $100k
your current salary is $80k
your number is $90k

So following your method above you just lost out on $10k since the company was prepared to pay $100k for this role. Most companies will try to get you for as cheaply as they can.

This happens all the time.
The real question is - why didn't you do your research ahead of time to discover that the company is willing to pay 100?

User avatar
greg24
Posts: 3544
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by greg24 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:05 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:53 pm
I don't agree with this so I won't be doing it. The problem is you don't know what their number is, if you knew then I'd agree. Here's the problem:

let's say their number is $100k
your current salary is $80k
your number is $90k

So following your method above you just lost out on $10k since the company was prepared to pay $100k for this role. Most companies will try to get you for as cheaply as they can.
What is your technique for avoiding the question yet getting the company to offer $100k?

I agree with hedgefundie that anchoring goes both ways. I haven't interviewed in a while, but when I did, I'd throw out a high number. It anchors the conversation around my number, and if its too high, then both parties can stop wasting time.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:09 pm

If you have never given out the first number and then been told "that's too high", then you don't truly know your market value.

core4portfolio
Posts: 330
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by core4portfolio » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:19 pm

I always do research and say this is what i need. If they approve then i can take up.
i never hesitate tell my salary and inform my expectation for this job @ this location is $$$$ like that.
If not offered then negotiate which comes close to my range.
Some jobs are not negotiable also, they say this is what we can pay. take it or leave it like this.
Few jobs I walked away since salary is not in par.
Do negotiate and see how it goes.

At the end whether you are happy with your salary or not what matters.
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

ssquared87
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by ssquared87 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:24 pm

student wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:32 am
gtd98765 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:27 am
"Ask the Headhunter" blog is useful and frequently entertaining:
While not all HR departments will back off if you politely but firmly decline to disclose (“My salary information is private and confidential.”), readers report that HR usually lets it go and proceeds with the job interview. You must judge for yourself how to respond, but you must also realize that if you do disclose, you’ve probably destroyed your ability to negotiate the best job offer. An employer may have the right to ask for your salary, and it may be legally free to terminate your application, but you also have the right to say NO.
https://www.asktheheadhunter.com/11733/ ... ry-because
Good quote. I think in general, it depends on the unemployment rate and whether they can fill a position with acceptable candidate easily. (BTW, my analysis is probably worthless as I have only been to about three interviews.)
+1

I recently went through the recruiting process and interviewed with 10-15 companies. I refused to give my current salary to the HR during the initial screens, and not once did they stop the interview process. I asked them what the range was for the position, and in most cases they were upfront with the salary range. The bottom end of the ranges given were typically more than I would have asked for if they asked me how much I wanted...I probably would have taken 20% more than I'm currently making, but ended up with about double my current pay because the new role is a bit different.

To those saying that its easy to find out what companies are paying for a given position, its not that easy if its a non-standard position or a smaller company. Bigger companies are easier to find pay bands on Glassdoor etc. but even niche titles in some larger companies in certain departments have a very different budget than you'd expect, so it's important to understand the employer's view on what the position is worth rather than to assume you know the range. The employer knows more about their expectations fo the role than you do at least initially, and you are likely to undersell yourself should you not fully grasp the value the role adds to the employer.

ssquared87
Posts: 979
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by ssquared87 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:26 pm

bampf wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:41 am
I have turned down jobs that would double my salary because it would have been an awful place to work. I recognize the amount of privilege this displays, but, I am, in no small part, a product of my environment.
It displays no privilege at all. It displays hard work and success and you should be proud of that.

Never apologize for your accomplishments.

Jags4186
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:04 pm

I think the only response you can give if they insist on the salary history is to request the salary range for the position in addition to details about benefits and perks. If they aren’t willing to give it before you disclose your current compensation (if you are willing to at all) then it means that may not be the company for you. If you get pushback you can always say “if I tell you first, you can make up whatever salary range on the spot. If you tell me first I can produce a paystub with whatever information you want to see on it.”

It’s very important to get the initial salary correct because most companies are going to lock you into 2%, 3%, or 4% ranges for your tenure.

KNomad
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by KNomad » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:16 pm

I went down the path of not disclosing my current salary when being recruited to another company several years ago. I was excited about this company and thought the role was a good fit.

They ended up offering me half of what I was making at the time. The company who was recruiting me acted offended when they found out they had offered me so little in comparison to what I was making and declined to come back with an offer that would make it worth my while to jump ship.

BV3273
Posts: 304
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by BV3273 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:07 pm

Finally a post I feel like I can help with.

You can almost always get a range out of a potential new employer. You can either outright ask them for a range or do some homework on your own. By homework I mean researching salaries on glassdoor or indeed. Also, I have had decent luck reaching out to current employees at the potential employer via LinkedIn. I’m in sales and this tactic is pretty much standard operating procedure for me and many of my friends/colleagues that are also in sales.

If you’re going through a recruiter of some sort they usually have an idea of what the role will pay. If it’s too low they won’t waste your time or theirs.

The point is you can figure out for the most part what they are willing to pay. Someone already mentioned it, but I like to shoot higher than what I’m currently making, usually to the tune of 20k. If it’s too high they’ll tell you and will most likely offer some sort of counteroffer.

I have never been in a situation where the potential employer did not counter.

I recently negotiated for a position and the salary was set by the company. No room for negotiation, but I was able to negotiate a sign-on bonus and a vehicle payment.

Either way I knew that they needed me more than I needed them and the worst that they could say is no.

bampf
Posts: 299
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by bampf » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:45 pm

KNomad wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:16 pm
I went down the path of not disclosing my current salary when being recruited to another company several years ago. I was excited about this company and thought the role was a good fit.

They ended up offering me half of what I was making at the time. The company who was recruiting me acted offended when they found out they had offered me so little in comparison to what I was making and declined to come back with an offer that would make it worth my while to jump ship.
This is exactly why I try to lead with "about how much are we talking about?" A range of roughly 40K is fine, it lets me know I am in the ball park and we don't dink around with noise and dancing. I don't care at all who goes first. I care that we get the noise out of the way so we can talk about real things. I know it is different for other industries, but tech is pretty pragmatic.

--Bampf

BW1985
Posts: 1773
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by BW1985 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:55 pm

greg24 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:05 pm
BW1985 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:53 pm
I don't agree with this so I won't be doing it. The problem is you don't know what their number is, if you knew then I'd agree. Here's the problem:

let's say their number is $100k
your current salary is $80k
your number is $90k

So following your method above you just lost out on $10k since the company was prepared to pay $100k for this role. Most companies will try to get you for as cheaply as they can.
What is your technique for avoiding the question yet getting the company to offer $100k?

I agree with hedgefundie that anchoring goes both ways. I haven't interviewed in a while, but when I did, I'd throw out a high number. It anchors the conversation around my number, and if its too high, then both parties can stop wasting time.
Is that high number what you really expect? Or is it much higher? When you throw out a very high number it can result in the employer writing you off. That's the risk you take.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

BW1985
Posts: 1773
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by BW1985 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:58 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:54 pm
BW1985 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:53 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am
BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:35 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:09 am


+1
Yep. Never answer that question, use a workaround.

I've had success just saying "I'm open to a fair offer" when asked about salary requirements. If pushed for current salary I say I have a NDA with my employer and am not at liberty to share the information. If the company is stubborn and won't move forward without me giving the first number then I have no problem moving on, it's not a good sign.
If they ask what you are currently making, you should tell them 1) what you are currently making; and 2) what you are looking to make at your next job.

Academic research has shown that making the first offer will anchor the other side closer to your number than to theirs.

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/when-to-m ... gotiations
Anchoring research helps clarify the question of whether to make the first offer in a negotiation: by making the first offer, you will anchor the negotiation in your favor. In fact, Mussweiler and I have shown that making the first offer affords a bargaining advantage. In our studies, we found that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.
I don't agree with this so I won't be doing it. The problem is you don't know what their number is, if you knew then I'd agree. Here's the problem:

let's say their number is $100k
your current salary is $80k
your number is $90k

So following your method above you just lost out on $10k since the company was prepared to pay $100k for this role. Most companies will try to get you for as cheaply as they can.

This happens all the time.
The real question is - why didn't you do your research ahead of time to discover that the company is willing to pay 100?
Sounds too good to be true. Where are you researching to know exactly what a company is willing to pay for your role?
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

DaftInvestor
Posts: 4607
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:02 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.
It depends - it can work against you or for you - it depends upon whether you are paid (or being offered by another company) a salary that is above market or below. If someone is about to offer me $150K and I tell them I am making $170K with an offer on the table of $180K they will know not to waste their time with the lower offer and can either dig deep and come up with a better number - or move on to another candidate that is willing to take the lower offer.
With the new laws many companies are no longer asking regardless of which state you are in.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:28 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:58 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:54 pm
BW1985 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:53 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am
BW1985 wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:35 am


Yep. Never answer that question, use a workaround.

I've had success just saying "I'm open to a fair offer" when asked about salary requirements. If pushed for current salary I say I have a NDA with my employer and am not at liberty to share the information. If the company is stubborn and won't move forward without me giving the first number then I have no problem moving on, it's not a good sign.
If they ask what you are currently making, you should tell them 1) what you are currently making; and 2) what you are looking to make at your next job.

Academic research has shown that making the first offer will anchor the other side closer to your number than to theirs.

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/when-to-m ... gotiations
Anchoring research helps clarify the question of whether to make the first offer in a negotiation: by making the first offer, you will anchor the negotiation in your favor. In fact, Mussweiler and I have shown that making the first offer affords a bargaining advantage. In our studies, we found that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.
I don't agree with this so I won't be doing it. The problem is you don't know what their number is, if you knew then I'd agree. Here's the problem:

let's say their number is $100k
your current salary is $80k
your number is $90k

So following your method above you just lost out on $10k since the company was prepared to pay $100k for this role. Most companies will try to get you for as cheaply as they can.

This happens all the time.
The real question is - why didn't you do your research ahead of time to discover that the company is willing to pay 100?
Sounds too good to be true. Where are you researching to know exactly what a company is willing to pay for your role?
The longer you are in a field the more knowledge you gain about what the fair pay scales are. And you talk to people. How much time & energy are spent by people networking to get an interview and preparing for that interview vs. actually making sure they are fairly paid for that role? Probably 90/10? It's ridiculous.

CnC
Posts: 708
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by CnC » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:45 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:47 am
Years ago, at a job interview, I was asked what other job offers I had received. I truthfully answered $31,000. I was immediately offered $32,000.

In retrospect, providing a truthful answer to that question was dumb, because the only purpose was to use it against me and get me to work for them for the least amount possible. I'm fairly confident that had I said $32,000 I would have been offered $33,000.

If anyone asks you that question, it's a trap.

It's not the only purpose. If someone is expecting more than the company plans on paying no sense in wasting anyone's time.

We have skipped hiring good people who expected near max of the pay range. We know we can't afford to keep them.

ssquared87
Posts: 979
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by ssquared87 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:52 pm

The other tactic I forgot to mention in my earlier posts was providing a range of the other offers that you have recently had rather than providing your current salary. I've done that a few times and received offers in the mid to high end of the range I provided, probably because they really wanted me, and also because they didn't want to look like they were trying to lowball me. In my last job search, I didn't disclose my salary once and received several offers, none of which were below what I was making

Iridium
Posts: 461
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by Iridium » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:42 pm

This thread seems to be getting a bit confused/derailed. The OP is asking about jurisdictions where companies are prohibited from asking about salary history. Many of the posts are talking about salary expectations. These numbers could be quite different.

OP, as far as I am aware, I have not heard of similar prohibitions for the states of NY or NJ. I do remember it got a bit of press when NYC banned asking about history, so I would think there would be some here would have heard if an entire state had done so. So, I would certainly figure out how to approach the question if interviewing outside NYC. Regardless of location, be prepared to be asked the question about salary expectations (as you can see on the thread, there is no consensus and strong opinions how to approach this).
Last edited by Iridium on Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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airahcaz
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Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by airahcaz » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:07 pm

NJ asked salary expectations and verbal said they’re not going to ask current salary (as if they weren’t allowed to)
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course. (Plagiarized, but worth stealing)

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wabbajack
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Location: Indianapolis

Re: Employers asking salaries

Post by wabbajack » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:21 pm

Iridium wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:42 pm
This thread seems to be getting a bit confused/derailed. The OP is asking about jurisdictions where companies are prohibited from asking about salary history. Many of the posts are talking about salary expectations. These numbers could be quite different.

OP, as far as I am aware, I have not heard of similar prohibitions for the states of NY or NJ. I do remember it got a bit of press when NYC banned asking about history, so I would think there would be some here would have heard if an entire state had done so. So, I would certainly figure out how to approach the question if interviewing outside NYC. Regardless of location, be prepared to be asked the question about salary expectations (as you can see on the thread, there is no consensus and strong opinions how to approach this).
This may not be a prohibition by state, but I would expect that mega corps and MNCs would issue a rule to state that the new company policy is to not ask for salary history. I imagine this makes it easier for compliance. This was recently done in a company-wide email at my employer.

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