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Disclosing current salary during job offer negotiations

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Sr. Member
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Jun 6, 2009
929 posts
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Montréal
u0dcameron wrote: I can't disclose the range because it's against our policy and considered confidential but even if I could in your example the cap isn't 110K if I find a candidate that has better skills and experience than the best guy making 110K I can likely compensate them accordingly. I will also sometimes find someone that's maybe above the range of what we're looking for but they're an exceptional enough candidate that the manager may go back and ask for approval to hire at a higher level so we can bring the candidate on board. I wouldn't want someone not to apply because there's a rigid range there that may not be the reality of what we can do. If a candidate gave me a range that was way out of scope for the role I'd let them know that upfront, sometimes that changes the conversation and they come down or other times we just agree this isn't the right fit at this time and I'll consider them for other opportunities more in line with what they are looking for.
It's silly policies like these that are the cause of so much time wasted. I kind of understand why employers don't want to disclose this, but that's not confidential information. And if that's your attitude about it, you can't be frustrated with candidates who are not straightforward about their expectations either. It's a two-way street.
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2006
1580 posts
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It's so sad they put this bill on hold - Pay Transparency Act, 2018, S.O. 2018, c. 5 - Bill 3 There was a reason to bring this bill, hope it passes some day.

For now the only way to get more money is to switch every 12 to 18 months and ask for more money specially beginning of the career. Even one is not looking for a job going through interviews once a year and getting offers is good way to know if you are overpaid or underpaid at your current position.
Deal Guru
Apr 11, 2006
10598 posts
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Mississauga
Lunita wrote: Update: I called hiring manager to let them know I decline the offer. I gave them my final number and they said they would check again with HR and will call me back...
That's the way to do it. Let us know if you hear back. They will either see if they can give you your number or go to the back up candidate and lowball them to see if they bite.
Deal Guru
Nov 21, 2011
10179 posts
2950 upvotes
I would never give out that info. State it's confidential to the company. They're trying to establish baseline for negotiating, no different than when a car dealer or any sales guy asks what your budget is. What you're currently making doesn't dictate what they're willing to pay.
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Dec 8, 2007
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epiphano wrote: It's silly policies like these that are the cause of so much time wasted. I kind of understand why employers don't want to disclose this, but that's not confidential information. And if that's your attitude about it, you can't be frustrated with candidates who are not straightforward about their expectations either. It's a two-way street.
Exactly.

This HR recruiter person … god bless their heart they’re trying to be helpful, but man, have they been chugging the KoolAid.

Young Kings (and Queens), don’t tell these corporate shills a god damn thing. And don’t kid yourself, that just because you’ve been invited to an interview, you throw your self respect and good judgement out the window and “trust” these people you don’t even know. They’re not your friends. Not the recruiter, not the hiring manager, none of them. They’re looking for the most qualified candidate for the lowest cost that will give them the least amount of hassle.

All this talk about openness … my guy, hard stop. This isn’t LinkedIn. The homeless guy you gave a dollar to on the way to the interview doesn’t end up being the hiring manager.
Hydropwnics wrote:"TodayHello is a certified hustler and original gangster."
Sr. Member
Nov 8, 2006
964 posts
427 upvotes
Toronto
From personal experience, I was given a 10% to move. I declined it saying its too low. I was then offered 25%.
So, judge based on your experience, working relation, and your EQ.
Also count in the total comp that you are receiving.

I got an offer, totally match what $ value I am asking - 25%.
Downside, the vacay and intangible benefits were cut, and therefore declining the offer: such as insurance, bonus, dental, drugs, vision, pension, etc...

See what exactly is the total monetary value you want, but also state that you are looking for a total comp package instead of just money.
Deal Addict
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Oct 27, 2004
1294 posts
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In my experience, there is no reason to ever disclose your current salary. It's irrelevant, unprofessional and poor negotiation tactics. When negotiating, whomever throws out the first number loses. By throwing out a number, you've set a baseline expectation. Every job spec in any company comes with a salary range. The potential employer already knows what they are prepared to pay for the role, say it's $60-80K. If you are looking for work, it's likely at least partially because you're underpaid in your current role. If they ask you for your current salary and you say $50K, you've now set the bar for the employer to offer you at the lowest end of their range because they can position it as a $10K increase. Even worse, they could think you're too junior for the role and pass you over for consideration.

II always respond with something like "I don't care to share my current compensation. I'm sure your company wouldn't appreciate that type of information being shared, and I respect my current employer enough to keep that information confidential Plus, I have to assume you've already got a range in mind for the role... why don't you tell me what that is, and I'll let you know if we're in the ballpark." If the range is too low, you can thank them for their time and move on. If it's in your range, you can be excited and tell them you can work with that. If it's higher than you expected, you've just made yourself more money by not throwing out the first number. If they insist with some bullshit reason -- and any reason is a bullshit reason -- you can terminate the interview because that's not a company you want to work for.

There is nothing to be gained, ever, from telling an interviewer your current salary.
Deal Addict
Feb 20, 2009
1417 posts
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TodayHello wrote: Exactly.

This HR recruiter person … god bless their heart they’re trying to be helpful, but man, have they been chugging the KoolAid.

Young Kings (and Queens), don’t tell these corporate shills a god damn thing. And don’t kid yourself, that just because you’ve been invited to an interview, you throw your self respect and good judgement out the window and “trust” these people you don’t even know. They’re not your friends. Not the recruiter, not the hiring manager, none of them. They’re looking for the most qualified candidate for the lowest cost that will give them the least amount of hassle.

All this talk about openness … my guy, hard stop. This isn’t LinkedIn. The homeless guy you gave a dollar to on the way to the interview doesn’t end up being the hiring manager.
I'm not chugging anything, I've already said flat out that my priority is finding the right skills and experience for the role and that as long as it's within the scope of pay I can offer I don't care whether it's at the bottom or very top none of my performance metrics are tied to how much I paid the selected candidate and I can assure you my managers I hire for have the same mindset. As long as we're not creating inequity among the current team the salary doesn't matter.
Deal Addict
Feb 20, 2009
1417 posts
621 upvotes
Password wrote: In my experience, there is no reason to ever disclose your current salary. It's irrelevant, unprofessional and poor negotiation tactics. When negotiating, whomever throws out the first number loses. By throwing out a number, you've set a baseline expectation. Every job spec in any company comes with a salary range. The potential employer already knows what they are prepared to pay for the role, say it's $60-80K. If you are looking for work, it's likely at least partially because you're underpaid in your current role. If they ask you for your current salary and you say $50K, you've now set the bar for the employer to offer you at the lowest end of their range because they can position it as a $10K increase. Even worse, they could think you're too junior for the role and pass you over for consideration.

II always respond with something like "I don't care to share my current compensation. I'm sure your company wouldn't appreciate that type of information being shared, and I respect my current employer enough to keep that information confidential Plus, I have to assume you've already got a range in mind for the role... why don't you tell me what that is, and I'll let you know if we're in the ballpark." If the range is too low, you can thank them for their time and move on. If it's in your range, you can be excited and tell them you can work with that. If it's higher than you expected, you've just made yourself more money by not throwing out the first number. If they insist with some bullshit reason -- and any reason is a bullshit reason -- you can terminate the interview because that's not a company you want to work for.

There is nothing to be gained, ever, from telling an interviewer your current salary.
I'd wager more than 50% of employers that aren't disclosing a salary range on the posting that they wouldn't disclose it during the phone discussion either. Your advice is to cut off all ties from ever working for these organizations because they won't disclose the same information your not willing to disclose... pretty poor advice and would have folks disqualifying themselves from plenty of opportunities I'm sure they'd love to be considered for.
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Oct 27, 2004
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u0dcameron wrote: I'd wager more than 50% of employers that aren't disclosing a salary range on the posting that they wouldn't disclose it during the phone discussion either. Your advice is to cut off all ties from ever working for these organizations because they won't disclose the same information your not willing to disclose... pretty poor advice and would have folks disqualifying themselves from plenty of opportunities I'm sure they'd love to be considered for.
I'd take that wager.

If an employer is going to ask you for a salary range, they've got to have one in mind. And if they deem salary important enough to ask you about it during an initial phone screen, then they're probably prepared to at least talk about it at a high level. Here's how it's usually played out for me:

Employer: And what is your current salary? Just so I can see if we're in the same range.
You: I don't care to share my current compensation, thank you. I'm sure your company wouldn't appreciate that type of information being shared, and I respect my current employer enough to keep that information confidential Plus, I have to assume you've already got a range in mind for the role... why don't you tell me what that is, and I'll let you know if we're in the ballpark.
Employer: Oh, we don't disclose that during the initial phone screen. I need you to tell me what you're making now.
You: I'm really not comfortable sharing that, and my current compensation isn't really relevant to our discussion. I get a sense from the job posting that we're probably around the same number. Can you share the range your company has established for this posting?
Employer: Yes, we do have a range established. We're looking to hire someone between $50-$60K.
You: Well, that's a the low-end of my expectation, but I can work with that.

Now, let's play out the scenario with a real hard ass:

Employer: And what is your current salary? Just so I can see if we're in the same range.
You: I don't care to share my current compensation, thank you. I'm sure your company wouldn't appreciate that type of information being shared, and I respect my current employer enough to keep that information confidential Plus, I have to assume you've already got a range in mind for the role... why don't you tell me what that is, and I'll let you know if we're in the ballpark.
Employer: Oh, we don't disclose that during the initial phone screen. I need you to tell me what you're making now.
You: I'm really not comfortable sharing that, and my current compensation isn't really relevant to our discussion. I get a sense from the job posting that we're probably around the same number. Can you share the range your company has established for this posting?
Employer: We don't give out salary.
You: So If I told you I was looking for $100K? What would you tell me?
Employer: I'd tell you that you were way out of our price range?
You: Okay, so what is that price range?
Employer: I told you, we don't give that out!
You: I'm really interested in this role, and I really think I'd be a great fit. It would be a shame to go through the process only to find out at the end that we can't come to terms on compensation. How far away am I at $80K then?
Employer: Well, at $80K, you're probably still $20K too high.
You: I guess my expected salary is $60K, then!
Employer: Okay, I'll put down $60K. Next question...

The truth is, disqualifying yourself from an under-compensated position isn't a bad thing. If you are worth $60K, then you shouldn't take a job for a nickel less. I had a job offer in November for $85K + ~$20K bonuses. It would have been a great job, but it's about $30K less than I'm earning now. I tried to negotiate them up, but they wouldn't budge, so I declined the offer. Know your value. Don't accept anything less.
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Jun 6, 2009
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Montréal
Password wrote: There is nothing to be gained, ever, from telling an interviewer your current salary.
What about after the interview and when there's an offer on the table, especially if it's not that good? "Well, this is how much my current employer thinks I'm worth" is an effortless argument to make to up the ante, instead of bragging about how smart and good looking you are.
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Oct 27, 2004
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epiphano wrote: What about after the interview and when there's an offer on the table, especially if it's not that good? "Well, this is how much my current employer thinks I'm worth" is an effortless argument to make to up the ante, instead of bragging about how smart and good looking you are.
What your current employer thinks your worth is irrelevant. You're seeking to leave that employer; why trust their judgement now?

If the offer is too low, just say something like "I'm excited about the opportunity and the company. I think I'd be a great fit, but I can't justify making a move at this compensation level. If you could come up to Y, I would more than gladly sign an offer letter!"

Again, it comes down to knowing what you're worth and not excepting anything less. And I mean knowing what value you bring to the table.
Deal Guru
Nov 21, 2011
10179 posts
2950 upvotes
u0dcameron wrote: I'd wager more than 50% of employers that aren't disclosing a salary range on the posting that they wouldn't disclose it during the phone discussion either. Your advice is to cut off all ties from ever working for these organizations because they won't disclose the same information your not willing to disclose... pretty poor advice and would have folks disqualifying themselves from plenty of opportunities I'm sure they'd love to be considered for.
If an employer isn't going to disclose a salary until the actual job offer they're doing themselves a disservice in attracting talent.
It's not a prospective employee's responsibility to offer up confidential information about their current employer just to place their prospective employer in a better position to negotiate salary.
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Aug 6, 2001
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Stuck in a Box
Jokkon wrote: I don't work in HR so this is unconfirmed but from my experience of dealing with some of the bigger companies, they all use BackCheck to perform their due diligence.

Companies do ask for paystubs - albeit not directly - they ask through BackCheck to "verify" your employment history. The employer gets access to everything you provide from what I understand - if you lie and pad your salary numbers, you might just get caught that way.
You can redact the salary from employment confirmation letter for back check
Newbie
Oct 1, 2011
99 posts
104 upvotes
Vancouver
u0dcameron wrote: I can't disclose the range because it's against our policy and considered confidential but even if I could in your example the cap isn't 110K if I find a candidate that has better skills and experience than the best guy making 110K I can likely compensate them accordingly. I will also sometimes find someone that's maybe above the range of what we're looking for but they're an exceptional enough candidate that the manager may go back and ask for approval to hire at a higher level so we can bring the candidate on board. I wouldn't want someone not to apply because there's a rigid range there that may not be the reality of what we can do. If a candidate gave me a range that was way out of scope for the role I'd let them know that upfront, sometimes that changes the conversation and they come down or other times we just agree this isn't the right fit at this time and I'll consider them for other opportunities more in line with what they are looking for.

You seem to be ignoring what I've posted twice now which is that if a candidates range is below what we feel is appropriate based on your skills, experience, and the compensation of your peers relative to that we'll bring you in at a salary of comparable peers with similar experience and skills. Try to shift your mindset away from wanting to squeeze every dollar possible to wanting the compensation that will make you happy, if you get what you wanted or more why would you be upset? You should be doing the research to understand what the market is paying for your skills and experience and once you've come up with that number if you get it why wouldn't you be happy.
This is a red flag if I hear this from a recruiter. It shows that discussing compensation within the company and between coworkers is frowned upon. That may not be the case necessarily, but it is a concern.

Everything you said could be reversed and said from an applicant's point of view. The employer could shift their mindset away from wanting to pay the lowest wage possible to every employee.
And with the worker shortage in most industries at the moment, applicants have the leverage.
Applicants owe nothing to the companies they are applying for. Applicants will go to the company that compensates them the most.

From a company point of view, this policy is trash because it unknowingly selects for crappy candidates.
Great candidates will get many interviews, and they will selectively choose how much time they want to spend interviewing and with which companies they interview with. They will ask for a higher range to avoid being low-balled. Or they will simply not give a range, as they know they have the leverage of competing interviews/offers.
By not being transparent, you're unknowingly selecting for worse candidates who may not be as picky about who they're interviewing due to lack of interviews and so will ask for a lower range. Of course, sometimes skilled applicants undervalue themself.

I have 0 stats to back these statements up, other than my personal experience, but I find the range conversation absolutely meaningless.

If your offer to the candidate after spending the time and resources to review the candidate, screen them, and possibly interview them is "we can't disclose", that is truly your company's loss.
I also think after the interview stage, you would have a very strong idea of what range the applicant should get. A recruiter not giving a range after the interview stage is playing dumb games and wasting my time.

If I ever ran a company, this would never be a policy. It makes absolutely zero sense. Especially in a time like this, when hiring is difficult and turnover is high.
Of course, this is industry dependent and company size (and wealth) dependent.
Member
Oct 14, 2010
457 posts
458 upvotes
Toronto
Jokkon wrote: I don't work in HR so this is unconfirmed but from my experience of dealing with some of the bigger companies, they all use BackCheck to perform their due diligence.

Companies do ask for paystubs - albeit not directly - they ask through BackCheck to "verify" your employment history. The employer gets access to everything you provide from what I understand - if you lie and pad your salary numbers, you might just get caught that way.
You can blackout the $s on a paystub you submit to background checkers. That is what I have always done. Never ever been an issue.

They only need to verify you worked there, they don't need to know how much you made unless you are Ok to let them to know.
Deal Addict
Jan 29, 2010
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I just did the reverse. Got a company heavily interested in me, then disclosed my already high salary. Asked for more, got more. Works both ways.
Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2017
836 posts
548 upvotes
If someone backs you into a corner just tell them the higher range of the salary you want. There's no written rules here.

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