One of the most awkward moments for a candidate in the interview process is the dreaded question by employers “how much are you looking for”. Seriously you might as well ask them how many people that have slept with as well. Obviously they both have different answers depending on who's asking. Ha!
Here is why I don’t ask about it or talk about it unless asked.
1. Many people are getting severely over and under paid in their current role. I don’t think it is fair to judge someone on their current or past pay and we subconsciously do this all the time. As a society we are trained to think that people that make more money are better at what they do. This is a dangerous way of thinking and constantly proven wrong.
2. When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t make a difference. Mangers ask but they never match an inflated previous salary anyway so what’s the point. Let’s have the managers look to us to give them the number that we know the candidate will accept and not except. This will make our pre-closure conversations extremely important. It will also make having backup candidates a necessity.
3. The “good” candidates see beyond the salary and take the job for other reasons, career growth, technology, team, work they will be doing. Make sure your candidate knows all of this before you offer them the job. Don’t assume they do, ask them.
4. Know what is really important to the candidate when they make their decision about a job. Ask multiple times throughout the process and don’t assume anything.
5. By not talking about salary we will have to make sure we are selling every other piece of the job, culture, team/department, benefits package and what you found out in point 4. All of which are as important as the $.
6. If you’re thinking that this would be a huge waste of time cause you might get turn downs, think of this. Most of the candidates that we are prescreening are within 10% of the base pay we can provide. So we are making it uncomfortable for 90% of the people for the 10% we can’t afford anyway. If you do this the right way you will turn the 10% into the 90% and your declines numbers will shrink.
The side effect of doing this:
Recruiters learn the intimate details of the groups, managers, directors that they support. They learn about what the jobs are and why they are important to the company, they start to really listen to the candidates. If this is done the right way we will see the hiring managers looking to the recruiter to come up with the final number for the offer and we will start to build a true business relationship which will allow us to target and attract better talent.
Please let me know your thoughts.