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Businesses IT

Ask Slashdot: Should You Tell Future Employers Your Salary History? 435

An anonymous reader writes: During the interview process for a technology job, I was asked to fill out an application which included questions about my compensation history. When I asked why, I was told that it was part of the background check and wouldn't be used to determine the size of the offer... What is the risk for the employer of not knowing that info? Is this standard procedure or part of a trend at technology companies?
The original submission asks if this is ever a legitimate question -- or more to the point, "Is it anything more than an attempt to gain negotiating leverage?" So leave your best answers in the comments. When you're interviewing for a new IT job, should you tell future employers your salary history?
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Tell Future Employers Your Salary History?

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  • Never give a number (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2017 @10:39PM (#53756867)

    You should never ever ever give your salary history. It will NEVER help you and will only ever fuck you over. Anyone that claims it's for a background check is lying their ass off and no employer will ever confirm a number. Just put $1 or $0 and when they ask you can simply tell them that's not important and/or it's none of their business.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2017 @11:06PM (#53756985)

      That's a good idea if you never want to get hired.

      In theory, your previous salary is irrelevant. In actual practice, companies want that information because they view it as an indicator of how much you want to be paid. Unless you are interviewing for a job as CEO or other high level position, 99.9% of all companies want to pay you as little as possible.

      If you were paid $100k in your previous job but they are really hoping to pay someone $50k, telling them your previous salary will almost certainly result in you not getting the job. Withholding salary information will also result in not getting the job.

      Leverage is a fantasy. You have no leverage. THEY control who gets hired. Companies will hire whoever will work for the lowest wages with no regard to skill or qualifications. That's pretty much the entire basis of the H-1B program.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2017 @11:34PM (#53757091)

        The way I usually respond to "what was your previous salary" question is "Yes Sir, I know how to keep a secret. Next question please." It's like asking a salesmen the same question, if they are any good, they wouldn't respond or they'd game you. I prefer the honest approach just to see how stupid the headhunter is.

        The only thing that matters is the value and opportunity I represent to your company right now. If I come along with a packed Portfolio, letters of recommendation from executives with dollar amounts in them, and so forth, the discussion needs to be how much or the offer to try the job out for a month, paid of course, and see how things go.

        The only kind of employer that hires a head hunter to fish around for cheap labor (if you ever get a number on a phone call or an e-mail, or a very narrow salary range, it's fishing), or wants to know your existing salary upfront, is one that thinks of their employee's like any fixed piece of equipment and treats them as such.
        If you get into the habitation of treating all people like fixed equipment, and treating all equipment the same, pretty soon the really great ones move on and all you are left with is a string of bad people. As a result, many of those businesses are an absolute nightmare to work for. They have an insatiable appetite to find ways to cajole, prod, and otherwise manipulate their labor into doing often immoral and unethical work; insecure people tend to need others around them to feel insecure as well.

        Ignore them, let them die, go work for the competition.

        • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @04:04AM (#53757951) Journal

          I'm paid well, so I always provide my salary in the first call with the recruiter. No point in wasting my time in they're not in the ballpark.

          When young and underpaid, I would respond with "my salary is a joke, and the punchline is $X". Any large employer is going to pay you at least market rate if you're a software developer, and that certainly worked well for me, getting a 40% raise when I left my first and third jobs.

          So, in my experience, if you're below market, you might as well say so and make it clear that's not going to be OK. If you're at market, there's no point in hiding it, since that's what they'll assume anyway. If you're well paid, then you really want to tell them upfront. All the cases point to telling the recruiter your current comp package.

          History before that is none of their business, though.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @11:47PM (#53757133)

        Leverage is a fantasy. You have no leverage. THEY control who gets hired. Companies will hire whoever will work for the lowest wages with no regard to skill or qualifications.

        But conveniently, declining to provide your salary history will often prevent you from accidentally accepting a job with such a poor employer.

        There is only one reason a prospective new employer would ever need to know your previous compensation details, and we all know what it is. Asking what level of compensation you're looking for in a new job is a perfectly legitimate question, but there's no reason any honest and reasonable employer can't just ask it directly. If they don't, and if they won't let your refusal to give history go, you might as well take advantage of the insight you've been given at an early stage and walk away before you waste any more of your time on them.

        • by uncqual ( 836337 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @02:13AM (#53757527)

          As a hiring manager, I want to know your last salary and perhaps some salary history for a couple reasons.

          First, if I have a req for an engineer with a range of $160K-$190K, if you are making $220K I know it's unlikely that you will accept this job. If I'm really excited by you in an initial interview, I might find another position and talk with you about considering that one instead. If' I'm not really excited by you, I'll not pursue it as there's no reason to waste the team's time interviewing someone who is unlikely to take the position and/or will start out with low morale and will likely leave before your on-boarding costs have even been recovered.

          Second, the person who knows you best as an employee is likely your last employer. If they were paying you an unusually low (or high salary) taking into account the company as some are known to pay high while others pay high, they likely don't think you are very valuable (or think you are very valuable). This is an interesting hint to me.

          In all cases, if there's a reason that the applicant knows their last salary (and perhaps salary history) is problematic, they are free to explain early on (as in, "You may notice that my salary was very low at my last position. This is because I was working for my brother-in-law and trying to help keep his business afloat as a family favor.").

          As a hiring manager, I try to bring people in as high as I can without creating disparities among the group between engineers of similar skill and productivity. This is simply logical -- when raise time comes around, I get x% to spread around and I don't want to consume it bringing people "up to grade", I'd rather spend it rewarding people. It's usually much easier to get another $15K for a new hire (esp. when the position has been open for a while and the boss really wants it filled) than it is to get another $15K a year later to give the new hire a "grade adjustment" raise.

          I don't worry too much about overpaying under-performers though -- I tend to get rid of them fairly quickly (usually with them resigning, but occasionally via more painful routes). But, even if I am overpaying an under-performer, I still get a percentage of their inflated salary to hand out to other members of the team (and give the overpaid employee little if anything -- which also helps getting them to decide to move on elsewhere!). The logistics of this are a little trickier than described here, but that's the general scheme.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2017 @03:28AM (#53757831)

            if I have a req for an engineer with a range of $160K-$190K, if you are making $220K I know it's unlikely that you will accept this job.

            Then be upfront yourself. Tell the potential recruits you're willing to pay up to $190K and let THEM decide if they want to apply.
            Of course, everyone wants to withhold information to enhance their bargaining position.

            • by uncqual ( 836337 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @04:46AM (#53758093)

              The problem is, and this is from years of experience, applicants will still waste your time as a "backup" (or even "backup backup backup") option.

              Also, many applicants assume that the range is "negotiable" and think that they can somehow, in the last throes of negotiation, get an offer over the top of the range. (They are wrong -- as a matter of principle I don't do that. If the headhunter kicks in $10K of their commission to beef up the "sign-on bonus", I'll do that -- and that's surprisingly common when closure is looking tenuous).

              Most people, esp. those seeking high salaries, think they are better than they are (this is a common human trait - ask 100 developers if they think they are above or below the median skill level and I'll bet about 80% will assert that they are above the median). It's a waste of my time and the team's time. I've got code to write (well, usually designs to review but...) and they have code to write -- interviewing, unlike developing software, is not something we do because we enjoy it.

          • You use the phrase "as a hiring manager" frequently, so I will borrow it but only once.

            As a hiring manager, I know very well there is very little justice or logic in payscales. PHB's and HR (if that isn't redundant) set the rate. I've seen it for more than two decades without ever seeing a single counter example. YMMV. I don't have a problem personally if someone declines to tell me what they made. It does, however, cause HR to refuse to schedule an interview if they even bother to pass the resume up to m

            • by uncqual ( 836337 )

              It sounds like you may want to reconsider where you work if there is little justice or logic in payscales where you've been working over the past 20+ years.

              If you don't get to see a resume until HR has vetted salary, you're almost certainly losing good candidates for no reason. It's only after I'm interested in a resume that I care about salary (and, usually, after the phone screen or at the end of the phone screen if it went well -- it depends on the circumstances). When "resumes" (often just a LinkedIN li

          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2017 @05:55AM (#53758331)

            As a hiring manager, I want to know your last salary and perhaps some salary history for a couple reasons.

            First, if I have a req for an engineer with a range of $160K-$190K, if you are making $220K I know it's unlikely that you will accept this job.

            if you really think this, then asking the prospective employee what salary they are seeking accomplishes the same goal. then, the only difference between how you want to handle this and how an employment-seeker should handle this is who gains the upper hand in salary negotiations. obviously you prefer your method because it gives you the upper hand. you either don't realize this, or are being disingenuous in your reasoning.

            Second, the person who knows you best as an employee is likely your last employer. If they were paying you an unusually low (or high salary) taking into account the company as some are known to pay high while others pay high, they likely don't think you are very valuable (or think you are very valuable). This is an interesting hint to me.

            you're assuming that their last employer's salaries have kept pace with the job market. i have often found this not to be the case, particularly in a strong job market. you're also assuming that their last employer pays employees according to how valuable they are. i rarely seen this to be the case, especially for long-time employees.

            being good at their job and being good at salary negotiation are often two independent skills, and withholding current salary information is a good tip for people who aren't good at salary negotiation. if you don't believe in leverage, tell us about how you include a salary offer in all of your job postings, and make salary information for everyone in your company available to all of your employees.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <(mojo) (at) (world3.net)> on Sunday January 29, 2017 @05:58AM (#53758343) Homepage

            First, if I have a req for an engineer with a range of $160K-$190K, if you are making $220K I know it's unlikely that you will accept this job.

            Just ask for a ballpark salary expectation up front. No need to know history.

            Second, the person who knows you best as an employee is likely your last employer. If they were paying you an unusually low (or high salary) taking into account the company as some are known to pay high while others pay high, they likely don't think you are very valuable (or think you are very valuable). This is an interesting hint to me.

            In other words, you punish loyalty.

            Sticking with a company, even when they are financially unable to offer good raises, or just not switching jobs every few years tends to result in a lower salary. It's better for the company though, as they get a talented employee with deep knowledge of their products rather than a someone who sees them as a mere stepping stone to something better.

            This is why I don't discuss previous salaries. It's never really a discussion, they only want to know so that they can make faulty assumptions and make a low offer. You pay what I'm worth or you go with the second best candidate.

          • As a hiring manager, I want to know your last salary and perhaps some salary history for a couple reasons.

            None of which are legitimate. If you asked me that I'd withdraw, which means you'll only ever get dead wood or desperate candidates. Hardly a good strategy for attracting quality talent.

          • by Phaid ( 938 )

            Working at a smaller company has its downsides, but it's posts like this that remind me how much worse large companies are. So, thanks for that.

          • Just because you have reason doesn't make it any of your business.
          • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @12:37PM (#53759845)

            I think it all depends on where you are in the hiring process. If it is because you are at the offer stage, then tell them. You can give general numbers. I don't think they can actually verify that information though. In general, most companies will only verify that you worked for them from this date to that. Depending on the job, they may do background checks, and they could be extensive. So... they may be able to verify your story. I honestly only vaguely remember how much I was making at some of my last jobs. So as long as you are close it shouldn't be an issue. Lie, and they find out, and you will be dropped immediately.

            I have hired many people over the years, and I know exactly where you are coming from.
            However, most of my experience has been with companies that have a hiring process. Therefore, I don't get to ask those questions. The recruiter may, i don't know what they do as part of their vetting process. I also know that the position pay range is between X and Z, with Y being the mid-point. HR wants you to hire at the mid-point (unless you are hiring internally, then it is 'as low as possible'). Not my rules, but the reality I have seen.

            There are obviously downsides to this situation, in that I don't always get all of the information I may need. Also, it doesn't always work out for the candidate. I know, because I have been on that side as well. I was at one job where I was paid well, I got about a 12% increase when I joined it. It was higher-up the food chain too. But my boss was a nightmare, from day 1. I hated every single day I worked there. I tried to make it work... but after a year I started looking.

            Recruiters wouldn't ask my salary history, but would ask my current salary. When i told them, they usually would start backpedaling. I would then explain what I was willing to take. There was one promising job, two rounds of interviews went great, it was a great work environment and I really wanted it. I told the recruiter what I was making but what I was willing to take. Unfortunately, he only told the employer what I was making. So I didn't get the job.

            How do I know all of this? Because they hired me. A month or so later I got a call from that recruiter, wanting to know if I was still interested. I was! He said salary was an issue, and they couldn't meet my current pay. I reiterated to him what I was willing to take, and after a little negotiating I got the job. As it turned out, the recruiter was a dumbass and didn't tell the hiring manager (my new boss) about my willingness to take less than my current salary. The person they had chosen over me didn't work out, and I am really glad that they came back to me because I am still there and it has been great. I have since learned more about our corporate recruiters, and how terrible they are. I keep that in mind as I have started hiring more people. Remember this - their job is to get people hired, not necessarily to hire the right people. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. And the strange thing is, they aren't very good at it.

      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        Stupid companies think like that. Smart companies realize the value of high quality employees, and realize that right now there's a lack of qualified seniors on the market. Which is fine- if a company wants to hire that way I'd rather work elsewhere. I'll have a new job within 2 weeks.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      You could inflate the numbers a bit so you get a better offer. Another reason would be to justify the H1B's they're planning on hiring. But if you work for a company that only wants to give you the lowest number possible, do you really want to work for them? There are plenty of job openings for skilled people and plenty of numbnuts that are desperate enough that you don't have to grovel for a company like that.

    • by nerdonamotorcycle ( 710980 ) on Sunday January 29, 2017 @01:01AM (#53757339)
      Exactly. Salary negotiation is a game and the first person to name a number loses. Asking someone their complete salary history is like saying to someone, "Let's play poker, only, i get to see all of your cards and you don't get to see any of mine." You wouldn't play poker with someone like that, would you? Similarly, don't go in to a job interview with someone like that. And furthermore, it's a red flag for how the company treats their employees. Run far, run fast.
      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        This isn't true for software developers. Hiring managers know devs suck at salary negotiation, but they also know they're competing with other hiring managers. Heck, I had one job make one offer then raise it by $10k and throw in a $40k hiring bonus after I had already accepted just to make sure. Of course, that was as a senior dev. Some companies are really quite desperate for senior talent.

    • My standard reply in such cases is, "What did my current and/or previous employers tell you?"

    • Salary history is available to employers via The Work Place service (credit reporting agency spinoff).

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @10:41PM (#53756877)

    Give them the history that demonstrates the salary you want, then if they reject you you are better off.

    • tbh it's usually better to not lie in this situation. If they ask you, tell them "I am looking for a salary in the $170k range." Say a bit higher than you actually want.

      The key is to getting a good salary is to know what your work is worth, what people are paying for your skills. If you don't know that, then you are going to mess up the salary negotiation no matter how well you lie to them.
      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        The key is to getting a good salary is to know what your work is worth, what people are paying for your skills.

        This is Hard to find out. Also, to persuade people in a negotiation you need to be able to get some kind of source to be able to prove your claims.

        It also varies between local markets, and near as I can tell, there aren't even companies I can buy this information from....

        • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @11:26PM (#53757061) Journal
          Nah, I'll give you some methods. There are plenty of companies doing surveys on the topic of salaries, you can pick them up (I snagged one from a manager at a previous company). Glassdoor will give you a ballbark idea. Here's another article, that gives you some good starting points [adtmag.com]. It's a little old, so salaries have moved up since then.

          Another technique that works is: when a recruiter calls you, ask for $30k more than you really want. If the recruiter seems happy, then you asked too low (which means you should ask for $50k more next time). If the recruiter sounds a bit terrified, then you asked for the right amount. The last time I got hired, I scared away a lot of recruiters this way, but not all of them. The ones who weren't scared away were the ones I wanted to work with (and I got within $2.5k of my asking price).

          to persuade people in a negotiation you need to be able to get some kind of source to be able to prove your claims.

          No, there are plenty of techniques you can use. I strongly suggest reading this book [amazon.com], because you are going about it the wrong way. In fact, if you go up to your boss and say, "My salary is below average, here is proof," he'll probably look at your proof for a while, then say, "You are right, my boy. Let's talk about this during your next performance review and see what we can do for you." At the next performance review, you'll get a 2%-3% payraise, if you are lucky. To some degree, facts don't matter during negotiation.

          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

            Glassdoor is actually pretty horrible. It says senior software engineer is 115 in NYC. It says lead is 108- lead less than senior? Ignoring that, I just finished a job search in NYC. I was given salary ranges by companies of 140-180, and eventually signed for 200. THat's 80% more.

            • I've found that Glassdoor has pretty accurate company-specific salary information. For generic position information across companies, it may be as you say. I know this because of looking at specific position salary information for my company.

      • Rather than my flippant answer, I agree that instead it's far better to just tell them the salary you are looking for and let them decide if they can manage it.

        Even if they never look it up, it's not a hood idea to fill out anything wrong in a form - just leave it blank.

        • Yeah, in the worst case, if they force you to tell them your salary (and for some reason you still want to work there), you can always follow up by saying, "I was underpaid. I do good work, work quickly and am worth a lot more."
          • if they force you to tell them your salary

            They cannot. If they won't offer you a job without that information, and you think that information is not appropriate to share, then you've just determined that this employer and you are not a good fit. Count your blessings and move on.

        • One of the only questions a new employer can ask an old employer is how much you got paid. I believe it is still required as a confirmation, such as "did Joe make 50K/yr salary?" and can't be an open question.

          A lie during your hiring process may result in immediate termination.

          As said above, it's best to know what you are worth and what to ask for. You can always negotiate down, but not the other direction. Always best to start a bit higher so you have some room. Too high, and you will not get a call ba

          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

            They can ask anything they want. Most employers won't volunteer more than that, for fear of lawsuits (mostly pointless fear, but large corps are run by lawyers). But a new employer can ask anything they want, and a former employer can say anything they want as long as its true.

    • I'd never lie on an application. Leave it blank or fill in the right info.
      Some of that depends on the kind of company you're joining. In case of a small company or when you are applying for a unique position, your past salary may be a large part of what determines your future pay. But in a large firm, they will probably have a salary bandwidth for your position. Ask about that.

      If this question would come up, I would fill it out but if it doesn't come up in a subsequent interview I would be sure to as
      • by hbackert ( 45117 )
        If you lie on a sheet of paper and at the end it says "I confirm that all I wrote above is best to my best knowledge", and I bet it has that on it, then anything wrong there which might be done on purpose, which is a lie by all definitions (except one currently popular one), HR will find out and simply reject you, even if you pass every future interview. Do not mess with this. Leave it empty.
    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      Give them the history that demonstrates the salary you want, then if they reject you you are better off.

      I just lost a good candidate I was hoping would join my team because the recruiter lied about previous salary during negotiations, and it pissed off our CTO. I still don't feel we should have lost the candidate just because the recruiter was slime, but I didn't get to make the final decision (and maybe there was reason to believe the candidate was in on it).

      All I know is that lying about these things will really rub people the wrong way.

      • >"All I know is that lying about these things will really rub people the wrong way."

        Agreed. Either tell the truth, or leave it blank. We ask candidates for history because we want to know if we can afford the person. We throw out LOTS of candidates because they don't say what they are looking for and list previous salaries that are too high.

    • never ever lie on an application. You run into the possibility it could be used against you later. refuse to answer, or put in a vague range if you prefer. starting on a new job with a lie is just puts your cods on the chopping block and asking them to take a whack at them.
    • It's bad to lie. It will get you terminated should they ever find out what your previous salary was. In addition, it's just wrong to mislead an employer.

      For me, I would reveal my salary if I'm looking to jettison my current job and would be content with making the same amount for another company.

      If I wanted more, I would not indicate my previous salary but indicate what salary I would be looking for in order to be hired by the new company.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If they ask your salary history, then ask the salary history of people who have held the position and the salaries of everyone at the table.
    • That's fair. If you don't get the job, you didn't want to work there anyway. Be prepared with a humorous response, but follow up with, "seriously though, we want questions answered, we won't get them all" or your variation.

      Show you don't need the job. Also, don't actually need the job.

  • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @10:45PM (#53756895)

    Earlier in my career I never gave my current salary, because I was looking for 20%+ raises each time and giving the information would probably only hurt me. But now that I am in my mid-30's and making far more than most of my counterparts with similar job titles, giving my salary helps ensure I don't waste time with any company which cannot provide similar compensation. Most companies don't realize top IT talent often get Senior manager / Director level salaries even without many if any managerial duties, so I need to weed them out quickly. Either that or they immediately start treating me as a consultant, because many companies are more comfortable with $150/hr full time consultants than $200k "permanent" IT staff members (even for long term gigs).

    • Giving them the salary you want, as opposed to your salary history can achieve the same result.

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        Giving them the salary you want, as opposed to your salary history can achieve the same result.

        Giving your current salary is just another signal you can use to give more confidence to an employer that you are worth the salary you are asking for. A high salary and promotions from within a company (instead of during a job hop) are both decent indicators that your previous employers were very happy with your performance. These are probably better indicators than some arbitrary programming assignments or generic interview questions.

      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        It can. But it doesn't always. If I tell them my last 2 jobs were 160 and part ownership (6%) and 180 plus stock, and that I expect a competing offer in the next few days (all of which were true), I set up a situation where they feel the need to come in with a strong offer and not fuck around- I likely have enough money to not be desperate, and obviously past employers values me highly. If I had just come out and asked for 180 I would have gotten it, but no more. If I asked for 200 I may have gotten it

    • I completely agree with this. I was recently in the job market, and had this question asked everywhere. After not providing it for a bit, I realized it wouldn't hurt. It would frequently help. I specifically wanted a new job that was a good opportunity which also paid me about as much as my last jobs, which were great jobs. I didn't want to take a pay cut. I made it clear I wouldn't be accepting a pay cut. Using previous salary helped me weed out at least two companies that would have paid greater than 20%
    • I gave a figure once to a recruiter saying that I could not afford to relocate to Silicon Valley without at least that much. He balked at it, saying it was unheard of. But like many recruiters he was just a contractor, and clueless. So when he passed it on the company agreed and he was completely surprised. Seriously, he was considering giving me an offer lower than what an entry level employee gets just because it felt like too much of a raise to him. (after working there awhile, it really was clear t

  • Best story I heard was in the late 90s some guy added 50k to his last salary. He went from 40k to 110k overnight.

    • Lie on a job application to get more money? No thanks, I'm not into fraud. The truth has a way of coming out at the least convenient time.

      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        Not legally fraud. As for the truth coming out, its unlikely. It also doesn't matter- either they're happy with your work, in which case it would be ignored. Or they aren't, in which case it gives them an excuse to fire you. Worst case is it just happens a bit sooner.

        • You certainly seem to place a low value on honesty. Besides the legal risks, which are real [shakelaw.com], there is the "small" matter of a person's character. I'm not perfect, but I do at least TRY to be honest.

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @11:02PM (#53756953)
    Been at this since '81 or so, several jobs (scary to think of the percentage of companies I worked for that no longer exist). I've never once been asked for a salary history. They usually ask for the desired salary, which I leave blank. Let them throw out a number and start negotiating.

    Works for me, every job I've ever gotten had a higher salary that the one I left.

    Most interesting? I was interviewing at a company when rumors started to fly my company was going to have a layoff. I went to the manager in charge of my job (not my supervisor), asked to be laid off if the rumors were true. Got hired by the company across the street (not kidding, I walked to both of them, they were 1 mile away). Held off on turning in my 2 week notice and, sure as snot, got laid off a week later. Got all the benefits of being laid off, plus after a 1 week vacation I started my new job.
    • I've been asked in the first interview during the last 5 jobs I've interviewed for over the last year.
      • I've been asked in the first interview during the last 5 jobs I've interviewed for over the last year.

        Why? Seems to me HR sets your salary, so unless your first interview is with HR they really don't matter. Just say some variation of "it's none of your fucking business" and move on.

        • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

          TO make sure you're in the same range. If the company wants to pay 120-140 and you want 150, you're in negotiating range. If the company wants to pay 120-140 and you want 180, its not worth continuing.

          And HR doesn't set the salary. They may do the negotiation, but at any sane company its a combo of HR, finance, and the team you're hired for, usually represented by the hiring manager. Larger companies probably have bands they try to pay in, but they also have exception systems in place for strong hires.

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Saturday January 28, 2017 @11:08PM (#53756991) Journal

    Unless, of course, you work for the Federal Government. Then they can just go look up your entire salary history, plus bonuses.

    https://www.federalpay.org/employees [federalpay.org]

    It is always fun when someone new joins the Agencies I've worked for. They have the typical "I don't discuss salary" attitude of private sector employees. Then tell them their salary down to the penny and their eyes go wide like it is some terrible secret that has been told.

  • ... on whether you want to pass the background check or not.

    .. I was told that it was part of the background check ...

  • Salary negotiation isn't really that complicated. Know what you're worth, what value you provide, what the industry is willing to pay for that value, and then ask for it without reservation. If, at that point, the potential employer or client is willing to negotiate within those parameters, take it under consideration and figure out what concessions or modifications to the contract you're willing to make to close the deal. It's no different than negotiating for a car, or a house, or anything else.
  • If your history showed that you made significantly more than the job you are applying for, the employer may be hesitant to make an offer because they will expect you to keep looking and leave again shortly.
    • >"If your history showed that you made significantly more than the job you are applying for, the employer may be hesitant to make an offer because they will expect you to keep looking and leave again shortly."

      Yep, this is 100% true. When I am hiring, if I see a previous salary too high but they are willing to accept less, then this signals they are not going to stay. They are probably just settling until they can find someplace else. We don't have the time to deal with that, turnover absolutely kills

      • what you fail to understand is that, in a bad econ (ie, this one!) that people may be in dire need of a job and are quite willing to downgrade the pay just to stay working.

        of course, you, mr. asswipe, are in the lap of luxury and you don't need to feel sympathy for those who really want to work, even at a pay cut.

        (asshole!)

        and even good people get fired. hope you learn that lesson someday; you could learn a bit from that experience and something tells me you are in need of some humility.

  • No. Your salary history is private to yourself and should have no bearing on whether the interviewing company is prepared to pay you what you are asking for or not. It should be your skillas and their need that are the only determining factors.

  • A company should pay you based on your education, experience , personality and work history. Not how much you made, it's their attempt to low ball offers and it creates wage stagnation. There should be a law against this practice and a law supporting employees rights to discuss openly salary and benefits.
  • I had been laid off and ended up quickly taking a new job for $15k less than I was making before, but offered me a chance to build some additional skills I wanted. After about a year, I found a job I was a perfect match for, and while talking to the recruiter, she asked how much I was currently making. I gave her the answer, which was probably $40-50k less than what the job was likely to pay. She laughed and hung up on me. I was not amused.

  • >I was told that it was part of the background check and wouldn't be used to determine the size of the offer...

    If it were used to determine offer size nonetheless, how would you know?

  • Personally, when I am interviewing people, it is helpful to better understand how previous employers valued the candidate. It isn't a baseline for what we will offer, but we want to be comfortable with a few things: were you overpaid at your current employer, and are we going to need to explain why we only offer a lateral move; or, were you underpaid, and we need to dig into the potential gap in expectations.

    Lying gets you blackballed. Dodging is ok, until you are asked by the person who will be making the
    • by xlsior ( 524145 )
      Personally, when I am interviewing people, it is helpful to better understand how previous employers valued the candidate.

      True -- and in that case even the exact amounts aren't as important as whether your previous employer gave you any raises during your stay there.
  • Your salary history (with the possible exception of your current salary) is none of the employer's business. Don't ask about it, just leave the fields blank, make them come back to you and ask for it if they really want it. This puts YOU in the driver's seat.

    In school, there was always that student that would ask the teacher if there was any homework, as the class was ending. Don't be that guy!

    If you don't want to talk about your salary, just tell them what you're looking for. Make sure that amount is in ke

  • Recruiters should be dealing with this from the start so you both don't waste each other's time. I recall interviewing for a sysadmin position back in the 80s and it was clear I could do what they needed. When I quoted a range slightly higher than what I was making, the interviewer went white. Apparently, they hadn't done their homework. I got a call a couple days later from HR asking to reschedule another interview but I wasn't interested. They were a really cheap company. For years when filling out t
  • It's not part of your background. If you don't get a job because of this, it's a very good indication that you'll be nickel and dimed by the company after you start working there. The "salary history" is remnant from the time when we had a robust inflation. During the times of 0% interest rate, salaries don't go up all the time. They go up and down depending on the type of work you do at your job, how "close to the money" you are on the job and how many hours you actually work. The up and down jumps ca
  • The Work Number has salary information. I've gotten my information from the service and it's available to prospective employers.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • Never

My idea of roughing it turning the air conditioner too low.

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