Do you tell your last salary?
After writing about salary negotiations, I’ve received a lot of questions around what to say when you are asked for your current salary. The article I wrote does answer this, but unfortunately the answers don’t cover every single situation you may find yourself in, and as some have mentioned, some companies will not offer you until you tell them. However, your last salary or your current salary is your business.
I find the whole thing quite shocking, but rest assured there is continual movement towards an interview ethic whereby companies don’t ask this figure. What should be happening is that the person offering the job states upfront what range they are looking at, so that applicants can choose to apply or not. Thereafter, the successful candidate is offered an amount that is fair considering his or her qualifications, skills and experience (and perhaps other things too).
Why do companies need your last salary to make you an offer?
But, companies, will say, then the person could be earning a lot less than what we offer. So what? Answer me this, companies: Why do you need to know what someone is earning to make them an offer? The simple truth is that you don’t need to know. You have an idea already and also have had an idea of what the future incumbent in the position will earn ever since you budgeted for it when the vacancy arose.
Also, kindly answer me why when a recruiter asks you on the phone what range you are offering, you immediately have one ready, but that candidates may not know this range? Why not post the salary on your adverts and make it clear, so that a “project manager” earning thousands more your “project manager” vacancy can safely move on and not waste anyone’s time?
I do not wish to rant upon companies, but I do think they need to ask themselves these two questions quite carefully. Instead of worrying about how much more you may end up paying someone, worry that you won’t or don’t pay them fairly. Someone’s market value is not tied to what they currently take home. If you don’t agree, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
More companies should be posting salaries on job adverts
As mentioned above and in a previous post about writing better job adverts, adding a salary is critical to getting more of the right type of candidate. If you are posting job adverts, please add a salary range at the very least. You will be better off and so will your applicants.
The short answer therefore is no, you don’t need to give details about your last salary to anyone and it isn’t necessary for a company to make an offer. I cannot script the exact reply you have to give in interviews, since each interview takes a different course.