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    Thread: The Dreaded Salary Question

    1. Member ElixXxeR's Avatar
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      03-01-2012 01:10 PM #1
      So I've been looking for a new job over the past month or so and have received both solicited and unsolicited calls about potential opportunities. Of course the conversation usually ends with a recruiter asking how much I earn. I understand both sides of this equation: on the one hand, it's unwise for me to lay my chips on the table first because most companies will try to pay me as little as possible, rather than what I'm worth. On the other hand, it is a waste of recruiting resources to offer a position to a candidate looking for 25% higher compensation than the company is willing to provide.

      I generally answer with something along the lines of "I'm aware of your company, this type of position and the market range for someone of my experience level and compensation is not why I'm looking to move from my current job. I am certain we can come to an agreement about salary and benefits later, if the opportunity is an appropriate fit."

      Sometimes, that is sufficient, but it seems lately that most recruiters will press for an exact number, not even a range. Could I be disqualified immediately for refusing to answer? If I do answer honestly, I feel like I could very well be leaving thousands in salary on the table. I could exaggerate a bit, but feel uncomfortable doing so.

      What do you do in this situation?

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      03-01-2012 07:50 PM #2
      I would go for the higher number if you absolutely have to give a figure.

    3. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      03-02-2012 08:52 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by ElixXxeR View Post
      So I've been looking for a new job over the past month or so and have received both solicited and unsolicited calls about potential opportunities. Of course the conversation usually ends with a recruiter asking how much I earn. I understand both sides of this equation: on the one hand, it's unwise for me to lay my chips on the table first because most companies will try to pay me as little as possible, rather than what I'm worth. On the other hand, it is a waste of recruiting resources to offer a position to a candidate looking for 25% higher compensation than the company is willing to provide.

      I generally answer with something along the lines of "I'm aware of your company, this type of position and the market range for someone of my experience level and compensation is not why I'm looking to move from my current job. I am certain we can come to an agreement about salary and benefits later, if the opportunity is an appropriate fit."

      Sometimes, that is sufficient, but it seems lately that most recruiters will press for an exact number, not even a range. Could I be disqualified immediately for refusing to answer? If I do answer honestly, I feel like I could very well be leaving thousands in salary on the table. I could exaggerate a bit, but feel uncomfortable doing so.

      What do you do in this situation?
      why wont you give an exact number? its not like they are asking you for your social security number, and you arent the only person he is calling in the field so he has a good idea for what other people in your position are being paid. A recruiter is working on commission, his incentive is to get you the most money that he can. the follow up question should be something like what dollar amount would you be seeking if you were to make a move. if you flat out refuse to answer, you give the impression that you are going to be an absolute pain in the ass to deal with going forward and you are most likely being put on everyones do not use list. it just makes it seem like you are difficult to work with if you are being guarded about information right off the bat by someone that is potentially helping you with your career.


      Quote Originally Posted by jerseygli View Post
      I would go for the higher number if you absolutely have to give a figure.
      double edged sword, especially if he is giving a really high number. if he is getting paid on the very high side for the job he is doing, he is in theory not going to make a move for a job to only make a few grand more. that being said, at the end of the day money isnt a good reason to ever switch jobs. sounds messed up but its true. a few grand here and there after taxes doesnt make a big difference and when push comes to shove most people dont want to get out of their comfort zone for only a few grand. ive moved and recruited guys that were getting severely under paid. ive said 'wow, with the skills you have you should be getting 20 grand more - lets do something about it'.

      be honest with the recruiter and let him negotiate the salary for you with the new employer. he has a lot more experience with it than you do
      Last edited by ClockworkChad; 03-02-2012 at 08:55 AM.
      Ferrari Scuderia 2012 - "The people who speak badly about me then tremble and cry when they want to have their picture taken with me” - F. Alonso
      Now recruiting for IT/financial/accounting/creative services in fairfield county and metro nyc, pm if interested

    4. 03-02-2012 11:49 AM #4
      On the one hand, recruiters do know the market well. On the other hand, I've had
      more recruiters talk down my capabilities than up.

      This is why I don't use recruiters any more. I do my best to go direct to the
      source - the hiring manager in question. Sometimes you don't have a choice
      though, but this is how I've ended up getting the best jobs.

      On salary, at some point you have to be realistic, but ALWAYS start off high.
      Even to recruiters.

      DON'T EVER give out your current salary unless you're desperate for a job.
      You should expect, if you're any good at what you do, that when you move
      you get paid more than before, every time. Give out a ballpark figure at
      least 20% above your current pay rate. This gives you room to negotiate.

      Recruiters, head-hunters, and etc. are very good at talking down salaries,
      talking down your capabilities in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, getting
      you to compromise, and pigeon-holing who you are and where you are in
      your career. Excuse me for being bitter, but I have been at this game
      for almost 30 years.

      I want a recruiter to be my fan, to talk me up, to give me confidence. I've
      yet to meet any recruiter who does this. They tend to suck at cricitizing
      resumes (I've been through 100s of re-writes, literally) especially if they
      no nothing of IT! Very few understand IT and understand that lying and
      exaggerating on resumes doesn't work. In IT listing actual skills and abilities
      is what counts (and then backing it up during interviews of course).

      I guess, in the end, like all things, a good (fill in the blank) is hard to find,
      but since we're talking recruiters, wait until you find someone with whom
      you're talking the same language, with whom you're on the same wavelength.

      And again, don't EVER give out your current salary!

    5. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      03-02-2012 01:26 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      On the one hand, recruiters do know the market well. On the other hand, I've had
      more recruiters talk down my capabilities than up.

      This is why I don't use recruiters any more. I do my best to go direct to the
      source - the hiring manager in question. Sometimes you don't have a choice
      though, but this is how I've ended up getting the best jobs.

      On salary, at some point you have to be realistic, but ALWAYS start off high.
      Even to recruiters.

      DON'T EVER give out your current salary unless you're desperate for a job.
      You should expect, if you're any good at what you do, that when you move
      you get paid more than before, every time. Give out a ballpark figure at
      least 20% above your current pay rate. This gives you room to negotiate.

      Recruiters, head-hunters, and etc. are very good at talking down salaries,
      talking down your capabilities in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, getting
      you to compromise, and pigeon-holing who you are and where you are in
      your career. Excuse me for being bitter, but I have been at this game
      for almost 30 years.

      I want a recruiter to be my fan, to talk me up, to give me confidence. I've
      yet to meet any recruiter who does this. They tend to suck at cricitizing
      resumes (I've been through 100s of re-writes, literally) especially if they
      no nothing of IT! Very few understand IT and understand that lying and
      exaggerating on resumes doesn't work. In IT listing actual skills and abilities
      is what counts (and then backing it up during interviews of course).

      I guess, in the end, like all things, a good (fill in the blank) is hard to find,
      but since we're talking recruiters, wait until you find someone with whom
      you're talking the same language, with whom you're on the same wavelength.

      And again, don't EVER give out your current salary!
      sounds like you had some bad experiences, i apologize. we arent all bad
      Ferrari Scuderia 2012 - "The people who speak badly about me then tremble and cry when they want to have their picture taken with me” - F. Alonso
      Now recruiting for IT/financial/accounting/creative services in fairfield county and metro nyc, pm if interested

    6. 03-02-2012 03:43 PM #6
      I will give you the benefit of the doubt!

      Recruiters are "in the game" all day long, as are HR departments and managers.

      For the employee looking for something new, this is a hard thing to go up against,
      and it is very, very easy to be intimidated, manipulated, and coerced into giving
      up information and settling for second-best.

      My advice for anyone seeking to improve their position: apply for jobs above
      your head. Look for, and seek out challenges. And most importantly, interview
      dozens and dozens of times. Learn what not to say!

      .02, FWIW, etc.
      Last edited by adoniram7; 03-02-2012 at 03:54 PM.

    7. Member jerseygli's Avatar
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      03-02-2012 06:24 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      On salary, at some point you have to be realistic, but ALWAYS start off high.
      Even to recruiters.
      That's what I meant, but adoniram said it much better.

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      03-02-2012 07:05 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      On the one hand, recruiters do know the market well. On the other hand, I've had
      more recruiters talk down my capabilities than up.
      You obviously have had a rough time on more than a few occasions. Rather than offer my thoughts on your comments, I will only mention that recruiting is a difficult job and many are not cut out for it, but I can guarantee you that ANY recruiter can pick up the vibe of someone with a colossal chip on their shoulder. And I'd never risk an account by putting in a candidate with such a bitter world view of the recruiting process.

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      03-02-2012 07:06 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by ElixXxeR View Post
      Sometimes, that is sufficient, but it seems lately that most recruiters will press for an exact number, not even a range.
      This is one of the most consistently shocking situations I encountered in recruiting. Corporate recruiters (no offense Numbersix ) seem to frequently skip the part of the screening process where they find out if the company can even afford the candidate. Then it would turn in to a last minute sh!t show where they are praying they can afford you and that their offer letter doesn't insult you. Corporate recruiters also need to inject some logic into candidates that appear to be asking for the moon. Frankly, I can tell if someone hasn't really earned the salary they're asking for because there is a clear expectation of performance or comprehension at a few key pricepoints. HUGE difference between earning $64K and $80K for instance.

      I wouldn't ever recommend giving out a number until you know what you're getting into. Would you negotiate on buying a used car prior to driving or touching the car? My position is that the amount you are earning today doing the specific work you are doing for the specific company you work with may have little bearing on the demands and expectations of a new position in question.

      I also don't recommend throwing "a number" out there, nor should you put out a "range". Both cut your bargaining power, since as we all know, the biggest raise you get is typically when you switch companies. Tell the recruiter, you need more information about the company, the culture, the career path, etc. If they press for "what are you earning now?" you can tell them you aren't going to tell them, but they can give you an idea of the salary range in their position so you can confirm if the compensation is in line with your expectations.

      Again, you hold the cards, Corporate recruiters need to play nice. In the end, they just need a straight answer and they want to minimize the person that all of a sudden needs $80K just because that's the top of the range. Ultimately, a company will offer what they think your value will be and they'll hold you accountable for every single dollar. Make sure you can perform.


      Who do you negotiate with? Not HR, not corporate recruiters, in some cases, not your manager. You negoatiate with the person that has the authority to approve your salary. That's a fair question as well. "Are you the person that will approve my salary package?"


      None of this holds true if you're working with a free lance recruiter like I was. You want that person to know your floor as well as your expectations. They need to know this, not because they are putting a $$ on your head, but because they need to keep the client aware "now remember, ElixXxeR won't go below $XX; make sure the salary range on this position supports that." This defuses issues down the road.



      LASTLY: always negotiate vacation and PTO days. This is well within the bounds of compensation packages. You can even tell them "listen, you wanted someone with 5yrs of SR level experience so you must know you can't offer them what a brand new employee starts at. I brilliantly negotiated my current salary, but like a dumbass, I didn't extrapolate my PTO time. It's a hard pill to swallow after paperwork is signed.



      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      On the one hand, recruiters do know the market well. On the other hand, I've had
      more recruiters talk down my capabilities than up.
      You obviously have had a rough time on more than a few occasions. Rather than offer my thoughts on your comments, I will only mention that recruiting is a difficult job and many are not cut out for it, but I can guarantee you that ANY recruiter can pick up the vibe of someone with a colossal chip on their shoulder. And I'd never risk an account by putting in a candidate with such a bitter world view of the recruiting process.

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      03-02-2012 09:12 PM #10
      It can definitely be difficult trying to pre-qualify candidates as a recruiter. A lot of good feedback in this thread. What I can say is that if a recruiter insists on a salary, you can always advise that you'd expect that particular role to be paying what the market value for that position goes for. Of course, this is only advisable if you do indeed know what that type of position should garner. Most professional roles have typical salary ranges which are expected on both employer and employee side. Similarly, most entry-level roles also have a generally accepted salary range which can be a good guideline too. The more you know about your region and salaries, the more negotiating power you will have.

      A little anecdote...I was "recruited" some years back by a company's HR department directly. We went through numerous interviews and meetings and they flew me to their headquarters to meet key individuals in the office. The whole process took many, many months. Near the end of the process, they asked me how much my base salary was. I whole-heartedly told them the truth. They were surprisingly taken aback as they did not budget that much to begin with. They did go back to discuss but they ultimately could not get to where they needed to be and we had to graciously part ways. It really was unfortunate the time they spent but in like manner, I had spent a lot of my time as well. This certainly would have been a case where being upfront about salary would've saved a lot of time for both parties.
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    11. Member ElixXxeR's Avatar
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      03-03-2012 02:32 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
      This is one of the most consistently shocking situations I encountered in recruiting. Corporate recruiters (no offense Numbersix ) seem to frequently skip the part of the screening process where they find out if the company can even afford the candidate. Then it would turn in to a last minute sh!t show where they are praying they can afford you and that their offer letter doesn't insult you. Corporate recruiters also need to inject some logic into candidates that appear to be asking for the moon. Frankly, I can tell if someone hasn't really earned the salary they're asking for because there is a clear expectation of performance or comprehension at a few key pricepoints. HUGE difference between earning $64K and $80K for instance.

      I wouldn't ever recommend giving out a number until you know what you're getting into. Would you negotiate on buying a used car prior to driving or touching the car? My position is that the amount you are earning today doing the specific work you are doing for the specific company you work with may have little bearing on the demands and expectations of a new position in question.

      I also don't recommend throwing "a number" out there, nor should you put out a "range". Both cut your bargaining power, since as we all know, the biggest raise you get is typically when you switch companies. Tell the recruiter, you need more information about the company, the culture, the career path, etc. If they press for "what are you earning now?" you can tell them you aren't going to tell them, but they can give you an idea of the salary range in their position so you can confirm if the compensation is in line with your expectations.

      Again, you hold the cards, Corporate recruiters need to play nice. In the end, they just need a straight answer and they want to minimize the person that all of a sudden needs $80K just because that's the top of the range. Ultimately, a company will offer what they think your value will be and they'll hold you accountable for every single dollar. Make sure you can perform.


      Who do you negotiate with? Not HR, not corporate recruiters, in some cases, not your manager. You negoatiate with the person that has the authority to approve your salary. That's a fair question as well. "Are you the person that will approve my salary package?"


      None of this holds true if you're working with a free lance recruiter like I was. You want that person to know your floor as well as your expectations. They need to know this, not because they are putting a $$ on your head, but because they need to keep the client aware "now remember, ElixXxeR won't go below $XX; make sure the salary range on this position supports that." This defuses issues down the road.



      LASTLY: always negotiate vacation and PTO days. This is well within the bounds of compensation packages. You can even tell them "listen, you wanted someone with 5yrs of SR level experience so you must know you can't offer them what a brand new employee starts at. I brilliantly negotiated my current salary, but like a dumbass, I didn't extrapolate my PTO time. It's a hard pill to swallow after paperwork is signed.
      This is very valuable advice and I appreciate your input.

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      03-03-2012 06:13 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
      You obviously have had a rough time on more than a few occasions. Rather than offer my thoughts on your comments, I will only mention that recruiting is a difficult job and many are not cut out for it, but I can guarantee you that ANY recruiter can pick up the vibe of someone with a colossal chip on their shoulder. And I'd never risk an account by putting in a candidate with such a bitter world view of the recruiting process.
      Unless that candidate is looking for work as a recruiter what does their opinion of recruiters have to do with finding them a job?

    13. 03-05-2012 06:49 PM #13
      I'm fortunate to be a profession that's in demand. In addition, I'm fortunate
      to have pretty much all of the certs one could want, plus the experience.
      Finding good people in my profession is difficult, and a multi-month process.
      C'est la vie.

      And still, lowballing is standard operating procedure. 9 out of 10 times
      when I've been pursued I've been offered less than I'm currently making.
      That is sometimes not the fault of the recruiter; sometimes the recruiter's
      client just has no clue how much a service costs and tells the recruiter,
      "I want the most amazing person for almost no money."

      I've also had to work through recruiters to hire. So, I've been on both
      sides of the equation. So, I repeat: a good recruiter, from the employee's
      point of view, is very hard to find. (Hell, a good recruiter from a hiring
      manager's position is hard to find.) It's often better to just network, get
      out there, get to know people, and get asked.

      BTW, excellent point Elixxer about PTO, and benefits. Everything is negotiable!

      Lastly, know what your BATNA is, or Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.
      Meaning, if you get into negotiations, know what you want (and be realistic),
      and ask yourself, "Am I willing to walk away and wait for another job?"
      Last edited by adoniram7; 03-05-2012 at 06:51 PM.

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      03-05-2012 06:51 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      My advice for anyone seeking to improve their position: apply for jobs above
      your head. Look for, and seek out challenges. And most importantly, interview
      dozens and dozens of times. Learn what not to say!

      .02, FWIW, etc.
      The flip side of this is that it's possible to leak through the interview process and actually get a job you're not qualified for. That can end very badly.

    15. 03-05-2012 06:57 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
      The flip side of this is that it's possible to leak through the interview process and actually get a job you're not qualified for. That can end very badly.
      From a hiring manager's perspective, that's MY fault. But yeah, stuff happens.
      Lots of people lie on resumes. Or they exaggerate. I've had people list Linux
      as something they are good at, and they don't know Linux 101.

      Note that this is often the fault of the recruiting agency in question, who give
      advice and modify people's resumes to exaggerate things and give them a better
      chance of getting a job. This is also common.

      GeoffD - if we are going to give positive advice to people, give them confidence,
      give them hope, then they need to push themselves and stretch the envelope.
      It's amazing what people can do when they HAVE to come up to speed quickly.

      It is very common for people to stay in their comfort zone. What's the use of
      that? What's the use of changing jobs if it isn't going to be a challenge and
      to learn something new?

    16. 03-06-2012 07:46 PM #16
      I am in the middle of this as we speak. I've been interviewing with a company for a lateral position to my previous one (laid off last month) in the same industry. I've spoken with the VP, Director, HR VP twice...then they sent me to talk to the head recruiter for the company. We finally got to the salary question, and I was straightforward with what I made, my benefits, and my bonus structure. It's a small industry, and lots of people know each other...if they wanted to find out if I was BSing them they could. Of course the recruiter gave me the line that the position usually goes at 2/3s my current salary, but she'd still run it by the VP.

      I hate the whole runaround of it all. Just let me talk with the guy who decides when you are ready to make me an offer and we'll do some horsetrading.

    17. 03-07-2012 10:09 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddie GTI View Post
      I am in the middle of this as we speak. I've been interviewing with a company for a lateral position to my previous one (laid off last month) in the same industry. I've spoken with the VP, Director, HR VP twice...then they sent me to talk to the head recruiter for the company. We finally got to the salary question, and I was straightforward with what I made, my benefits, and my bonus structure. It's a small industry, and lots of people know each other...if they wanted to find out if I was BSing them they could. Of course the recruiter gave me the line that the position usually goes at 2/3s my current salary, but she'd still run it by the VP.

      I hate the whole runaround of it all. Just let me talk with the guy who decides when you are ready to make me an offer and we'll do some horsetrading.
      Well, this may not be the case with this company you mention, but in my experience,
      professionally-run companies don't do this.

      "This" meaning putting their internal recruiter under the pressure of always fighting
      for the last dime to justify their existence. Upper management have to be
      smart enough to be up front and honest and straightforward. This is what I call
      "professional" and it's hard to find. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of a
      company - my first in many years - that has true pros in the upper tiers.

      Anyway, best of luck!

    18. 03-09-2012 06:28 PM #18
      OMG...just got called back for a 6th interview. This time with two directors- one I've talked to before and a new one.

      I'm all for being thorough, but jeez....

    19. 03-13-2012 10:09 AM #19
      Six interviews???? Yeesh. Sounds to me they have issues making
      decisions and/or taking responsibility.

      Best of luck regardless!

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      03-13-2012 05:13 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      Unless that candidate is looking for work as a recruiter what does their opinion of recruiters have to do with finding them a job?
      An overreaching negative tone when being screened by a recruiter may lead the recruiter to conclude that the person is unreliable or just "has issues" or just too risky to put in front of decision makers. You're trying to make a good first impression after all.

    21. 03-14-2012 08:34 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
      An overreaching negative tone when being screened by a recruiter may lead the recruiter to conclude that the person is unreliable or just "has issues" or just too risky to put in front of decision makers. You're trying to make a good first impression after all.
      If someone looking for work needs a recruiter, sure. But I repeat: it's hard
      to find a good recruiter. If you find one, stay with him or her, take their advice
      on your resume, and etc.

      It is better to network and make friends, and join associations and get
      to know people. You act as your own recruiter then. Thus, when it's
      time to move on, you can reach out to friends and acquaintances.

      My best jobs have been through friends or referrals...

      I also worked through temp agencies, which was a great way to get
      started in the world: basically do any crap job they give you the best
      you can do it, and they'll hook you up with the better jobs that come
      their way in the future. I worked at over 50 different businesses in
      Colorado in the 80s (I wrote them all down at one point) and it was fantastic
      experience with exposure to many different office settings, management
      styles, businesses and etc.

      For many young people out of college I recommend this route. It's
      a great way to network, make friends, build a reputation, gain exposure,
      and figure out what you like and don't like. Same goes for companies
      that use temp agencies: they often hire those with a strong work
      ethic and good attitude after "testing them out" so to speak.

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      03-14-2012 11:44 AM #22
      I appreciate everyone's input. I should have been more clear in my OP that "recruiter" does not necessarily mean a third-party agency, but also in-house HR departments (I am currently working with both).

      I have a final interview on Thursday that was supposed to occur on Monday, rescheduled 45 minutes before the meeting and after I had already completed 2/3 of the long journey there. Anyway, we've already discussed salary rather openly and they are willing to offer what I believe I am worth (assuming I receive a final offer, of course), which is all I can ask.

    23. 03-14-2012 12:11 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by ElixXxeR View Post
      I appreciate everyone's input. I should have been more clear in my OP that "recruiter" does not necessarily mean a third-party agency, but also in-house HR departments (I am currently working with both).

      I have a final interview on Thursday that was supposed to occur on Monday, rescheduled 45 minutes before the meeting and after I had already completed 2/3 of the long journey there. Anyway, we've already discussed salary rather openly and they are willing to offer what I believe I am worth (assuming I receive a final offer, of course), which is all I can ask.
      Good on you for staying firm on your salary demands!

      Sounds to me like you're already there, and it's just a formality.

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      03-14-2012 12:19 PM #24
      When I was interviewing for my current job we went back and forth a bit on salary. We were about $10k apart but they met me in the middle and it was all good.

      I ended up making 16% more than I was making at my old job, but I was also cutting my commute from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes AND saving roughly $4k a year (after taxes) in commuting costs.

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      03-14-2012 12:31 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      Good on you for staying firm on your salary demands!

      Sounds to me like you're already there, and it's just a formality.
      Thanks! To be honest, I think I'm in as well. My background is a perfect fit, but the position is different enough from what I do now that it should offer some great learning opportunities, something I am currently lacking.

      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      I ended up making 16% more than I was making at my old job, but I was also cutting my commute from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes AND saving roughly $4k a year (after taxes) in commuting costs.
      Honestly, a short commute is worth many thousands in salary and benefits. A 2.5 hour commute (one way?) is just way too much.

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      03-14-2012 12:35 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by ElixXxeR View Post
      Honestly, a short commute is worth many thousands in salary and benefits. A 2.5 hour commute (one way?) is just way too much.
      Yea, 2.5 hours one way.

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      03-14-2012 03:14 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by adoniram7 View Post
      If someone looking for work needs a recruiter, sure. But I repeat: it's hard to find a good recruiter.
      It's like Groundhog day in here.

    28. 03-15-2012 08:53 AM #28
      2.5 hours one way. Yikes! Can't really have a life outside of work...

    29. 03-15-2012 08:54 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
      It's like Groundhog day in here.
      Indeed.

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      03-19-2012 11:47 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
      This is one of the most consistently shocking situations I encountered in recruiting. Corporate recruiters (no offense Numbersix ) seem to frequently skip the part of the screening process where they find out if the company can even afford the candidate. Then it would turn in to a last minute sh!t show where they are praying they can afford you and that their offer letter doesn't insult you.
      None taken, Dave...and the third question in the phone screen template I built for my team is: "What are your compensation expectations? What are you making currently?" No sh!t shows on my team.

      The big issue for most companies is--positions fall within specific compensation ranges. That's because they want to control internal equity, that is to have everyone within a specific job title and level fall within a specific compensation range.

      When we ask you that question--we're just trying to figure out if we can afford you. Case in point: I am currently recruiting for an EA to our CEO. One of the candidates I spoke with told me she's currently making a base comp figure that was tens of thousands more than what I could offer, and to make a move she'd want a substantial amount more than that...well, imagine the scenario Dave poses above: I put the candidate through the loop--and in front of the CEO--without asking this very elementary question. He loves her, and wants to make an offer. Then I learn we can't afford her. That'd make me look like an idiot, and we'd have a mess on our hands.

      This is simple due dilligence. It's not necessarily used to weed you out; in cases where someone is well beyond our salary range, I explain where we are and let the candidate make the call as to whether they want to continue now that they know what will be waiting in an offer if we get there. In some cases, money isn't the major driver--it can be the work opportunity, the desire to leave their current job/company/location, better work/life balance, etc. That's all up to the candidate to make the call.

    31. 03-19-2012 02:28 PM #31
      i understand that if you are looking for a job, its a different kind of ball game

      ive played the hidden card trick in the past, and it just ends up in a circle dance between myself and the recruiter/headhunter or the hr people about compensation. a little uncomfortable and it doesnt get very far

      at the moment im in a secure position with a satisfying pay. i.e. im not motivated to leave on my own accord.

      when a recruiter contacts me, i ask for the pay. if they dilly-dally ("well its open compensation, lets have some chit chat blah blah") - i ignore it. if they throw around a number, then i either pursue or ignore.

      same thing at interviews... i know what i do, i know how much i want, you can either support that amount or not. no point in wasting time throwing darts blindfolded, imo

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      03-29-2012 01:42 PM #32
      I don't think there is much value in not talking about this up front, frankly.

      At the end of the day, for a fully employed professional that is currently doing excellent work for another company--comp and benefits are ONE motivating factor, but rarely do I find it to be THE motivating factor.

      More than anything, it should be something that we can mutually agree with satisfy the candidate--then put it aside to focus on why the opportunity we are presenting is a compelling next step in their career.

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      03-30-2012 10:55 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I don't think there is much value in not talking about this up front, frankly.

      At the end of the day, for a fully employed professional that is currently doing excellent work for another company--comp and benefits are ONE motivating factor, but rarely do I find it to be THE motivating factor.

      More than anything, it should be something that we can mutually agree with satisfy the candidate--then put it aside to focus on why the opportunity we are presenting is a compelling next step in their career.
      I agree with this. As an employee considering a new position, I don't want to waste my time going through the interview process and find out later that we're off by $20K. In the next 6-8 months I'm going to be looking for a new job. Salary/benefits are important....to a certain point. I'm willing to take a pay cut (within probably 10%) to enhance my quality of life. If money were the driving factor, I'd be staying put as that is one thing my company can certainly offer.

      Here's a question for the folks who work on the hiring side: if the tentative employee's salary range is $5-10K above the company's range, how flexible are you if you and the rest of the hiring team really like him or her? Is that a total deal breaker or do you typically work with them?

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