Question on LinkedIn: HR/In-house Recruiters, if a job seeker enquires about the salary/rate do you tell them or make them apply first? Last week I enquired about the rate for an interesting short contract but the recruiter refused to tell me the rate before application. In fact, their company policy is to only discuss rate with those they call for interview, isn’t that potentially a waste of time? What if you apply, get called for interview, and the rate or salary is too low?

Others’ Response:

– I always request an application when I have a resume that I’m interested in phone screening. I do share rates/salary as I do not want to waste time for the candidate. On my own time.

– I ask the person what rate/salary they are looking for and then let them know if that is in our range. If they are making higher than our range I let them know that X is the max and ask if they are still interested.

– I absolutely tell them! I don’t want to waste their time OR mine! On some of my positions I hire for I’ll even include the salary range in my emails when I source so they don’t even have to take the time to call if it doesn’t fit what they’re looking for. It used to be that people were afraid to ask at all until an offer was made. That’s just not fair to anyone!

– I would find out what they are making and let them know its in the range. You don’t want to put all of your information out there until you have a viable candidate.

– It makes no sense to have an overqualified/overpriced candidate apply for job that is outside their desired compensation range any more that it would make sense to encourage a prospect who is under qualified to apply. Unless you want to load your ATS database for some reason????

– It depends on your level of interest in the candidate and how your company has conditioned them. It also depends if you are trying to recruit passive candidates. While I certainly understand the reason for wanting to know their expectations, it will save you time to give the candidate a comp range. Then try to recruit them if you are close. Regarding stuffing the ATS, that memory is cheap. If in the future you may need someone to fill a higher or lower role, why would you discourage them from submitting their resume? If they are in the same field or industry, they probably know the right person for the current or future position. Certainly worth a call then. My ATS currently has over 12,000 resumes, not bad for a sole proprietor. They come from all fields and backgrounds – never know when I will reach out to them. Many are surprised when I do.

– If I am sourcing passive candidates, I tell them up front what the range is, they didnt apply I am reaching out to them. I haven’t had someone get offended if they make or looking for more than I can offer – the passive candidates become a referral agent. If the candidates apply through our ATS, one of the first topics we cover is salary requirements. Salary isn’t everything, but it is a large part of the decision process why waste the candidates time applying to the ATS? It is all about the candidate experience.

– I think Derek makes a good point. Passive vs active can tell you how soon to tell them the pay range. I agree with most replies that qualifying with price range early is a time saver, but too sharing too early may not give you a chance to find out why they are asking.

– Something to chew on – the recruiting process is a series of sales processes including the interview process (Needs Analysis for both the hiring manager and the candidate). Compensation in the offer is based on the company’s compensation ranges, not the candidate’s. Don’t get too focused on what a person makes now or made in the past, life changes. Focus on whether they have the skills necessary to make impacts in your company. Give them the range when you feel it is right to do so. In over 32 years of recruiting, many of my candidates have accepted lower compensation because the commute is shorter, the job is more interesting, their needs changed – and most stayed a long time within the new company.

– Recruiting is sales to average, highly active jobseekers – and these people for the most part focus on salary. Recruiting is marketing to passive, highly influential problem solvers and not discussing first what they’re seeking in a career opportunity makes the salary discussion moot. Any recruiter that fails to bring a great person to the hiring manager – salary be damned – or who fails to run this person up the organization, needs a recruiting mentor.

– Depends on the circumstance… I think getting to know a candidate is the priority, because even if they are not a fit for something NOW, should not necessarily exclude them for a future spot where their salary/rate is in line. IMHO, I tihnk it should be PART of the conversation; candidates (both consulting and direct-hires) want to hear about the opportunity as much as what the chickens are 😉

– I ask them ASAP what their comp is, and let the HM know if they don’t reply: “negotiable” “further on in the process” etc.

– If you know your industry and geographic areas well enough, then you should have a general idea of the range someone’s comp is in. That said, if I’m in headhunting mode, a victory for me is getting them to the next step of the process. If you’re headhunting, then hopefully you have a competitive salary to offer… or some other type of competitive advantage/proposition. With that in mind, I typically ask someone their comp towards the end of the first call. If they’re super passive and at the C level, then I rarely ask unless the conversation flows that way. There have been times I’ve told candidates “There’s no way we’ll get to what you’re making now.” Equally, I’ve told candidates they’re underpaid before as well. Now, if we’re recruiting for non-exempt or entry level roles, then there’s nothing wrong with just stating what it is and seeing if thats acceptable to them. Even better – asking them where they’re at and confirming they’re within the range.

My Take:

I agree with Cindy in that the range is the way to go until the final moment when the employer must absolutely. And I tell my clients to start on her high end as the minimum, unless of course other variables (location, company pay grade scale, other departmental employees at same job level, etc) play into that factor so she can “tweak” (a little, hopefully) accordingly.

Comments are closed.