How do I handle the salary question when you're on the other side of the table?
May 23, 2012 11:05 PM Subscribe
There's been a lot of talk on the green about handling the salary question when you are the interviewee/candidate, which I have personally found helpful on many occasions, but now I'm on the other side of the equation, and would love to hear best practices on how to handle the situation and try to gauge a potential employee's salary expectations.
posted by LongDrive to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My business is in a very niche industry which makes it very difficult to gauge what industry standard is. We only employ around 4-5 people, all who started out very junior and have moved up salary-wise in a very organic fashion. I'm now in the position where I have to hire someone who is a bit further along in their career to fill a vacancy left by one of those now mid-weight employees.
Furthermore, this is only the second time we are actively hiring someone, as previously it was a very casual process where people just sort of found us at the right time, they stated their salary expectation, and we found the money to make it work.
With this new appointment, I am fielding candidates from very diverse backgrounds. With some, by the nature of their CV and/or specific past employers, I can gauge where they would fall. Currently with our budget, I could only really afford what we paid the person who recently left, which was a figure that only came after two raises in the course of a year. Ideally I would want to start them on the same salary as the last employee and eventually raise them to the same level and beyond.
(tl;dr)Putting aside things like benefits, both hard and soft, are there any tactics that you have personally used as a recruiter or employer to gauge a potential employee's salary expectations before numbers are discussed in detail?
On the flip side, are there any situations where you as an interviewee/job candidate felt comfortable disclosing this figure?(tl;dr)
There are millions of scripts and methods for being on the other side of that conversation and how to deflect those questions, but are there any strategies that can be used to get this information in a way that is respectful to all parties involved?
My gut tells me simply to state simply what I said above, in terms of like, "This is what we paid the last person after a year and I would be looking at a similar figure once you are fully trained", however I am nervous that the figure might be too low for some good candidates, hence wasting everyone's time, and on the flip side, I don't want someone to accept a figure that they aren't truly happy with for the sake of getting the job, and therefore having to manage the resulting feelings/performance issues that usually crop up with that. (Also, I should add that many candidates are coming to us via word of mouth, and not through a formal advertisement, so there isn't the opportunity as such to state what the salary range is)
I'm fully aware this is going to be a slightly contentions question, but I like to think that my heart is in the right place. If I found out the range of one of my preferred candidates was lower than what I paid the last person, I would still offer them the higher amount.
Anyway, thanks MeFi! Look forward to your feedback :)