AskMeFi and other say to never throw out the first number in salary discussions, yet this has backfired repeatedly. Stick to the oft-repeated advice or rework based on experience?
Should I keep following the advice of not being the first to throw out a number in salary discussions, when this has repeatedly gone poorly, particularly in HR screening calls?
This is by far the biggest sticking point I have when going through an interview process. Everything I read online, here
, as well as lots of advice I have read on AskMeFi, states that when the question comes up about compensation, you should never be the first one to say a number because this puts you at a distinct negotiation disadvantage.
I think this is good advice and have tried following it, and have told those close to me to follow it as well. Repeatedly, it has backfired.
This has most often come up with HR screening calls (i.e., prior to speaking to a hiring manager or actual interview committee). The question comes up about compensation, to which the reply of "I'd like to discuss the position further before we discuss salary" or "Can you tell me a hiring range?" or "I will consider any reasonable offer" is met with anything from dismissal to outright disdain. My wife recently did not make it past an HR screen, and she later got some inside knowledge that the reason was "her salary requirements were too vague".
I guess the follow-up question is whether an HR screening call where salary is discussed, prior to any substantive discussion of the work, should be answered in a different manner than an actual salary negotiation. Is it necessary to stick to this advice when speaking to an HR screener?