To Tell or Not to Tell?

Recently a manager revealed a hiring experience to me. She was interviewing candidates for a new position, and the job description for the position didn’t list the salary range. The rationale was, “We don’t want to miss out on hiring someone good.” That said, the position was budgeted and those in the organization knew that increasing the upper limit of the compensation for the position was unrealistic. 

During the screening interviews, the hiring manager asked the applicants about their salary expectations. Very few of the candidates answered the question well. It seemed clear to the hiring manager that none of the candidates who had made it this far in the process wanted to limit their employment chances by either negotiating too high and being eliminated, or too low and leaving money on the table.  

Eventually, she interviewed a very sophisticated applicant who said, “I am sure that you have the position budgeted and if I am selected, I know I am qualified to receive the upper amount the position is budgeted for.” Wow! How brave!

The manager then asked, “Well, what are you currently making?” The candidate continued, “I do not feel that I am being fairly compensated, which is one of the reasons I am leaving my current position. Thus, my current salary is not relevant to how I will contribute to your organization. My expectation for this position is $X.”

When I hear about situations like this, I know we need to do better, especially since minorities and women are often the ones who end up being paid less than male counterparts. Transparency is key and should begin at the start of the business relationship. Within 24 hours of hearing about the circumstances above, an executive director I partner with sent me this very relevant article. 

When You Don’t Disclose Salary Range on a Job Posting, a Unicorn Loses Its Wings

What are you doing in your organization to create unbiased compensation practices?

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September 17, 2019

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