Should I Disclose My Salary To a Recruiter?

salary-davis-companiesWith the Pay Equity Act and other similar regulations coming into play, there has been a lot of debate on relaying current or past salary information to recruiters. In a short amount of time, many states will ban the question of current or past salary ranges being asked to candidates entirely. However, it is extremely important to understand why compensation information helps recruiters when vetting candidates.

When it comes to salary, recruiters have their candidates’ best interest in mind. Recruiters have no incentive to offer a candidate a lower salary range. The key information that is crucial is what you are looking to make in your next position, not necessarily what you are making now. For example, the way I approach the subject is asking, “what is the salary range or expectation you would need to make a move right now?” There are many reasons why this information is important to recruiters when getting your resume in front of a company, and coaching you through the interview/offer process. Here are a few:

  • Companies do typically have budgets for a role, and your compensation expectations might quickly rule you out of the process if they do not align. For example, if the new opportunity is budgeted at an $80,000 salary but you are looking for $110,000, then this role will not be a fit. This rule does not necessarily apply if your range is about $5,000 – $10,000 higher as some companies have room to flex but it’s best to know this misalignment up front so it does not waste your time, along with hiring managers.

  • Not only can salary expectations not be met in some situations, but honesty about the range you would need to make a move in your career can also paint a better picture of the level of employment you are currently in. If I’m working on role that has an ambiguous title, if your salary range is much higher, or lower, than the range for this role I can typically recognize that this employment level is not aligned. This will eliminate the potential for interviewing for a more junior role, or a role that is too high level for your experience.
  • For most staffing agencies, companies will pay a lump sum based on a percentage of a hire’s salary. If a company has flexibility on a base salary range, it’s important for Human Resources to have a range to get budgeted to not only pay the individual, but also the staffing agency. Having this information upfront allows Finance to get approvals done quicker if an offer is to be made.
  • Lastly, the conversation also opens the door for other important criteria in regards to total compensation. For some candidates, other aspects such as bonuses, health benefits, and vacation time to name a few, are important when looking at annual take home. When asking about compensation expectations, if you receive a bonus on top of a base then that will need to be included in the overall compensation range.

The clearer you are on what you want and why, and being confident in your value, is important when working with recruiters and you CAN trust them to get you the best possible salary. They are absolutely on your side.