September 4, 2008

Salary Requirements/Human Resources Question

I was reading another blog recently, Newly Corporate (for new professionals in business), and they had a post about salary negotiations, and when it's appropriate to bring up salary in the interviewing process. I have always found this to be an interesting topic.

One of the questions in the comments that arose was "what do you do when a company says that you MUST submit your salary requirements with your resume?" An interesting question indeed that talks about a recruiting practice that puts the applicant at an immediate disadvantage by having to be the first to name a number...

I find it interesting that many times when an organization or company puts that in their position description, they will not provide a salary range within it so the applicants know whether they're in the same ballpark. To me, that is not a good practice due to the fact that in some instances, the applicant will put in a lot of time honing their message for their cover letter and tailoring their resume to the position (if they're smart), and it will end up being a waste of time because they didn't know that they were nowhere near the range of the position to which they were applying...

I posted in a comment to the post that if a company or organization is requiring you to provide your salary requirements, they should also be willing to provide you the salary range for the position if you ask.

Now the questions that will hopefully bring it back to associations:
  • Am I right?
  • Has anyone recently pursued a position in which you were required to provide a salary requirement in your application materials but didn't know the salary range of the position?
  • What did you do?
  • Is this practice appropriate?
  • Does your association or organization use this practice in recruiting talent, and if so, how does it work?


Lisa Junker said...

From the perspective of a hiring manager, I always want to give a range--just to avoid wasting anyone's time. You'd be amazed at the resumes I've gotten for very junior positions--for instance, an editorial assistant position I was hiring for at my last association (the most junior position in our department, as our ads about the position made clear) got in at least one resume from a gentleman who wanted 100K a year and whose cover letter said he was "excited to join our management team."

Admittedly, that guy was just not paying attention, but you can get into situations where you don't realize the person you're interviewing is expecting a significantly higher salary than you're really offering. And I hate to waste anyone's time with an interview, only to discover that I can't afford to hire him or her!

Maddie Grant said...

I agree with you 100%. I actually applied for a job with ASAE a while back, and got well into the interview process (interviewed with several people) before someone told me what the salary was - which was below what I was making. I wouldn't have wasted anyone's time if I had known up front. I talked to the career center about it, and asked that they make the salary range required on their job postings.

Bruce Hammond said...

@Lisa - Thanks a lot for your response. Your point is exactly what I was getting at - it would make sense to publicize the salary up front so people aren't wasting their time applying for a position that doesn't fit their needs. We all want to make the positions that we have open appealing to people, and in some cases when the salary range isn't included, the person applying gets the wrong impression as to its level in the organization.

@Maddie - Thanks a lot for your thoughts as well. It's interesting that you experienced this exactly. I think it's good that you let the people know what your thoughts were, since that's the only way they can improve.

I guess overall, I just don't get why the salary range for a position is such a secret at the beginning of the process. It makes no sense to me that it isn't talked about up front so everyone is on the same page!!

Matt Baehr said...

I agree totally. If I don't see it posted anywhere, I generally ask when setting up the interview, so not to waste anyone's time. I also put it in my cover letter so they know not to bother calling me if we are in different ballparks. But some hiring managers don't read cover letters :)

Kristina said...

You make a great point about the potential waste of time for a job-seeker if they hit beyond the salary range for a given job. I think it's wise for an employer to list a range if they're asking the employee for a range--it's basic give and take.

I blogged about salary requirements this week at The Salary Reporter (see link).

Lola+1 said...

I actually had an employer get mad at me when she asked what I was looking for. I told her what I was making at my current job (which was almost twice what they were offering--but they hadn't told me that yet)...she said that the job market was currently so bad that people with my level of experience had been applying for job of receptionist at her firm (I'm a lawyer with only 4 years on the job)...this was after keeping me there for 2 hours and bringing in all the partners for me to meet with. Ridiculous!