Making human connections leads to better recruiting.

Should You Share Your Salary with Recruiters?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016


Giving out salary information, no matter the circumstances, is something that makes many people feel very uncomfortable. Your compensation is deeply personal, so protecting this information is almost a natural instinct. However, recruiters do often ask for your current salary at the start of your job hunt.

Today we’ll discuss whether or not this is something you should be concerned about, or if it’s even an important part of the placement process.

Why Do They Want to Know How Much I Make?

Knowing your salary upfront saves your recruiter—and therefore, you—tons of time. How? Because now he or she can rule out certain jobs with ease. For example, if you’re currently making $150,000 a year but a potential job that meets your requirements and qualifications is offering $90,000, then your recruiter knows not to waste any time pursuing that opportunity.

Keep in mind that having the compensation conversation from the get-go also allows your recruiter to consider other compensatory factors, such as your benefits package or other bonuses. In the end, transparency around compensation will only ensure that your recruiter is weeding out options that don’t fit, and focusing on finding ones that do.

Let’s Dispel a Common Recruiting Myth

When it comes to giving a recruiter salary information, many candidates immediately assume the worst: that they’re tipping their poker hand and now any offers will be based on previous salary instead of merit. Ultimately, there’s no conspiracy here. Since most reputable recruiters are paid a percentage of your new salary for placement, it’s not in their best interest to force low-ball offers.

Moreover, the Information Age wouldn’t allow a recruiter to sustain this inappropriate practice. In any business, there will always be bad apples that lack integrity. However, you shouldn’t assume that every recruiter wants your salary information in order to set a low ceiling for you. There’s simply no incentive for them to do that.

Often, Knowing the Past Can Shape the Future

For those who have worked with recruiters for years, the practice of sharing your salary will be old hat. If it’s your first-time using a recruiter, it’s understandable why you’d be gun-shy about handing over that personal information. However, once you take a step back and think it through logically, all you’re really doing is arming your recruiter with the necessary data that will help them secure the best compensation package. If you’re willing to take that leap of faith, more often than not you’ll be rewarded with loyalty—and hopefully, a new salary that’s higher, too.


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