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Why Does Every Employer Ask What My Current Salary Is? (VIDEO)


They ask for several reasons. What makes sense from your standpoint, but the other one is the more important one from theirs.

Summary

The question I received was, "Why does every employer ask about my current salary during the job interview?" I want to give employers and recruiters a certain benefit of the doubt... And there's a 2nd reason the doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt.

The one that does is that it is a timesaver for everyone. After all (I would use ridiculous numbers), if you say you're looking for hundred $180,000 and the position is paying $130,000, why would they want to continue interviewing you if there is no way for the 2 of you to come together because they are not going to pay as much as you are currently earning?

Another reason is around salary expectations. Every organization likes to get a benchmark for where a person is and what they are looking for. So they might say, "So, what are you making?"

"I am making $130,000."

"What are you looking for?"

"$180,000."

Boing!!!

This is the one word is a lot less about you and more about them. You see, institutions have guidelines (which are really rules but not guidelines , but they call them guidelines) about the percentage increases that they will offer someone. I know there are exceptions with firms in the way they conduct themselves, but most large to mid-sized organizations work with percentage increases.

It makes a certain amount of sense and non-sales roles. After all, if you are a manager level and they are hiring you for a director level, you don't really have any experience in the role , but you want to be paid as a director, so the thinking becomes, "No compromise on salary so that they can get the experience and then we will increase their salary later on." There is that "non-subtle thing."

The real one is the latter one. It is about control. It is about being in a situation where they get a sense of what you are currently earning and what your expectations are realistic and can fit into their guidelines. It is not because of any altruism. It is a control thing that organizations do.

It makes perfect sense except when it affects you when they say, "Well, she's making $130,000. Our guidelines say that we will offer a 4% to 7% increase on top of base salary," but not look at your real value in a market.

That's were ultimately, you have the choice as to whether or not you accept the offer. They may have a 4% to 7% guidelines, your value may be $160,000, hold out. Find an organization that will pay you properly. Your goal is not to sell cheap but to sell value because, trust me, there will come a time where, regardless of whether you cheap or expensive, they will look around the room and go, "Okay. We have to cut some heads. We've got a layoff some people. Okay. Her. Him." What you're being paid will only help you because you've been able to bank some more money.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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1 thought on “Why Does Every Employer Ask What My Current Salary Is? (VIDEO)

  1. It’s a questioned designed to weed you out and it’s really none of their business. And quite honestly, it’s tacky. I’m VERY polite when I’m asked this question, but I don’t divulged my salary history. I give them the salary range that I’m wiling to accept  for the job. That’s all that matters. Not that what I do should be taken as advice, because I’m still looking. But I think that job seekers shouldn’t see themselves as little kids that have been called into the principal’s office, required to answer every question that’s asked of them regardless of how personal it is.

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