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Why Recruiters Don’t Need Your Salary History – But Here’s Why They Want It


It is 2017 — high time to tell the truth about a topic that affects job-seekers almost everywhere. Recruiters doesn’t need to know what you’re earning now or what you earned at any past job.

Anyone who deserves the title “Recruiter” should be able to look at your resume or LinkedIn profile, ask you a few questions and tell you what your background is worth. That is an essential skill set for anyone in the recruiting field.

There is no reason whatsoever for a recruiter to ask for, much less demand, your private salary details. That is your personal financial information. It is none of their business.

Recruiters will tell you “I wouldn’t press you for your salary information, but my client demands it.” Their client is an HR Manager or a department manager at some company that has job openings. Maybe the client demands candidates’ salary histories, and maybe they don’t. The recruiter could be telling you the truth or they could be lying.

It doesn’t make any difference! You can’t afford to put your trust or your professional brand in the hands of a lightweight or an amateur. Any recruiter who tells you “My client demands this information!” is a lightweight and an amateur.

What kind of credible consultant is afraid of their clients? The whole point of working for yourself is being able to tell truth rather than telling other people what they want to hear. At Human Workplace we tell our clients the truth. We don’t keep quiet when there is truth to be told because we are afraid of upsetting the client!

Yet recruiters tell candidates “My client demands your salary history, so what can I do?” every day, although it is shameful to do so.

As soon as a consultant becomes afraid to tell their clients the truth, they can no longer be called “consultant.” They have turned into yes-men or -women and lackeys.

It is not hard to tell your clients the truth when you are confident in your abilities.

When a hiring manager or HR person tells you “I need to know each candidate’s salary details” you can say “I will bring you tremendous candidates, but I won’t bring you their salary details because talented people don’t want to share that information. That’s okay — we don’t need that information. I ask candidates for their salary target instead. I will be able to tell you (and them) whether I feel their salary target is reasonable, or not.”

Of course recruiters and their clients want to know what you’re earning now. It gives them a huge negotiation advantage when they have that information! and this shouldn’t be.

When a recruiter or HR person requests your salary details, you can ask them “What is the salary range for this position?”

The salary range for an open position is a much more logical starting point for conversation than the possibly-irrelevant question “What are you earning now?’

The world is changing fast. More and more Human Workplaces are emerging every day. Don’t let a poorly-trained or self-esteem-challenged recruiter goad you into giving up your personal salary details. Keep them to yourself and hold out for an organization that deserves you!

Let know what you think on being asked for your salary details and if you have ever encountered this question before.

Source:  Liz Ryan –

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