Salary Requirements

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  • 3 Post By dia99
  • 1 Post By CanItBeChristine
  • 2 Post By wild~hair

I'm in the process of applying for new jobs. I've noticed that more places are now asking for salary requirements than when I first entered the job market, at least in my field of employment. I've never been asked for salary requirements upfront before. The salary negotiation process always took place after the hire offer was made.

My question is which of the following is the better option:

A) Make a statement like "my salary requirements are negotiable based on benefits package"

B) Give a range covering the lowest I'm willing to accept and my ideal pay.

I feel like I could end up screwing myself either way and am wondering which is the safer option.
naturally 3b/3c

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. ~ Rumi
The first one seems safer, because you are not actually giving them a number. That way if they are hard on a number, you haven't outted yourself. With the second one, if their number is lower than your absolute lowest number, you may not even get called for an interview.
A. I always use that when job searching.
I have this question asked during the screening process (at the end of a phone screening only IF the screener thinks the person is potentially a good fit) so I won't waste my time on panel interviews with good candidates whose requirements are outside of the range we can afford.

We have a range for each type of position, and base salary decisions on the role, years' of relevant work experience, and related education/training. We've had people get more than their requirements (often) because of the ranges in place.

As a hiring manager, I would not move forward with you if you didn't answer my question even if you were qualified, unless your resume was just far better than other applicants. I'd go with equally qualified people I knew I had a better opportunity of getting to accept based on their submitted salary requirements. And yes, we still move forward with people whose range is above what we can pay (and often they end up accepting), but have a conversation with them upfront about salary constraints before having offering a panel interview. We require all applicants to complete pre-interview activities specific to the core responsibilities of their role. It's a time-consuming endeavor (about 4 hours of work for most roles) to complete, so another reason is honoring the applicants' time.

The preferred answer I'm given to this question is something like, "My desired range is ___. If the role seems like a mutual good fit, I would be willing to revisit salary requirements if necessary." And then be truthful - what is your desired range, not the lowest you'll go! You can let the potential employer work on that part.

I also like when potential staff ask about total compensation packages (health benefits, paid time off, holidays, etc.), since I know they get that there are other ways to incentivize a slightly lower salary than you might want in order to do a job that's meaningful to you (and that the salary may not impact your take home pay as much as expected if there are great benefits).

I am writing this as a nonprofit person where the budget is the budget, so there's very rarely wiggle room. Hope something is helpful!
Layali, violets and curlypearl like this.
People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
Thanks for your responses!

Dia, your answer is especially helpful, because I do work in the non-profit sector and I was trying to figure out a way to navigate budget restrictions, but make sure I'm also properly compensated. Thanks so much!
naturally 3b/3c

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. ~ Rumi
I always say that my salary req are negotiable and the desired range is between __ and ___.
It does help to know your price, that way they won't discard you for having requirements way off. My experience has been that if I am off too high,they tell me, well we can only go as far as __.
I give a range of $10,000 for my desired salary...BUT...I had a talk with a staffing agency woman who really seems to care and look-out for her clients (and I have met many of these people, so I really do think she's special in that she cares and knows what she is talking about!) and she told me to put a lot more as my requirements because it shows I think more of myself.

Now, this confused me a bit, because I am always worried of saying too much money and being written-off immediately for somebody that will work for much less!
Layali likes this.
All I can say is: aim high. If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it's people often undervalue their worth in the marketplace, and women tend to do this more than men.

Try to find some salary information for your field to base your range on. If you cannot find any, I would take your salary history and then add 10-20% to whatever base you come up with.

Good luck!
roseannadana and Layali like this.

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