Author Topic: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?  (Read 9168 times)

jeromedawg

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Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« on: August 12, 2016, 03:08:22 PM »
Hey all,

So I just got off the phone with a recruiter who is saying that salary/bonus/etc information is absolutely required by the company in order to proceed with the interview process - they need to have the information to know how to "stay competitive" blahblahblah. BTW: this is a recruiter for the company I would be interviewing at. He sort of warned that if I'm not willing to provide that information, they wouldn't proceed with the interview process.

The context of this is that he reached out to me first saying he thinks I'd be a good fit. Hesitantly, I replied saying I'm happy where I'm at right now but would be open to talking. Then he setup a quick phone call with me with a few screener questions, and I got enough right for the hiring manager to want to setup a technical phone screen, which I'll need to schedule for next week.

Anyway, assuming things actually go further, is it OK to spill the beans about salary in this case? Or can (and do) companies actually pass on candidates who are unwilling to provide salary details?

mxt0133

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 03:15:51 PM »
If I were in your shoes.  I would ask what the salary range is for the position.  That will help you decide if you want to move forward with the interview.  If the floor meet my minimum I would then tell them my current compensation and go from there.  That way one's time is wasted any further.

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jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 03:28:27 PM »
If I were in your shoes.  I would ask what the salary range is for the position.  That will help you decide if you want to move forward with the interview.  If the floor meet my minimum I would then tell them my current compensation and go from there.  That way one's time is wasted any further.

Great point and suggestion - I just responded to the recruiter asking that question. One other huge factor is that I'd have to relocate, in which case they supposedly provide a 'generous' relocation package (3 months of rent or something along those lines?). The position would be up in Silicon Valley and I'm down in SoCal working from home (wfh is another big factor at play here... also not to mention the fact that the position I'm currently in I've only been in since the beginning of the year, so only 8 months now). They said they are flexible on when to bring people on and I gave them a 6month to 1year timeframe - despite that, they seem be implying that if they feel I'm a 'perfect' fit they'll want to extend an offer that would accommodate that timeframe. Don't want to get my hopes up too high but I feel like I'm trying to find a thousand reasons *not* to proceed (a big one is that I hate interviews haha)

And then there's the classic question of: if the salary is less than or the same as where I'm at now, but the job is more dynamic where I would be more engaged/interested and learn more or keep myself "relevant", is it definitely worth pursuing even if it means having to relocate and give up the perk of work from home?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 03:31:31 PM by jplee3 »

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 03:43:22 PM »
Whether to answer AT ALL is up to you.  Are you interested in this position, or just curious now that they reached out to YOU? 
Realize they could be wasting your time if they have a low-ball salary figure in mind. 

It sounds as if you're already in a 'negotiation', so think of it that way.  In a negotiation, you have nothing to lose, so shoot for the stars.
If it were me, and I were going to say anything, I would:
FIRST, do some research on Glassdoor.com - find out what comperable jobs are paying in the valley area - San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, etc. 
SECOND, give a FULL compensation picture.  Tell them your 'salary' today + bonus if it's a reliable thing. Include that in your "salary" figure, because that's compensation you 'count on' having.
THREE, give them your benefits package (insurance, HSA, gym, free meals, etc). 
FOUR, give them a minimum salary you'd be willing to uproot-your-life, and change-jobs for, and make that a higher figure than the one you came up with for #2.  [Here's where you use your targeted research from #1].
FIVE, ask if there is a bonus - signing bonus, relocation (sounds like they covered that), annual bonus, ownership/RSA's/stock-options, etc.
SIX, tell them you're looking for comparable benefits, and
FINALLY, ask "Am I 'in-the-ball-park'?" (phrasing is important) then BE SILENT. 

I lived in Fremont, CA for several years and commuted to first Santa Clara, then Menlo Park prior to transferring to my company's 'mothership' in Redmond, WA... (hint)  Bay Area housing was outrageously expensive, and has only gotten worse in the intervening years - so check out the rents in the area of the corporate worksite.   Can you rent an apartment across the street?

BEST OF LUCK!!!  ;-)

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 03:59:45 PM »
Whether to answer AT ALL is up to you.  Are you interested in this position, or just curious now that they reached out to YOU? 
Realize they could be wasting your time if they have a low-ball salary figure in mind. 

It sounds as if you're already in a 'negotiation', so think of it that way.  In a negotiation, you have nothing to lose, so shoot for the stars.
If it were me, and I were going to say anything, I would:
FIRST, do some research on Glassdoor.com - find out what comperable jobs are paying in the valley area - San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, etc. 
SECOND, give a FULL compensation picture.  Tell them your 'salary' today + bonus if it's a reliable thing. Include that in your "salary" figure, because that's compensation you 'count on' having.
THREE, give them your benefits package (insurance, HSA, gym, free meals, etc). 
FOUR, give them a minimum salary you'd be willing to uproot-your-life, and change-jobs for, and make that a higher figure than the one you came up with for #2.  [Here's where you use your targeted research from #1].
FIVE, ask if there is a bonus - signing bonus, relocation (sounds like they covered that), annual bonus, ownership/RSA's/stock-options, etc.
SIX, tell them you're looking for comparable benefits, and
FINALLY, ask "Am I 'in-the-ball-park'?" (phrasing is important) then BE SILENT. 

I lived in Fremont, CA for several years and commuted to first Santa Clara, then Menlo Park prior to transferring to my company's 'mothership' in Redmond, WA... (hint)  Bay Area housing was outrageously expensive, and has only gotten worse in the intervening years - so check out the rents in the area of the corporate worksite.   Can you rent an apartment across the street?

BEST OF LUCK!!!  ;-)

Great pointers! I'll have to soak that all in but in the meantime, I heard back regarding salary and the recruiter said he doesn't have access to that information - it will come as the interviews progress and assuming they get much further. We'll see, I don't want to get so ahead of myself, which I tend to do in these situations. I'm really only interested because they reached out to me first and it's one of the bigger companies in the SV that I'd be interested in working for (there are only a handful, and if you had to guess, you'd probably get them all right lol - most people would tell you "oh working there would be my dream job!"). The position itself is one that I think I'd be interested in - I've had some experience doing it but not a lot and none at all in recent years. The recruiter kept saying "well, you can probably pick it up fast" lol - we'll see... out of most subjects in this particular field (security engineer) this area is probably the one I'd be most 'comfortable' with I guess (threat mitigation/incident response). What I wouldn't really look forward to though is having a nasty on-call rotation schedule where I'm working graveyard or on call 24/7 and where the rotation is between a few people - I'm thinking they probably try to structure to get away from that given the nature of this company but you never know.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 04:02:57 PM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 04:16:23 PM »
FOUR, give them a minimum salary you'd be willing to uproot-your-life, and change-jobs for, and make that a higher figure than the one you came up with for #2.  [Here's where you use your targeted research from #1]

I lived in Fremont, CA for several years and commuted to first Santa Clara, then Menlo Park prior to transferring to my company's 'mothership' in Redmond, WA... (hint)  Bay Area housing was outrageously expensive, and has only gotten worse in the intervening years - so check out the rents in the area of the corporate worksite.   Can you rent an apartment across the street?

BEST OF LUCK!!!  ;-)

BTW: when you say to give them a minimum salary, is that in response to if they ask for my current salary figures? Usually companies ask for "salary requirements" no? At the end of the day, should I press on *not* giving them my current numbers at all?

As far as rent, it is a little concerning - of course, my family is all up there and my brother who's at NFLX says "it's really not that bad" regarding rent. Of course, he owns a house in Sunnyvale so yea... my cousin works up there for Intel and had much sticker shock upon moving out there from Phoenix, AZ lol. My parents live in Alameda and have a rental home a few doors down. Worst case scenario is that they kick the tenants out and have us move it. That would be a little too close for comfort though - we drive each other crazy. But I suppose they could help out a bit with the babysitting hahahaha. I'll have to Google map the area as far as renting near there though.

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 04:26:56 PM »
Hey all,

So I just got off the phone with a recruiter who is saying that salary/bonus/etc information is absolutely required by the company in order to proceed with the interview process - they need to have the information to know how to "stay competitive" blahblahblah. BTW: this is a recruiter for the company I would be interviewing at. He sort of warned that if I'm not willing to provide that information, they wouldn't proceed with the interview process.

The context of this is that he reached out to me first saying he thinks I'd be a good fit. Hesitantly, I replied saying I'm happy where I'm at right now but would be open to talking. Then he setup a quick phone call with me with a few screener questions, and I got enough right for the hiring manager to want to setup a technical phone screen, which I'll need to schedule for next week.

Anyway, assuming things actually go further, is it OK to spill the beans about salary in this case? Or can (and do) companies actually pass on candidates who are unwilling to provide salary details?

I am assuming your in tech. I live in Fremont and commute to Mountain View everyday. I was in your situation not so long ago when I changed jobs. I never told anyone what my then current salary was. There is absolutely no reason for any recruiter to know. If the hiring manager has the budget and he/she thinks you are worth it, they are going to move mountains to get you on board. The market is very hot right now. Don't give up your soul. Especially when you are not sure if you want to take it or not.

If go through the interview process. Salary is just one part of the equation. More important part is that you have to like the company culture and team culture. This is how I managed it. Be honest:

1. Tell them that you are reasonable guy/gal and you haven't properly researched yet. Ask them to schedule interviews (If you are serious)
2. Tell them that the team, work, culture etc are also important things for your consideration and the only way you get to know them (somewhat) is by interviewing. This is true from a hiring manager POV too. Reiterate that.
3. Make sure you are very polite yet assertive.
4. At this point, you'll know if they are serious about you. If they are, they'll schedule you. If not, they won't. Either way, you win. I mean, think about it. If a company is deciding not hire someone over $10K, then that's probably not a great place to be in. They're probably struggling for cash. (This is a broad generalization, but a pretty safe one)
5. Assuming that you get the interviews, do not raise the salary question by yourself.
6. After the interviews, assuming you get the job, is when you start hardcore negotiating.

Negotiating salary/bonus:
1. First do your homework. Calculate how much you make (salary+Bonus), what benefits you get (Put a $ value to them) come up with a $$$ for the year.
Eg: $100K base + 20% bonus  = 120K cash.  15% ESPP discount (Assuming you can contribute up to 10K per year) = $1750 profit via ESPP per year. Assuming you get $100 commute benefit per month = $1200 per year. So total cash compensation = 120k + 1750 +1200 = $122950. This is your current.
2. Next calculate your insurance costs, company's 401K matches etc and compare it your current.
3. You are moving from SoCal to the Silicon Valley. Avg rent for a 1 BHK apartment is around $2500. Subtract your current rent from this and add it to your expectation. Let's say it is $500 per month = $6000 per year.
4. How long is the commute to work. Would you be needing a car? Is there a direct commute?


Now do the math add, subtract whatever. Come up with a final annual base comp figure as the absolute minimum to maintain your current lifestyle. Then add another 10-15% to it to give yourself a raise. If you have any RSU that you lose from your current company, document those. Ask the future ompany for a sign-on bonus minimum of the RSUs you lose.


Once you have a spreadsheet ready. Get on a call with the recruiter and detail the numbers. Explain them that this your situation. But do not give your base salary. Keep in mind the number you give already has a 10-15% raise. The recruiters expect that. So they will try to low ball on that. You will probably settle with a 8-10% raise. Still a good win-win. Be data driven and explain each of your number clearly. If you, by any chance, lie, then make sure you have credible story.


Hope you got my drift. Good luck.

But there is no fucking reason why any recruiter wants to know how much you are making. Just don't encourage them with this nonsense.

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 04:28:58 PM »
FOUR, give them a minimum salary you'd be willing to uproot-your-life, and change-jobs for, and make that a higher figure than the one you came up with for #2.  [Here's where you use your targeted research from #1]

I lived in Fremont, CA for several years and commuted to first Santa Clara, then Menlo Park prior to transferring to my company's 'mothership' in Redmond, WA... (hint)  Bay Area housing was outrageously expensive, and has only gotten worse in the intervening years - so check out the rents in the area of the corporate worksite.   Can you rent an apartment across the street?

BEST OF LUCK!!!  ;-)

BTW: when you say to give them a minimum salary, is that in response to if they ask for my current salary figures? Usually companies ask for "salary requirements" no? At the end of the day, should I press on *not* giving them my current numbers at all?

As far as rent, it is a little concerning - of course, my family is all up there and my brother who's at NFLX says "it's really not that bad" regarding rent. Of course, he owns a house in Sunnyvale so yea... my cousin works up there for Intel and had much sticker shock upon moving out there from Phoenix, AZ lol. My parents live in Alameda and have a rental home a few doors down. Worst case scenario is that they kick the tenants out and have us move it. That would be a little too close for comfort though - we drive each other crazy. But I suppose they could help out a bit with the babysitting hahahaha. I'll have to Google map the area as far as renting near there though.


They will pressurize you. But tell this. "I want to know what <Comany XYZ> and <Hiring manager> thinks I am worth than base that decision on what I am making currently which are two different things".


jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 04:33:01 PM »
FOUR, give them a minimum salary you'd be willing to uproot-your-life, and change-jobs for, and make that a higher figure than the one you came up with for #2.  [Here's where you use your targeted research from #1]

I lived in Fremont, CA for several years and commuted to first Santa Clara, then Menlo Park prior to transferring to my company's 'mothership' in Redmond, WA... (hint)  Bay Area housing was outrageously expensive, and has only gotten worse in the intervening years - so check out the rents in the area of the corporate worksite.   Can you rent an apartment across the street?

BEST OF LUCK!!!  ;-)

BTW: when you say to give them a minimum salary, is that in response to if they ask for my current salary figures? Usually companies ask for "salary requirements" no? At the end of the day, should I press on *not* giving them my current numbers at all?

As far as rent, it is a little concerning - of course, my family is all up there and my brother who's at NFLX says "it's really not that bad" regarding rent. Of course, he owns a house in Sunnyvale so yea... my cousin works up there for Intel and had much sticker shock upon moving out there from Phoenix, AZ lol. My parents live in Alameda and have a rental home a few doors down. Worst case scenario is that they kick the tenants out and have us move it. That would be a little too close for comfort though - we drive each other crazy. But I suppose they could help out a bit with the babysitting hahahaha. I'll have to Google map the area as far as renting near there though.


They will pressurize you. But tell this. "I want to know what <Comany XYZ> and <Hiring manager> thinks I am worth than base that decision on what I am making currently which are two different things".

I sort of shot myself in the foot initially because the recruiter asked "well, if we proceed to interviews and things move forward, you'll have to tell them those numbers otherwise we won't be able to go any further. Is that OK?" and I said "sure, I guess that's fine" haha. I'm sure it's not a huge deal and it's probably going to be up to the hiring manager ultimately - the recruiter seems a bit fresh and probably just wants to get as many referrals as he can.

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 04:41:14 PM »

mozar

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2016, 04:42:45 PM »
I won't go anywhere for less than a 15% to raise. So what I do is say "someone else is offering me xx, what can you offer me?" then I take that higher number and take it to the next company and say the same thing. I bid myself up until the company I like is offering me the most money.

Quote
you'll have to tell them those numbers otherwise we won't be able to go any further. Is that OK?

You got away with not telling them, you can probably continue to not bring salary up. Also know that recruiters don't know anything about whether you are a fit. They just look at keywords then recommend you to the hiring manager.

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2016, 04:54:45 PM »
I won't go anywhere for less than a 15% to raise. So what I do is say "someone else is offering me xx, what can you offer me?" then I take that higher number and take it to the next company and say the same thing. I bid myself up until the company I like is offering me the most money.

Quote
you'll have to tell them those numbers otherwise we won't be able to go any further. Is that OK?

You got away with not telling them, you can probably continue to not bring salary up. Also know that recruiters don't know anything about whether you are a fit. They just look at keywords then recommend you to the hiring manager.

That makes sense - too bad I don't have multiple positions lined up. Then again, I'm not actively seeking anything out. This is just one of those "fell into my lap - now what do I do?" types of situations...

As far as recruiters no knowing about whether you're a fit, that makes sense too - I would have to assume though, if they have a track record of referring people that have been hired onto the team though, that they may actually have a good idea of whether future prospects would be a fit (of course, moot point because I have no idea if the recruiter I'm working with is in that bucket). It sounds like he is working pretty closely with the direct hiring manager and team that are looking to hire though - I'm surprised I heard back an hour or two after the initial phone screen with him, where he told me they want to move forward with a technical phone screen.

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2016, 05:02:26 PM »
BTW: I'm pretty certain I overstated a response to a question he asked on my experience with certain OSes. I told him 9/10 for Linux and 8/10 for Mac and Windows. I hate when people ask those kinds of questions because the scale is somewhat arbitrary with that big of a range... so I gave a pretty foot in mouth response and then got one Linux-related question wrong lol. In reality, I'd probably more closely rate myself a 7-8 - much of it just depends on if I can find the command or how to do something on Google ;) Anyway, I'm considering following up with the recruiter telling him I don't feel comfortable about the answer I gave to that question and would like to amend my answer to more like a 7/8 or even 6/7 rating. Should I not even bother? I'm just wondering if he actually wrote down what I said and passed it onto the team. It'll look really bad, if things move forward, when they start grilling me to find out that I rated myself higher than what I am. I may think I'm an 8/10 but someone else with crazy experience will probably say I'm 6/10. And the dude who has little experience will say I'm 9/10. I think I'm probably overthinking this... told you I get this way with this stuff [interviews/negotiations/etc]. I think that's why I hate it :T
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 05:05:57 PM by jplee3 »

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2016, 05:21:35 PM »
I think I'm probably overthinking this... told you I get this way with this stuff [interviews/negotiations/etc]. I think that's why I hate it :T
Answered your own question.  Be confident that you are you.  You have worth - your current company recognizes that.  Ask yourself, "What do I bring to the table for my current employer?"  Also think about the skills you bring to the table that you haven't been able to use on-the-job at your current gig.  And remember... they came after YOU. 

Don't worry about the answers to phone screens - those will be followed up with questions from an interviewer.  Instead, find out as much as you can about the company in question, and ask yourself if you MUST work there, NEED to work there, WANT to work there, or MEH... it might be okay. 

Also don't make the mental jump to put yourself in-the-seat in the new gig (especially before you've even interviewed) to the point that you're no longer happy going to your current gig on Monday mornings.

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2016, 05:32:24 PM »
I think I'm probably overthinking this... told you I get this way with this stuff [interviews/negotiations/etc]. I think that's why I hate it :T
Answered your own question.  Be confident that you are you.  You have worth - your current company recognizes that.  Ask yourself, "What do I bring to the table for my current employer?"  Also think about the skills you bring to the table that you haven't been able to use on-the-job at your current gig.  And remember... they came after YOU. 

Don't worry about the answers to phone screens - those will be followed up with questions from an interviewer.  Instead, find out as much as you can about the company in question, and ask yourself if you MUST work there, NEED to work there, WANT to work there, or MEH... it might be okay. 

Also don't make the mental jump to put yourself in-the-seat in the new gig (especially before you've even interviewed) to the point that you're no longer happy going to your current gig on Monday mornings.

Thanks, I'm actually pretty content where I'm at now because I do like the WFH aspect and being able to step out and see my son immediately. But I also feel like there's a lot of downtime and time/temptation to become complacent with 'being content' and ultimately not doing anything that interests me - at this rate, I feel the more marketable skillset will start regressing and that I will not be relevant in the long run. Getting into a company where the work is more engaging would hopefully at least stop and reverse that. But then all the other Mustachian stuff comes to mind, like "don't I want to retire early?" - I probably could if I just stay at my current job long enough, and not necessarily have to 'sacrifice' being at home with my family etc. Then again, there are always no guarantees that you'll never get let go regardless of where you are.

As far as making the mental jump to put myself there, I'm not quite there - all of this has sort of developed pretty rapidly in just a matter of half a day - I'm not getting my hopes up too high because, like I said, I think I would need to be strongly convinced to leave my current position.

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2016, 05:48:18 PM »
Couldn't tell from the OP -- do you know the name of the company? If so, https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm is a great site for the inside scoop on companies and often provides insider info on salary ranges for various positions.

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2016, 06:00:25 PM »
Couldn't tell from the OP -- do you know the name of the company? If so, https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm is a great site for the inside scoop on companies and often provides insider info on salary ranges for various positions.

Thanks, yea I've been using Glassdoor and there's a lot of useful information from there :)

use2betrix

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2016, 06:15:14 PM »
I'd want to know their salary range early on. I'm not going to waste a ton of time on interviews on a job that could easily be less than I'm currently making, unless you somehow know it would be more.

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2016, 06:40:31 PM »
I'd want to know their salary range early on. I'm not going to waste a ton of time on interviews on a job that could easily be less than I'm currently making, unless you somehow know it would be more.

From some initial checking it looks like it would be a good amount more than where I'm at now for a senior position... If accurate it would be to the tune of 30% more for just the base salary. Then again, it's also all based on experience, but the range i saw on glass door seemed pretty high to begin with. Not sure how accurate glassdoor salaries are either. I feel like this is a super ambitious attempt to get into the Silicon Valley scene and not sure if I necessarily want it.

marty998

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2016, 06:43:43 PM »
I always reply to recruiters that my compensation package is required to be kept a secret and that I would be breaking confidentiality if I told them.

They never ask again because it is a perfectly reasonable logical answer.

The fact that my package actually is required to be kept confidential is beside the point.

Tjat

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2016, 04:43:41 AM »
So if I have this strait, a recruiter reached out to you on LinkedIn, is demanding your current compensation and refuses to tell you the compensation for the role he is hiring? That's complete BS and they are likely either 1) not hiring, but interested in competitor salaries or 2) hiring, but need your salary to make sure they aren't offering you too much


If you like your current job and are working from home, why are you even dealing with this?

mozar

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2016, 11:23:14 AM »
Quote
I would need to be strongly convinced to leave my current position.

Keep this in mind. Figure out what salary would you be willing to leave for. I work in accounting and a few years ago I was offered a job either with a Big 4, which I had never done and would look great on my resume and was offering 75k, but I would need to relocate to somewhere I didn't want to live. Or go work for NASA which I thought sounded really cool but was only 65k and live where I wanted to.

I went with NASA. Although I didn't end up liking that job I'm still glad I wasn't at that big 4 place where people were really uptight/worked too much. I didn't become unemployable or anything like that. I got another job offer somewhere else for 75k anyway, and then I got a job making 94k. Things will work out for you one way or another.

Lagom

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2016, 11:51:55 AM »
You're definitely overthinking this. Don't give your current salary. Do ask for the range. If they refuse to give it and insist on knowing your current salary, tell them only what you would require to move (add maybe 5-10% over the minimum you would take). If they still insist on knowing your actual salary, think hard about whether you want to work for that sort of employer.

Also, Silicon Valley is much more expensive than LA, so keep that in mind.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 02:16:03 PM by Lagom »

Little Aussie Battler

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2016, 11:54:37 AM »
He approached you, can't tell you the salary range for the position, and is insisting on full disclosure of your current package in order to proceed... to an interview?

I'll let my man Ari Gold respond to this one:

« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 11:56:18 AM by Little Aussie Battler »

the_gastropod

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2016, 12:36:44 PM »
This is a bit of a lengthy read, but it's pure gold. http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/

TLDR; Never tell them your current salary.

Cassie

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2016, 12:58:37 PM »
My DH had a job in Palo Alto for 6 months and it cost him 800/month to rent a room with a bathroom built on the back of a home.  He was making a lot of $ and it was temporary so was worth it but if you will move your whole family there I would really research rent for your family.

dividendman

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2016, 01:44:56 PM »
In my experience the best thing to do is to lie and tell them your salary is 10% higher than whatever youre willing to accept.  That way the recruiter is happy you told them and you can get a huge bump or even get hired into a higher grade level if they think you're good.

Lagom

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2016, 02:15:25 PM »
My DH had a job in Palo Alto for 6 months and it cost him 800/month to rent a room with a bathroom built on the back of a home.  He was making a lot of $ and it was temporary so was worth it but if you will move your whole family there I would really research rent for your family.

Sadly, 800 is actually a fantastic deal for a private room + bath up here. I would guess SFHs in or near Palo Alto probably start at around $5k/month (not totally sure as I can't afford that so I never looked). My family rents a 3br/1.5ba SFH in Santa Clara for $3500, which is a couple hundred below what the landlord probably could get if they were really trying to maximize profit.

Lagom

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2016, 02:17:42 PM »
In my experience the best thing to do is to lie and tell them your salary is 10% higher than whatever youre willing to accept.  That way the recruiter is happy you told them and you can get a huge bump or even get hired into a higher grade level if they think you're good.

I would never lie to a potential employer. Not worth the risk of them finding out later. You can avoid needing to do this just by sticking to your guns and refusing to tell them your salary. Doesn't mean they have to give the first number. Know what you're worth and tell them that's what you expect to be paid if you were to make a move. A good recruiter will play ball if your number is in their ballpark. If it's not, better you both don't waste your time.

JLee

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2016, 08:34:18 PM »
BTW: I'm pretty certain I overstated a response to a question he asked on my experience with certain OSes. I told him 9/10 for Linux and 8/10 for Mac and Windows. I hate when people ask those kinds of questions because the scale is somewhat arbitrary with that big of a range... so I gave a pretty foot in mouth response and then got one Linux-related question wrong lol. In reality, I'd probably more closely rate myself a 7-8 - much of it just depends on if I can find the command or how to do something on Google ;) Anyway, I'm considering following up with the recruiter telling him I don't feel comfortable about the answer I gave to that question and would like to amend my answer to more like a 7/8 or even 6/7 rating. Should I not even bother? I'm just wondering if he actually wrote down what I said and passed it onto the team. It'll look really bad, if things move forward, when they start grilling me to find out that I rated myself higher than what I am. I may think I'm an 8/10 but someone else with crazy experience will probably say I'm 6/10. And the dude who has little experience will say I'm 9/10. I think I'm probably overthinking this... told you I get this way with this stuff [interviews/negotiations/etc]. I think that's why I hate it :T

Heh. If you told me you were 9/10 in anything, you'd better be on the dev team who programmed it.  The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know... :P

MidWestLove

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2016, 08:51:02 PM »
1. never lie
2. you do not have to answer any question asked - and if pressed "we are not yet at the point of being able to discuss that information" works just fine. and if they insist and "threaten" than get another recruiter and it is a good indication that they are not that into you to begin with and simply wasting your time. another way to say that is that you do not think collective "we" should be doing the comp conversation before there is a mutual desire on both sides and there is an idea of the offer on the table
3. everything is negotiable

my experience have been is that you don't waste time with recruiters, talk to hiring managers, see if there is potential manager/culture fit (which is NOT a given and a major PITA if gotten wrong). if and only if there is a "lets talk numbers" chat where we discuss comp envelope - how much fixed/guaranteed/base matters to you vs performance based, who will be judging performance and how, etc.


as for interview questions - either you are very inexperienced, they are, or both. never heard asking something that stupid as how much on scale of 10 you are for "X" as that is complete waste of time and insult to intelligence - what is the need? how was this need met previously ? what is the culture like? if "recruiter" can not answer those questions - move on, don't waste your time


SwordGuy

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2016, 09:17:18 PM »
"I expect to be paid well based on my skills and how I fit the company's needs.  What I currently make has no bearing on that.   Let me know the salary range for the position so I can tell you whether it's worth our time to proceed."

That's what I usually say.

If the recruiter tells you they don't have that info and the company won't move forward without it, tell them "I'm ready and able to meet the needs of this employer.  I will provide them real value and expect to be compensated accordingly."

If the company is serious, they'll move forward.  If they are just hoping to find a warm body who can be pressured to work on the cheap, you don't want to work there anyway.


jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2016, 01:17:04 PM »
"I expect to be paid well based on my skills and how I fit the company's needs.  What I currently make has no bearing on that.   Let me know the salary range for the position so I can tell you whether it's worth our time to proceed."

That's what I usually say.

If the recruiter tells you they don't have that info and the company won't move forward without it, tell them "I'm ready and able to meet the needs of this employer.  I will provide them real value and expect to be compensated accordingly."

If the company is serious, they'll move forward.  If they are just hoping to find a warm body who can be pressured to work on the cheap, you don't want to work there anyway.

Well, I have a technical phone screen setup for next week. Will see how that goes - I'm not expecting much to come from it as they're looking for a "senior" person and I've been out of the 'game' for a while... if it does go any further, I think I would then start pressing them to give me a range. Of course, I think if things did move on I'd probably be talking to the hiring manager and that information may come naturally too. Either way, I *guess* this will be good practice to get drilled on questions I probably won't be able to answer but should know :)

raspberries

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2016, 01:28:51 PM »
Just seconding what everyone else said - don't tell salary. In fact, Massachusetts just became the first state to make a law against employers asking about applicantsí salaries before offering them a job:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/business/dealbook/wage-gap-massachusetts-law-salary-history.html

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2016, 01:37:50 PM »
Just seconding what everyone else said - don't tell salary. In fact, Massachusetts just became the first state to make a law against employers asking about applicantsí salaries before offering them a job:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/business/dealbook/wage-gap-massachusetts-law-salary-history.html

Wow, that's news to me! Yep, I'm going to hold out on 'showing my hand' and will try to turn the tables to press them for a range at least.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2016, 01:41:47 PM »
This recruiter is playing you "like a fiddle".  Don't play this nasty game.

They don't need to know what you are making NOW or anytime in the process.  It's irrelevant and tell him so.  Corp's do this to make your current compensation a negotiating chip in making you an offer.  It's the equivalent to someone making an offer on your house based on what you paid for it, instead of what it's worth.

If you play this game, you will get the shorter end of the stick.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2016, 01:54:16 PM »
Just seconding what everyone else said - don't tell salary. In fact, Massachusetts just became the first state to make a law against employers asking about applicantsí salaries before offering them a job:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/business/dealbook/wage-gap-massachusetts-law-salary-history.html

Wow, that's news to me! Yep, I'm going to hold out on 'showing my hand' and will try to turn the tables to press them for a range at least.

I took your original quesiton to mean the recruiter was asking you your salary expectations/requirements for the NEW job, not for your current job.  The latter is irrelevant, though obviously employers and recruiters still ask for it.

As to Massachusetts, the law prohibits prospective employers from affirmatively asking you your current salary, though it's okay if you choose to volunteer it.  It does not affect the prospective employer's ability to ask you your salary expectations/requirements for the NEW job.  Finally, this law does not go into effect until July 2018, so even in Mass, it's still okay for the employer to ask for your current salary.

Lagom

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #38 on: August 15, 2016, 02:19:34 PM »
I don't think there's anything wrong with giving the first number, honestly (as long as it's not your current salary, of course!). The old adage of whoever does this first loses is pretty outdated, especially in jobs that are easy to research on sites like glassdoor. If you know what you are worth and what the range for the new position is likely to be, go ahead and tell them your expectations. You should not be in danger of leaving money on the table if you do this right, but aim a bit high if you're really concerned about that. Assuming you are a strong candidate and are not way out of their hiring range (in which case you wouldn't want the job anyway), aiming high will not disqualify you.

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2016, 05:25:18 PM »
This recruiter is playing you "like a fiddle".  Don't play this nasty game.

They don't need to know what you are making NOW or anytime in the process.  It's irrelevant and tell him so.  Corp's do this to make your current compensation a negotiating chip in making you an offer.  It's the equivalent to someone making an offer on your house based on what you paid for it, instead of what it's worth.

If you play this game, you will get the shorter end of the stick.

Well, I haven't told him anything and I don't intend to tell anyone anything either.

jeromedawg

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2016, 05:28:49 PM »
Just seconding what everyone else said - don't tell salary. In fact, Massachusetts just became the first state to make a law against employers asking about applicantsí salaries before offering them a job:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/business/dealbook/wage-gap-massachusetts-law-salary-history.html

Wow, that's news to me! Yep, I'm going to hold out on 'showing my hand' and will try to turn the tables to press them for a range at least.

I took your original quesiton to mean the recruiter was asking you your salary expectations/requirements for the NEW job, not for your current job.  The latter is irrelevant, though obviously employers and recruiters still ask for it.

As to Massachusetts, the law prohibits prospective employers from affirmatively asking you your current salary, though it's okay if you choose to volunteer it.  It does not affect the prospective employer's ability to ask you your salary expectations/requirements for the NEW job.  Finally, this law does not go into effect until July 2018, so even in Mass, it's still okay for the employer to ask for your current salary.

It might have been that I completely misheard and he was in fact merely asking for expectations/requirements but I could have sworn I thought I heard him ask for current salary figures so that they could know how to stay competitive, etc.... in either case, if the process gets far enough to where that subject is brought up again, I'll make sure to deflect and if they press I'll only give them my expectations/requirements based on research. I'll have to mentally prepare myself to play that game for the upcoming technical phone screen because it may end up being the hiring manager himself who is asking me technical and HR questions at the end.

boarder42

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #41 on: August 15, 2016, 05:48:37 PM »
I always reply to recruiters that my compensation package is required to be kept a secret and that I would be breaking confidentiality if I told them.

They never ask again because it is a perfectly reasonable logical answer.

The fact that my package actually is required to be kept confidential is beside the point.

You have the right to disclose your salary to anyone. Your company does not.

Interest Compound

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #42 on: August 15, 2016, 07:46:43 PM »
Under no circumstances do I ever disclose my existing salary. I discuss the salary I would accept for their position, and that's it. I've received a lot of pushback on this, and I've actually said, "If my existing salary is a requirement to move forward, I am no longer interested in this position.". They always back down.

This is my go-to now when asked the question. I actually write it down so I can just read it during the phone interview (HR always asks during the initial phone interview):

----------------------------------
Unfortunately, management made it very clear when I was hired, that I am not to disclose my salary. I donít think I signed any NDAs, and I donít think they have strong legal grounds to stop me, but Iím not comfortable talking about my existing salary.

I CAN talk about what Iím looking for. While salary is not the most important aspect, the position will have to be in the $X range for me to consider it.
----------------------------------

The funny part is when they then go through 5-6 rounds of interviews, check my references, give me an offer significantly lower than my stated range (lower than my current salary)...and expect me to accept, "But we give you free food!"...then get upset when I tell them there's no chance I can accept an offer less than my range, and get a call from their upper management telling me "This is not the level of respect we expect from our candidates".

Seriously. Companies these days are used to people practically begging them for a job. If you don't need the job (FU Money ForTheWin!), and you know your worth, don't fall for their tricks. This is seriously one of those situations where having money puts you in a position to make even more money. I've got companies to increase their offer by 95%+ by negotiating and refusing to accept anything less.

Read "The Power of Quitting" by the MadFientist. Really opened my eyes.

JLee

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2016, 08:56:57 PM »
Under no circumstances do I ever disclose my existing salary. I discuss the salary I would accept for their position, and that's it. I've received a lot of pushback on this, and I've actually said, "If my existing salary is a requirement to move forward, I am no longer interested in this position.". They always back down.

This is my go-to now when asked the question. I actually write it down so I can just read it during the phone interview (HR always asks during the initial phone interview):

----------------------------------
Unfortunately, management made it very clear when I was hired, that I am not to disclose my salary. I donít think I signed any NDAs, and I donít think they have strong legal grounds to stop me, but Iím not comfortable talking about my existing salary.

I CAN talk about what Iím looking for. While salary is not the most important aspect, the position will have to be in the $X range for me to consider it.
----------------------------------

The funny part is when they then go through 5-6 rounds of interviews, check my references, give me an offer significantly lower than my stated range (lower than my current salary)...and expect me to accept, "But we give you free food!"...then get upset when I tell them there's no chance I can accept an offer less than my range, and get a call from their upper management telling me "This is not the level of respect we expect from our candidates".

Seriously. Companies these days are used to people practically begging them for a job. If you don't need the job (FU Money ForTheWin!), and you know your worth, don't fall for their tricks. This is seriously one of those situations where having money puts you in a position to make even more money. I've got companies to increase their offer by 95%+ by negotiating and refusing to accept anything less.

Read "The Power of Quitting" by the MadFientist. Really opened my eyes.

LOL.

"And this is not the level of respect I expect from my employer. Goodbye."

conpewter

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2016, 07:42:28 AM »
Agreed on never giving your salary, I screwed myself over at least once by doing that.  I just tell them I'm looking for something in the range of $XXX-$XXX, knowing that the lower number is what they'd likely offer me.  If you are good at your job and you are in the tech industry you can get paid very well, you just have to also learn to be assertive, which has taken time for me but paid off in spades.

Jouer

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2016, 10:21:34 AM »
I also work from home. There is a real $$ benefit of doing so - cost of commuting, eating lunches (maybe not for MMMs), clothing, car mileage, tax breaks, etc.) Then there is the job satisfaction piece - I wouldn't go back to working in a corporate office for a measly $10k increase, for instance. Maybe $20k and some kickass perks.

All this to say, my current salary is 100% irrelevant to any recruiters.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Recruiter saying salary info is a hard requirement?
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2016, 11:07:48 AM »
I also work from home. There is a real $$ benefit of doing so - cost of commuting, eating lunches (maybe not for MMMs), clothing, car mileage, tax breaks, etc.) Then there is the job satisfaction piece - I wouldn't go back to working in a corporate office for a measly $10k increase, for instance. Maybe $20k and some kickass perks.

All this to say, my current salary is 100% irrelevant to any recruiters.

I simply wouldn't go back to going in every day unless I needed to. Having me nearby makes it so much easier for my wife to be a SAHM - I can handle lunch, I usually brush the girl's teeth, etc. - that it's critical to our lifestyle.

And with twins on the way, it's going to get more intense for a while...