Author Topic: Salary info when job hunting  (Read 788 times)

Villanelle

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Salary info when job hunting
« on: November 03, 2023, 04:52:06 PM »
As I've mentioned obnoxiously many times, DH is retiring from the military and will be job hunting.  Right now, he's just doing research, informational interviews, networking, etc.  Ideal start date is late summer or early fall 2024 so it's too early to apply.  But he's looking at a lot of job postings to get a feel for things.

Are people really supposed to just apply for jobs and een go to interviews (and we are more than willing to move, so these interviews could easily involve travel) and just hope that the salary range is where they need it to be?  That seems like a gross waste of everyone's time.  But almost no jobs list salary ranges.  (CA requires postings to have a range, so we've found some info that way, but a job in CA may pay significantly more than the same job in CO or NM or Idaho.) 

Is there no better way?  Glassdoor seems useless (though we haven't sprung for the membership level.) 

There's a company that is very actively recruiting him.  After talking to them yet again today, he feels that if he told them he'd take the role they have in mind, it would be his.  (They know he doesn't want to start until well into next year and have said they are completely fine with that.)  At what point, if any, is it appropriate to ask, "hey, is there a salary range for this job?".   He's not prepared to accept this role, and likely won't be for several months.  (He's also told them this, and they said that's also fine.)  But if the pay is crap, it would be nice to know so he can just move on (and they can, too). 

Is it appropriate to ask, during informational inverviews, what someone in a Magician 3* role typically makes when working at Hogwort's School**, if the call is with a Hogwort's employee (who may or may not be a Magiciann 3)?  (Not the actual job title he's targeting. **Not one of the employer's current on his target list.)

It's been years since I jobs searched and salaries ranges were listed.  And the ranges were small enough to actually provide meaningful information.  DH hasn't ever job searched, so this is new territor for both of us.  But he can be picky--we definitely have FU money so he's only  going to take jobs that really interest him and that also pay quite well.  But it seems like the only way to find out what they pay is to waste everyone's time applying and interviewing, and it seems there has to be a better way.  Any tips, guidelines, resources, or ways to approach this?

clarkfan1979

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2023, 05:16:21 PM »
When I was finishing up at grad school I mostly applied to faculty jobs to teach at different colleges. However, I applied for a few non-academic jobs and got one interview at a well funded non-profit in D.C. that did research studies focused on lowering the energy use of the average consumer. They did not post a salary range.

The job was to be the manager/director of their behavioral division, which I think was around 5 people at the time. It was a minimum of MA degree with Ph.D. preferred and 3-5 years of research experience. I was in my 5th year of my Ph.D. program and going to get my degree in a few months.

They told me that they would reimburse me for a plane ticket for up to $600 and they would book 1-night of hotel. I flew out on a Sunday and spent the night at a hotel on Sunday night and interviewed on a Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I did 4 individual interviews and one group interview. Before I left, they offered me the job at $65,000. I told them that I would have to think about it.

Because D.C. is crazy expensive, my number was $90,000, but I told them I would accept $82,000, if they let me teach one class a semester at a local college for extra money, which would get me to $90,000. They countered at $67,500 and I declined.

If I knew the ceiling was $67,500, I would have never filled out the application. It was a huge waste of time for everyone involved, but that's life. My flight was $550 and I submitted another $150 worth of receipts for airport parking, public transportation and 3 additional meals while traveling. They sent me a check for the flight only ($550). No reimbursement for any of the other costs. I was a grad student at the time making $15,000/year. I was kind of upset that the trip cost me $150. That was basically my fun money for an entire month.   

I got a call from a head hunter about the job 3-4 years later. Because the salary was so low they struggled to fill the position for 4 years. A few different people accepted the job over the years but no one lasted past 6 months.

I told the head hunter that I wasn't interested because the salary is too low. She told me that they "re-budgeted" the salary for the position. She said that based on my degree and experience they would suggest 120K, but I could negotiate it up to 125K. I was happy with my current job at the time, so I politely declined again. However, if they offered me 125K, 4 years ago I would have accepted it.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2023, 05:21:47 PM by clarkfan1979 »

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2023, 07:03:11 PM »
The contact and the employer might not answer, in which case you can decide what to do. But generally I don't see harm in asking. Especially if you phrase it so you're asking about a range rather than a specific number.

Ask a Manager says there used to be a taboo about asking before an offer, but now you can ask up front.

For my own part, during my last job search (2 years ago) I didn't talk about salary beforehand, but all my interviews were remote so I had no travel expenses, and I was willing to spend the time and effort even if it turned out the salary available was too low. Your post had made me think about asking earlier in the process next time.

Freedomin5

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2023, 10:48:39 PM »
If I were invited for an interview that involved travel, I would ask for more information including a salary range before making the decision to take the next step. Most of the positions I see posted (in Canada) include a salary range.

grantmeaname

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2023, 06:12:32 AM »
h1bdata.info can be a useful resource for large employers with useful job titles (e.g., not a bank where 5-9 years of experience is all Vice President)

use2betrix

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2023, 12:34:02 PM »
I get calls and emails about jobs quite regularly. If they want to speak on the phone and offer the details of the position, they can provide the salary range at that time.

If you’ve had more than 1-2 calls about the position, and none include a salary range, despite asking directly, I’d move on..

Nords

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2023, 07:31:09 PM »
As I've mentioned obnoxiously many times, ...
You’ll be really glad (and very relieved) when life finally settles down!

I want to start by pointing out (yet again) that nearly half of all military veterans change jobs within their first two years after separating. 

It’s not because they’re failing or getting laid off (let alone fired).  It’s because they’re winning.  They’ve figured out the corporate system, identified their networking strengths, and navigated their way to a better job for more pay and/or a better quality of life.

Are people really supposed to just apply for jobs and een go to interviews (and we are more than willing to move, so these interviews could easily involve travel) and just hope that the salary range is where they need it to be?  That seems like a gross waste of everyone's time.  But almost no jobs list salary ranges.  (CA requires postings to have a range, so we've found some info that way, but a job in CA may pay significantly more than the same job in CO or NM or Idaho.) 

Is there no better way?  Glassdoor seems useless (though we haven't sprung for the membership level.) 
No, don’t just fill out applications and wait for interviews.  That might feel satisfying but it’s largely busywork.

There’s a better way, although I’m not familiar with Glassdoor’s paid memberships.

If your spouse hasn’t already joined Linkedin’s Veteran Mentor Network group and asked these questions, then he should:
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4466143

VMN members can tell him the salary bands for his industry and some of the companies.  They’ll also describe the different compensation plans for a Fortune 100 MegaCorp versus a scrappy startup hiring Employee #28. 

If he’s seeking employment directly related to his military skills, then he could contact O-6/O-7 retirees in his MOS/AFSC/AQDs for their mentoring and referrals.  Even if they didn’t get along particularly well in uniform, they might be more professional in their bridge career-- and they’re definitely looking to hire people of known backgrounds & skills.  That tactic might also work with retired O-5s and O-4s who’ve been at it for a decade, as long as they’re senior enough to have the executive insights on mid-level compensation and hiring trends. 

If they earned his respect on active duty then they are likely to reciprocate when he contacts them.

As he narrows his informational interviews to specific companies (and possibly specific positions) then he could message other VMN members with detailed salary questions.  Their answers (all by themselves) will tell him something about the company culture and his potential fit.

Eventually someone will respond “Send me your tailored resume and fill out the corporate application here.”  That will get him a couple phone/Zoom interviews.

If he makes the cut after the calls (the interview process will tell him more about the corporate culture) then they’ll send him a plane ticket and reimburse his interview expenses. 

At some point in the phone/personal interviews he’ll be asked to specify his salary range.  He’s expected to do his own research (Linkedin/Glassdoor) but military servicemembers rarely have the experience or research to answer this question, so it’s all right to say “I can work with your salary bands for the first year or two, and that depends on the total compensation package.”  If it’s a big move he could also say “... and my relocation expenses.”  It’s even acceptable to negotiate the starting date or whether they’ll pay for an MBA, a PMP, or other professional certifications.

If he’s looking at a job with a security clearance then he’s expected to have all of that paperwork in hand and to be keenly articulate on the ethics hiring rules (generally six months after retirement, up to two years for a few programs).  It’s even better to have a recent BI/SBI renewal completed to give the employer a few years’ head start before they have to pay for the clearance... and since he’s saving them at least $25K by doing that, it can be negotiated in the compensation package.

There's a company that is very actively recruiting him.  After talking to them yet again today, he feels that if he told them he'd take the role they have in mind, it would be his.  (They know he doesn't want to start until well into next year and have said they are completely fine with that.) 
I’d be a little cautious about recruiters who announce “We’re hiring for this contract!”  Sometimes it really means “We’re collecting resumes of the awesome people we hope to hire after they impress our client enough for us to win this contract.”

He could lose a lot of time (and mental energy) waiting for the contract to be awarded.  Worse, they could say "We won the contract, but the terms mean that we have to lower our expenses."

He could even have a time-wasting “Thank You For Your Service” interview from a hiring manager who’s just scheming to meet their corporate diversity & inclusion guidelines. 

These situations are typically easily detected.  If they really want him then they’ll hire him now and move him around as the projects come up.

At what point, if any, is it appropriate to ask, "hey, is there a salary range for this job?".   He's not prepared to accept this role, and likely won't be for several months.  (He's also told them this, and they said that's also fine.)  But if the pay is crap, it would be nice to know so he can just move on (and they can, too). 

Is it appropriate to ask, during informational inverviews, what someone in a Magician 3* role typically makes when working at Hogwort's School**, if the call is with a Hogwort's employee (who may or may not be a Magiciann 3)?  (Not the actual job title he's targeting. **Not one of the employer's current on his target list.)
In general, they’ll ask him about his salary history first, and that’s when he gives the answer about working with their salary bands.

Some companies will ask (before or during the first couple interviews) “Do you have any questions for us?”  (Of course he does, because he’s researched the crap out of the company and the potential positions before the interview.)  That’s where he’ll ask about why there’s an opening, how much travel do they see him doing, will he need to work shifts/weekends, about the 401(k) or pension plan, and about the salary bands. 

The point of the questions is to get the company talking about their people, their culture, and their expectations.  He’s getting to know them.  If he hears phrases like “hard-charging”, “road warriors”, “base salary plus commissions”, or the dreaded “we’ll have to get back to you on that”, then their responses tell him a lot about his future work/life balance. 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 07:36:21 PM by Nords »

Villanelle

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2023, 08:48:16 AM »
As I've mentioned obnoxiously many times, ...
You’ll be really glad (and very relieved) when life finally settles down!

I want to start by pointing out (yet again) that nearly half of all military veterans change jobs within their first two years after separating. 

It’s not because they’re failing or getting laid off (let alone fired).  It’s because they’re winning.  They’ve figured out the corporate system, identified their networking strengths, and navigated their way to a better job for more pay and/or a better quality of life.

Are people really supposed to just apply for jobs and een go to interviews (and we are more than willing to move, so these interviews could easily involve travel) and just hope that the salary range is where they need it to be?  That seems like a gross waste of everyone's time.  But almost no jobs list salary ranges.  (CA requires postings to have a range, so we've found some info that way, but a job in CA may pay significantly more than the same job in CO or NM or Idaho.) 

Is there no better way?  Glassdoor seems useless (though we haven't sprung for the membership level.) 
No, don’t just fill out applications and wait for interviews.  That might feel satisfying but it’s largely busywork.

There’s a better way, although I’m not familiar with Glassdoor’s paid memberships.

If your spouse hasn’t already joined Linkedin’s Veteran Mentor Network group and asked these questions, then he should:
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4466143

VMN members can tell him the salary bands for his industry and some of the companies.  They’ll also describe the different compensation plans for a Fortune 100 MegaCorp versus a scrappy startup hiring Employee #28. 

If he’s seeking employment directly related to his military skills, then he could contact O-6/O-7 retirees in his MOS/AFSC/AQDs for their mentoring and referrals.  Even if they didn’t get along particularly well in uniform, they might be more professional in their bridge career-- and they’re definitely looking to hire people of known backgrounds & skills.  That tactic might also work with retired O-5s and O-4s who’ve been at it for a decade, as long as they’re senior enough to have the executive insights on mid-level compensation and hiring trends. 

If they earned his respect on active duty then they are likely to reciprocate when he contacts them.

As he narrows his informational interviews to specific companies (and possibly specific positions) then he could message other VMN members with detailed salary questions.  Their answers (all by themselves) will tell him something about the company culture and his potential fit.

Eventually someone will respond “Send me your tailored resume and fill out the corporate application here.”  That will get him a couple phone/Zoom interviews.

If he makes the cut after the calls (the interview process will tell him more about the corporate culture) then they’ll send him a plane ticket and reimburse his interview expenses. 

At some point in the phone/personal interviews he’ll be asked to specify his salary range.  He’s expected to do his own research (Linkedin/Glassdoor) but military servicemembers rarely have the experience or research to answer this question, so it’s all right to say “I can work with your salary bands for the first year or two, and that depends on the total compensation package.”  If it’s a big move he could also say “... and my relocation expenses.”  It’s even acceptable to negotiate the starting date or whether they’ll pay for an MBA, a PMP, or other professional certifications.

If he’s looking at a job with a security clearance then he’s expected to have all of that paperwork in hand and to be keenly articulate on the ethics hiring rules (generally six months after retirement, up to two years for a few programs).  It’s even better to have a recent BI/SBI renewal completed to give the employer a few years’ head start before they have to pay for the clearance... and since he’s saving them at least $25K by doing that, it can be negotiated in the compensation package.

There's a company that is very actively recruiting him.  After talking to them yet again today, he feels that if he told them he'd take the role they have in mind, it would be his.  (They know he doesn't want to start until well into next year and have said they are completely fine with that.) 
I’d be a little cautious about recruiters who announce “We’re hiring for this contract!”  Sometimes it really means “We’re collecting resumes of the awesome people we hope to hire after they impress our client enough for us to win this contract.”

He could lose a lot of time (and mental energy) waiting for the contract to be awarded.  Worse, they could say "We won the contract, but the terms mean that we have to lower our expenses."

He could even have a time-wasting “Thank You For Your Service” interview from a hiring manager who’s just scheming to meet their corporate diversity & inclusion guidelines. 

These situations are typically easily detected.  If they really want him then they’ll hire him now and move him around as the projects come up.

At what point, if any, is it appropriate to ask, "hey, is there a salary range for this job?".   He's not prepared to accept this role, and likely won't be for several months.  (He's also told them this, and they said that's also fine.)  But if the pay is crap, it would be nice to know so he can just move on (and they can, too). 

Is it appropriate to ask, during informational inverviews, what someone in a Magician 3* role typically makes when working at Hogwort's School**, if the call is with a Hogwort's employee (who may or may not be a Magiciann 3)?  (Not the actual job title he's targeting. **Not one of the employer's current on his target list.)
In general, they’ll ask him about his salary history first, and that’s when he gives the answer about working with their salary bands.

Some companies will ask (before or during the first couple interviews) “Do you have any questions for us?”  (Of course he does, because he’s researched the crap out of the company and the potential positions before the interview.)  That’s where he’ll ask about why there’s an opening, how much travel do they see him doing, will he need to work shifts/weekends, about the 401(k) or pension plan, and about the salary bands. 

The point of the questions is to get the company talking about their people, their culture, and their expectations.  He’s getting to know them.  If he hears phrases like “hard-charging”, “road warriors”, “base salary plus commissions”, or the dreaded “we’ll have to get back to you on that”, then their responses tell him a lot about his future work/life balance.


As always, thanks for the great info.  he did reach out to VMN a couple times and never heard back once it got to the mentor stage (if I'm recalling the details correctly), but he is working with a mentor from ACP.  Maybe I'll nudge him back to trying again with VPN.

He's narrowed down to a list of about 15 companies and those are where he's pursing his informational interviews.  I'd say he's done abotu half a dozen of those at this point, and is working on more. 

To clarify, it's not a general recruiter he's been talking to about this job.  It's a specific company recruiting him.  He's definitely not putting all his eggs in that basket though.  (And he's currently torn between SITA/SME work or program management type stuff, trying to decide which is a better fit.) 

It sounds like maybe he needs to be more open about salary during these informational interviews (which are with people in his target 15 companies, found through connections or the ACP mentor).  I tihnk he feels awkward saying, "So, friend-of-friend or person I only kinda know, what's the pay range for a Magician 3  at your company."  He's says he's been fine chatting about whether they like the culture and what they do and all that, but has felt awkward asking about money, even in generalities. 

Tass

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2023, 09:05:46 AM »
CA requires postings to have a range, so we've found some info that way, but a job in CA may pay significantly more than the same job in CO or NM or Idaho.

Colorado also requires this, as of about 2022.

DeepEllumStache

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2023, 09:07:05 AM »
It sounds like maybe he needs to be more open about salary during these informational interviews (which are with people in his target 15 companies, found through connections or the ACP mentor).  I tihnk he feels awkward saying, "So, friend-of-friend or person I only kinda know, what's the pay range for a Magician 3  at your company."  He's says he's been fine chatting about whether they like the culture and what they do and all that, but has felt awkward asking about money, even in generalities.

If any of these are larger corporations with very defined titles, it's not a very forward question at all but mostly because the ranges are absurd and well published - we had some that had a $100K difference between low to high. Every job posting showed the range of that role, every raise letter I received showed me the range, etc. It was information I was extremely comfortable talking to people about since it would help them better position themselves within the various titles (if they offer title x or y, push for title y because the range is better).

AskAManager is a great resource on dialogues to approach that type of discussion. He'll save himself a lot of annoyance having those discussions in the informational interviews so he has context when he gets to the offer stage - how much wiggle room there is in the offer, are they lowballing, etc.

Nords

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2023, 12:45:09 PM »
As always, thanks for the great info.  he did reach out to VMN a couple times and never heard back once it got to the mentor stage (if I'm recalling the details correctly), but he is working with a mentor from ACP.  Maybe I'll nudge him back to trying again with VPN.
ACP is good!  Maybe that's all he'll want/need.

If he never got a response to his first attempt at VMN, I doubt it's about him.  If he tries again he might also get a response from people who've joined VMN since his last attempt.

It sounds like maybe he needs to be more open about salary during these informational interviews (which are with people in his target 15 companies, found through connections or the ACP mentor).  I tihnk he feels awkward saying, "So, friend-of-friend or person I only kinda know, what's the pay range for a Magician 3  at your company."  He's says he's been fine chatting about whether they like the culture and what they do and all that, but has felt awkward asking about money, even in generalities.
It could also be couched as "If I find myself in an interview with your hiring managers and they ask me about my salary history, what's the range for your Magician 3 level?  I don't want to waste anyone's time with unreasonable numbers."

Frankly, I can't figure out the corporate culture about discussing salaries.  I've seen & heard from companies where they never talk salary among teams or departments, and other companies (mostly smaller) where everyone's compensation is public knowledge.  It makes the military pay tables look great by comparison.

I think there's still a lot of leeway given to servicemembers who ask questions about pay & benefits, even though that question might normally be considered awkward (or even ignorant) from people who've been in that industry since they graduated from school.

Lalalauren

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Re: Salary info when job hunting
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2023, 08:39:42 AM »
I’ve had my fair share of interviews with different companies. At each one there is an HR screening interview. At that interview it is typical that the HR rep asks what my salary requirements are. I generally turn the question on them and indicate that my salary requirement will depend on the job requirements, but that I do want to make sure that their range would be enough for me to move on in the job interview stages. I then request if they’d be able to share the range for the position they’re hiring for. I have never been told no, because each role has a budget. If they’re unwilling to tell me and they want to move me into the next stages, I would imagine trying to ask again letting them know your concerns regarding time investment and making sure all would be able to align on something if said offer is extended.