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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

That Awkward Moment


Everyone’s been there.  There’s really no tip-toeing around it.  That awkward moment when you’re asked for your salary or your salary expectations.  Do you tell the truth? Bump it up a bit? Give some long drawn out speech about your value, cost of living, fair market value and on and on?

As recruiters it’s a question we ask very early on, not because we’re nosey but because if we don’t know what realm you’re in compensation wise, we could be severely wasting everyone’s time.   

When you think about it, should it really be an awkward conversation? This is a salary that you accepted to work for, you made the decision at that time (for whatever reason) that this salary was acceptable, so why would it not be an acceptable salary to tell someone who is helping you find a new role?

There are usually a few key reasons for this:

·         You don’t feel you’re being paid what you’re worth and you’re hoping your next role will bring you up to the salary range you’d like to be in.

·         You accepted a salary that was a huge step back previously because you needed a job and this one came along first.

·         You don’t trust the person you’re working with and therefore cannot speak freely with them

Whatever the cause of your hesitation the conversation needs to be had, because it’s likely that you won’t be able to move ahead with anyone without having it.  So here are some tips on how to deal with it so that both parties come out feeling that they have communicated the information that they need.

·         Don’t make a big speech, if you took a role that was below the compensation you were comfortable with, say that.  Just that. And then follow up with the range you’d like to be in. “I took this role at $10 because at the time it was a great way to open up my market knowledge, however I am looking to be in the $15-$20 range for my next move.”

·         Don’t lie. You’re likely not making that much more or that much less than any of your contemporaries in similar roles and companies.  As recruiters we’re working with a large volume of candidates, so we’ll know if you’re way off, and then we will feel unsafe presenting you because we’re worried about your honesty. Don’t lie.

·         Feeling underpaid? Say that.  “I’m currently at $10 but based on my experience, my value and the research I’ve done on the market and comparable roles I would like to be at X dollars”

·         Trust us.  Trust is a two way street in the recruiting game, each person is relying on the values and morals of the other.  When you come to us and chose to work with us you’re saying “I trust you” and when we put you in front of our clients, essentially putting our reputation on the line, we are saying “we trust you”.

Whatever you say and however you say it, be honest and be concise.  We’re here to help you and our clients make the right match and find a role that makes you happy to go into every day, part of that includes compensation, so we’ll just have to get over that awkward moment.

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