"Do I have to tell a recruiter how much money I make?"
"Why are recruiters asking about my salary?"
These are common questions, and entirely understandable if you haven’t worked with a recruiter before (or if you’ve worked with a bad one—check out our tips on finding a recruiter you can trust). If you check the internet for answers, you’re likely going to come across some bad advice. Scroll through online search results and you’ll see pages filled with people arguing that job seekers should refuse to share current salary with recruiters. What’s the rationale? Many people are concerned that a new job offer's compensation package will be based off the previous salary, instead of the value he or she will bring to the company.
That’s… just not true. Although we love to make money (#RealTalk), we wouldn’t be making much for very long if our profits came from using and abusing our candidates. Unhappy people spread bad news fast—and that negative word of mouth would put us out of business. Greythorn is paid (by companies trying to fill a role) a percentage of whatever new salary we procure for you, which means it’s actually in our best interest to get you as much money as we can.
The real reason we ask for your salary is much simpler: we don’t want to waste your time.
"I understand that everyone has a household budget, a commute, family duties, personal responsibilities, etc. that could put reasonable salary expectations at $200,000," explains Technical Recruiter Evan McCoy. "But if a company has only budgeted $80,000 for a role, no amount of negotiating is going to turn this into a match. Having the salary conversation early—and honestly—means we can avoid wasting the candidate’s time on opportunities that won’t pan out."
Sharing your salary with a trustworthy recruiter also means that we can work better on your behalf for non-monetary benefits and perks.
"When we know current salary, it allows us to negotiate the best compensation package possible," National HIT Recruiting Manager Erin Herda says. "Having the compensation information beforehand allows us to present an appropriate case to the client when there is a large increase in salary requirements, or if there are extra benefits that could sweeten the deal for the candidate."
Recruiters aren’t asking your salary so they can pay you less than you’re worth—we want to make sure you end up in a job you love, where you’re compensated well. So the next time you’re asked about your current and expected salary or total compensation package, give us a chance to understand where you've been and help you get where you'd like to go.
If you’re on the hunt for a new job, check out our current opportunities.