When to Ask Salary Questions: Strategies for Getting a Better Salary

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Job postings tend to overlook one key detail: how much they pay.

High wages do not necessarily lead to great job satisfaction, Studies show. Still, everyone has to make ends meet – without a salary scale, how do you know if a job is worth applying for?

Compensation conversations can be uncomfortable and emotional, especially at the interview stage (this could be your new boss, after all). Check out these expert tips.

Why many job postings do not mention the salary

Withholding compensation information in a job posting is a “relic of a generation before,” says Johnny Taylor Jr., CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. Until very recently, pay was considered a confidential matter to be discussed in private, especially when you are at work.

Things change. Younger generations are aware of how limiting wage discussions can lead to wage discrimination and other disparities, and are much more willing to talk about salary with their peers. Still, the average CEO is 59, according to a study by consulting firm Korn Ferry, so it makes sense that this tradition continues.

Sometimes companies omit their salary details to save money, says Anna Bray, executive and career coach at Jody Michael Partners. If a candidate doesn’t know how much a position is budgeted for, it is believed that you might be able to fill a $ 100,000 position with a salary of $ 80,000 (so do your due diligence, people!).

Competition also makes organizations reluctant to publish their salary information.

“It can give insight to competitors who can take away some of their talent,” Bray said.

Create a range yourself

People apply for jobs for different reasons, Bray explains. They may want to break into a new industry, practice their interview skills, or find a job fast – any job. In these cases, it may be interesting to apply without knowing the salary.

You will always want to do your research to find out what the salary is could be able to be. Glass doors salary tool and salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are good places to start, but talking to past or current employees will give you the most accurate information, Bray says.

“Have numbers on what’s competitive in the market and what the market is paying for your services,” she says.

When is a good time to ask salary questions?

It can be tempting to talk about salary during your first job interview, but Alison Sullivan, career trends expert at Glass door, suggest saving money for the second or third interview, once it is clear that you are moving on to a job offer.

“Job seekers should start the application process with a game plan regarding salary issues,” she said.

Some online applications require you to include a desired salary range before you can even apply. In these cases, Bray recommends coming up with a range based on your research on the job’s salary, experience, location, and salary needs.

At this point, “you see what a valuable asset you would be, so it may be a good idea to wait a little longer,” she says.

How to start a conversation

Be frank but tactful, says Bray.

She suggests saying something like, “I see real potential here. I would like to continue the conversation. When do we speak of compensation?

If the employer is loath to the question, Bray says an appropriate return might be, “I have a good number which in my opinion is commensurate with my background and experience. I’m sure you also have a number in mind.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your salary history is indicative of your worth, especially if you are female or a colored person. In some places, including New York City, New Orleans, Massachusetts, and California, it’s illegal for hiring managers to even ask how much you’ve earned in the past.

“There are simple ways to turn the scenario around by asking, ‘What are the limits of the pay scale that you discussed with the hiring manager? “, Explains Sullivan. “If this range matches yours, you can recognize that your expectations are aligned. “

Ask if the salary is negotiable and if there is leeway with time off or benefits.

These conversations give a sense of the value companies place on their employees, Bray says. If that doesn’t match your needs, experience, and value?

“Walk away,” she said.

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