Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When is it an appropriate time to talk about salary?

Many candidates find it uncomfortable to speak about salary with a prospective employer. If you ask too early, it may be a turn off and ask too late, you both may be wasting each other’s time. Here’s where your sales recruiter comes into play. Part of our role is to act as go-between for the client and candidate. We always have the parameters of the offer and should know our client well enough to know the outer limits.

If you are dealing with a client blind; that is to say, without a recruiter, then the employer may ask your salary expectations during the 2nd or even the 1st meeting. Let the employer ask before you do. Your asking may come across as pushy and looking at the wrong things. It is always a good idea to find out what the market pays for your job and experience. is a site that I sometimes refer to. You can also consult government websites such as Statistics Canada. Knowledge is power. If you don’t want to box yourself in when asked your salary expectations you can answer “ my research has shown me that people with my education, experience and track record are in the range of X to Y”.

Prospective employers will almost always ask you what you made at your last job. Some people have a tendency to bump it up a bit. Resist the temptation because I have seen some employers ask for proof. Oops if you’ve lied!!

Give yourself some wriggle room or room to negotiate. Your number one job is to get the employer to love you first. This makes the salary issue easier to deal with.

If in the end the position does not offer the salary that you need, be polite and thank the interviewer for their time. You never know if there is a more senior position at that same employer. Be gracious, you never know.

Happy selling

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