What you need to know:
- The company’s financial capability is the top most consideration in deciding employee salaries.
- It does not matter how skilled the candidate is. The company can only pay the amount it can afford.
- Is the company looking for novel, rare skills? If yes, then you can make a good bargain.
I recently went for an interview and was asked how much I was earning in my previous workplace. When I gave the figure, the recruiting agent asked that I break down my personal spending. I declined on grounds that it was a private matter. It is now a month since the interview and I have not heard from him. Did I make a wrong move?
You should not waste your time mulling over the company’s indecisiveness. It is surprising that they requested such personal information pretending that they need it to decide how much to pay you. There are many other considerations they should have made to decide the appropriate pay range.
The company’s financial capability is the top most consideration in deciding employee salaries. It does not matter how skilled the candidate is. The company can only pay the amount it can afford. How critical is the role in relation to the company strategy? In the recent past, more emphasis has been put on digital skills due to changing interests and consumption. Is the company looking for novel, rare skills? If yes, then you can make a good bargain.
Internal equity is another matter to be considered. If the salaries are not harmonised, disgruntlement may arise as some employees may feel discriminated. Therefore, the agency should take into account your peers’ salary range. What is the value placed on the job by the industry? It helps to seek information from salary surveys done by experts that define the relative worth of the role and how it is remunerated in your specific industry as well as other companies outside your field.
Does the role require skills that are easily available or specialised skills? This is where the law of supply and demand comes into play. The agency should use this to determine the appropriate pay scale, not those unorthodox tactics that infringe on your privacy. What many candidates don’t know is that salary history matters and forms a basis for negotiation. Therefore, it is important to share with the agency your current salary and benefits. However, if you are underpaid, your current salary should not disadvantage you. Just sharpen your negotiation skills and conduct the discussion sounding desperate.
Send a polite email to the agency asking them to advise you on the next steps. This will reduce your anxiety and also allow you to focus on searching for another role in case this one is no longer viable.
Nation Media Group