Disclosing Salary to Recruiters: Yes or No

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When you’ve worked your way through several interviews and the employer wants you desperately and will do whatever it takes to get you, you have the upper hand in salary negotiations. This is the time when you can squeeze extra benefits, shorter performance review times, longer or larger benefits on redundancies, car/telephone/health plans and so much more. The old saying,  “He who names a number first, loses” definitely applies.

However, disclosing salary to recruiters—and your expectations for what it would take to move into a new role—is different.

Hired to seek out talent by their client (the employer), recruiters know the job’s ballpark salary (with the expectation that it may be moved upwards ten per cent or more if the right person is found). Everyone’s time and energy can be saved by being honest because no amount of negotiation is going to double or triple the salary and benefits offered.

Here’s an example. Last week I spoke to “Fran”. She had just received a cold call from a recruiter with brief to engage someone with Fran’s knowledge and experience. Fran, currently employed by a US-based company and at the very top of her game, is paid exceptionally well—more than double the market rate. After pitching the role and establishing a skills match, the recruiter asked for Fran’s current salary.

On hearing Fran’s answer, the recruiter’s response was brief and definitive.

“Thanks for your time” she said, “I’m sorry to disturb you”. And the call ended swiftly.

The recruiter went on with her day appreciative of being able to cross one person off her list quickly, and Fran continued happily with her high-paying dream job.

This opportunity was never going to be a match and by being truthful, Fran saved everyone’s time and energy.

Are you a recruiter? Do many people try to keep their current situations from you? Or, if you’re a jobseeker, are you a fan of keeping information close to your chest and how has that worked for you?


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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.