The discussion of salaries can be a delicate one and it is important to position this dialogue at a timely point in the interview process. So, at what point in the interview process do you discuss salary? Beginning? During an interview? After an offer has been extended? Most companies will want to know upfront what a candidate’s current salary is.
The reason for this is so companies can ascertain whether or not they could make a candidate an attractive offer. For example, if a candidate is currently earning $95K and the position is slotted for a salary up to $80K, there is likely not going to be a fit. During the interview process, companies follow up with DW Simpson recruiters to make sure they have all the components of a candidate’s salary. Therefore, it’s important to keep your recruiter updated with any promotions, changes to your base salary, exam raises/bonuses, etc.
However, the question of salary is not a discussion that a candidate should typically address while in the interview process. If pressed, a candidate should say, “I’m looking for something current with the market,” or “I would like to learn more about the company and role before pinpointing an exact salary.”
We recommend this approach so candidates do not immediately rule themselves out based on compensation alone. Additionally, candidates should discuss with their recruiter what their salary expectations are. Large increases in salary and bonus are not necessarily the norm.
Instead, candidates should focus on the overall offer, i.e., the base salary, annual bonus component, benefits, 401(k), vacation and, equally if not more important, the long term career trajectory. All of these are important factors that help make an offer attractive; and, by focusing on the larger picture in total, a candidate will likely be able to make the most educated decision.