Asking Candidates Their Current Salary Is As Unnecessary As Asking Their Shoe Size

Asking Candidates Their Current Salary Is As Unnecessary As Asking Their Shoe Size
Asking Candidates Their Current Salary Is As Unnecessary As Asking Their Shoe Size

I shared a LinkedIn post yesterday which caused quite a bit of debate.

The post basically said that recruiters & hiring managers should stop asking candidates about their current salary and it’s as relevant as their shoe size.

By asking candidates their current salary you are anchoring them to their past situations and assuming that their current or previous employers got their salary right based on their skills and capabilities.

As recruiters we’re tasked with filling roles within a particular budget and salary banding.

If the role we’re looking to fill is £50k-£60k, does it matter that the candidate’s current salary is £35k if they have the skills and experience required for the role?

It doesn’t really does it?

Of course we always ask the candidate what their salary expectations are, that’s a given for all of the obvious reasons, but we don’t need to know their current salary.

All we need to know is that their expectations fit within the bandings for the role. We use our skills as recruiters and assessments to determine the candidate’s capability to do the role AND where they should sit in the salary banding. Again, their current salary is irrelevant.

That candidate who’s current salary is £35K may be massively underpaid, they interview, are brilliant and offered £55K because that’s where their skills and capabilities lie on the banding.

Bias and assumptions about a candidate are often made when asking them their current salary.

Assuming that because they’re on £35K that they mustn’t be very good because your banding starts at £50K, they’re obviously too junior.

They’re not, they’re underpaid.

Assuming that they’re greedy because despite being on £35K they’re looking for a massive 43% increase when they tell you their salary expectations are £50K.

They’re not, they’re underpaid.

Current salary is irrelevant, much like their shoe size.

Salary expectations are what matter.


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