So a job posting popped up in my feed reader. Typical jobvertisement, nothing out of the ordinary, but for some reason it bothered me. I read the following:
Competitive salary in line with experience and background
Seen it a million times. Standard stuff. And just below it:
* Salary requirements and/or provide a salary history
Again, standard issue HR-speak. But my potential value to this company has nothing to do with what I got paid at a previous company. Maybe I deliberately took less for other reasons, maybe I recently got a brain transplant. Maybe I, and only I, have the exact skill the new company needs and can find nowhere else. Why don’t they list the “competitive salary”? Because what the previous employee made has little to do with what they want to pay the next guy. Obviously, they’re just trying to avoid over-paying, trying to get me to play my hand first and underbidding myself. But we all already knew all this. It’s just the game we all play.
But this time, for whatever reason, it got to me, and I wanted to respond to the double standard, so I emailed the hiring manager:
I know this is standard practice and a common negotiating ploy to extract a minimum salary, but why should we provide our salary history while your company doesn’t provide the same for the position?
The hiring guy was nice enough to respond:
You raise a very good point. Even if it is standard practice to request such information, I do agree that it seems to be an unfair tactic, and, as a result, I’ve removed the “Please Include” section from the job listing.
Well, that was nice. Too bad the job is in Houston.