Let’s Talk Salary

I’m sure most of you know there have been some big changes in the last few months regarding the questions you can ask candidates about their salary history.

This is one of those situations where you want to be careful.  Asking a candidate the wrong question around their salary histories can cost your employer a pretty penny.  In some cases up to $10,000 in fines can accrue. If you haven’t already, it’s time to kick the “what are you currently making” question from your interview routine and look into finding some new ways of getting salary expectations for your candidates during the interview process.



The compensation conversation should be a two way street. So far I have found a few safe ways to start this conversation.  One is simply reframe your original questions around salary and try rewording your question so it’s acceptable. For Example:  “What are your expectations for pay if we were to offer you the position we have discussed?” Another safe way to talk salary is give a range in pay and ask if that is something they are willing to accept.  For example: “This position is going to pay between 80-120K per year based off your current experience level, would this range be acceptable for you?” I find when I ask this question the candidate will come back and tell me exactly what they are looking for. However it’s almost always at the max of the range I have just given to them, regardless of the candidate experience level so I try to stay away from the salary range option, if at all possible.


This new law has been put in place to help protect your candidates from any form of bias during the hiring process and to help ensure pay equality.  The reviews from candidates have been positive, but the changes are taking some time to get used to on the recruiting end of things.  More than half of the candidates that were polled from Glassdoor feel they should not have to disclose salary history when searching for a new position.  They feel more at ease and comfortable discussing salary on their terms as opposed to the canned ‘what you are making’ question.

As long as you educate yourself on the new laws and stick to questions that do not reflect a candidates current or past salary experience you should be just fine.  For more details on the law changes click on the link below.


By Lindsey Roundtree | People Science CSM [/optinlocker]


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