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Thread: Lets talk about the importance of "Salary History"

  1. #1
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    Lets talk about the importance of "Salary History"

    I'm not in the situation, but I see it everywhere and just don't get it.

    I for one cannot stand the idea of including my salary history with my resume.

    A job is a job and should carry a cost. Let's say I was drastically underpaid in my last position and I made major improvements in ability, I shudder at the thought of getting my previous salary + 4% or whatever arbitrary number a company decides I'm worth only after they find out I'm looking for a job.

    any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    sho nuff partner i hear ya.

    my last job i was makin decent cash for a non-profit but after pickin up a flash certification and building some pretty in-depth flash stuff i knew it was time to roll out....i was able to pick up a sweet gig with a defense contractor who pay entirely differently than non-profits...funny thing is though is that one job who is still courting me is intent on (1) not telling me what the salary range is of the position (2) wants me to prove how much i made at my non-profit gig by bringing in a pay stub and (3) "compensate based on a persons experience versus the requirements of the position"....

    person's experience sounds to me like they're trying to build in today's rate on last year's goods...aint happenin in my book...

    the thing that fires me up is how they won't tell me even the RANGE. i almost, almost hope they say something that lowballs my new offer so i can be a little bent out of shape and remind them how if they told me this is how much the job paid then i wouldn't have wasted their time or mine and just roll out...

    but regardless i definitley know what you're talking about, especially switching sectors that pay so differently...

  3. #3
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Salary history is nothing more then a leverage tool for the company requesting the info.

    If it was low, then they're in, low-balling you with heady promises of x% more, and if it was high, they pass over and move on until they find a salary history more suitable for their needs.

    Why else would they ask? They not stupid enough (you'd hope) to not have researched what the going rate is for the position advertised in the local area. Everyone's looking for a bargain and this is just another way of uncovering suitable targets.
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  4. #4
    Monkey Wrangler monsterfx's Avatar
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    Personally, I always go with something like "I have always been paid a competitive rate for the industry and would be happy to discuss compensation during the interview process."

    In other words, if you want to talk $$$ you have to at least interview me.

    -monster.

  5. #5
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    right, what's no joke is when the company asks you to bring in a pay stub proving your last wage...

  6. #6
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by erova
    right, what's no joke is when the company asks you to bring in a pay stub proving your last wage...
    That is, in a word, pathetic. They should be more concerned with what you did and whether you actually did what you say you did, not how much you made.

    They're trying to find out if they have room to deal here - if your paystub is too high, you'll be out of the running.
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  7. #7
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    oh yeah i agree entirely.

    i tried to make that point too...i said that i wasn't going to consider any salary negotiations based on my previous salary for the simple fact that it was a non-profit foundation in even worse economic times than now...either way i'm not gonna take the job, but it's stil l humorous if you ask me...

  8. #8
    Monkey Wrangler monsterfx's Avatar
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    Originally posted by erova
    right, what's no joke is when the company asks you to bring in a pay stub proving your last wage...
    Yeah, they are definately cheeky ba$tards for wanting to see a pay stub. To me (and I'm sure we all agree), if the company is putting that high an emphasis on price over talent, skills, reliability, etc., then they probably would be horrible to work for.

    I understand a company wanting to get the best person available for the lowest price (that's business), but at some point, you have to be willing to pay a person according to what they are worth based on the marketplace. If you want to keep them, anyway. Of course, the businesses that want to lowball every employee are also the ones that don't understand the cost of turnover (i.e. - it's cheaper to keep a slightly more expensive employee than to keep re-hiring 'cheaper' employees).

    -monster.

  9. #9
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by monsterfx
    Of course, the businesses that want to lowball every employee are also the ones that don't understand the cost of turnover (i.e. - it's cheaper to keep a slightly more expensive employee than to keep re-hiring 'cheaper' employees).

    -monster.
    You and I and some others can see this, clear as day, but there's plenty of companies (I've been involved with a few) that seem to take a perverse pleasure out of paying as little as possible, seeing how long the employee'll take it, and then just hiring another desperate when the current employee says 'enough's enough'. You'd think it'd only happen with janatorial staff, but I've seen plenty of top people, who were well prepared to put out as long as the company offered a fair compensation, just get sick of it and they'd be gone the next day.

    You'd thing that the economics of retraining alone would make companies like this see the light, but the generally narrow-minded, short-sighted perception of middle management, equipped with the 'low overhead now, to hell with tomorrow, maybe I won't be responsible then' opinion keeps this bitter circle moving right along.

    Just so long as the payroll expenditure meets or beats the prescribed limits come boardroom time (smiles all around), and there are still enough warm bodies around to keep the 'same old same old' ticking over, there'll not be a dramatic change in the ethos.
    Last edited by hurricaneone; 02-27-2003 at 11:55 AM.
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  10. #10
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    a tuff situation to be in. i do web design on the side for fun, so i can't speak with any authority regarding this neck of the computer industry. i do on the other hand do IT for a large company. they do realize the cost of replacement, so i am (knock on wood) pretty safe. i also do networking jobs and some web projects on the side as well.

    i will add that i've also turned down a number of jobs. some reasons involved money, whereas other's didn't. for those that did, i gave them a flat rate, they didn't like it, so i said fine and walked. i won't dick around with that stuff.

    i have to throw in this story....devil's advocate thing ya know. i had a web development company ask me to fix their network. it was a $%^&*( mess! in any case, i gave them a price and the guy scoffed at me like i was trying to rip him off. well, i happen to know what he charged an hour ($120). i came in just below that. in any case, i asked him how much he charged for web design, but he wouldn't say. i then told him that i knew what he his fee was, so then perhaps we were both crooks. he didn't like it and told me to walk. he called me two days later after having gone through two other idiots that really cooked his network beyond belief. let's just say it would have been cheaper if he had taken my first bid.

    the point is that i've had web developers try to give me the screw. this is not a one sided issue.

    sb

  11. #11
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    i certainly don't doubt or deny there are knuckleheads out there who claim to know flash and really have just figured out how to turn a red ball into a green square and a quick alpha tween...employers definitely have to be choosy...

    in this particular job's defense, they also wanted verification that i graduated from college and wanted certification proof, so it's not entirely like i said "i want X amount of dollars" and then they came back and said "show us how much you used to make and we'll make an offer". another point about this particular instance (not trying to personally hijack this thread with my stories) is that this is a pretty big company, one whose parent we all read about almost every day about how its losing money, so i can be pretty sure they're trying to hire someone they won't have to layoff in a week....

    regardless, i'm in agreement with everyone else that salary needs to be based on what you do, not what you used to make. however, salary requirements can almost help a little bit, if nothing else to qualify what skill level you're in...before i rolled out of my last job i started looking at the resumes coming in to replace me and honestly some guys had MS's and years of experience and were asking 45 grand (in WashDC)...needless to say i had to think to myself "this dude must suck at what he does if he can't break 50 and he's already got advanced degrees and years of pro experience..."...at least if he said he wanted 80 i could tell myself, "well, this place can't afford him, but maybe if my [boss, supervisor, lead developer] rolls out, then maybe we can find out if this guy's available...."

  12. #12
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    yeah, i sometimes laugh at the college question. when i tell them i have three degree's they sort of sit in silence for a few moments. college has nothing to do with anything. that's a ploy employer's try to use to cut the wages down. the problem with that tactic though is that it can backfire. best just to keep the focus on the job at hand.

  13. #13
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    The Minister of No Crap

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    I have never been asked what my salary history is. That is crazy. They do not need to know that when hiring you and you shouldn't be forced to give it.

    Now, asking what you want to be paid, that's whole different topic.

    Scott

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