I’ve been reading your posts about employers that won’t continue an interview if you won’t disclose your salary. (Goodbye to low-ball salary offers.) And I love the comments from people who see right through what HR is doing! Just how does anyone in HR justify this demand for private information?
Nick’s Quick Reply
I have a standing challenge to anyone that works in HR: Give me one good reason why you need to know a job applicant’s current salary.
Many have tried, but no one can deliver a good reason, because there isn’t one. (If you work in HR and want to take your best shot, please post your response in the comments section below.)
But I’ll let an HR manager answer your question. She upbraids me for telling job applicants not to disclose their salary in a job interview. This is such a bold admission that I quote it in Keep Your Salary Under Wraps.
“Employers want your salary information because they believe that if you apply for a job that starts at $50,000, but you made $30,000 in the same sort of job at your last company, they’d be overpaying. They’d want the opportunity to buy you for $35,000 to start, saving them $15,000.
“The HR person who does that gets many kudos for their shopping moxie from their boss, and gets to keep their job and go on many more shopping trips.
“I’ve been a vice president of HR, a recruiter, a labor negotiator and a candidate, so I know from which I speak [sic]… I am so dismayed that someone pays you to hand out this kind of information.”
You can’t make up stuff like this.
The trouble is, you can’t make these kinds of HR managers go away, either.
I repeat my challenge. Give me one good reason why HR needs to know a job applicant’s salary. Bring it on.