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Discussion on: β€œWhat is your current salary?” is a red flag that you don’t want to work here

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gwutama profile image
Galuh Utama • Edited on

Here’s how I do it instead, which I think is more elegant.

Recruiter: so, you’re asking for xxx Euros per year for salary. May I know what’s your current salary?

Me: Well, my asking salary is around where my current salary is right now, adjusted to several factors such as roles, responsibilities, know-how and experiences that I can bring to the table.

The idea is to divert the question to your skill and what can you contribute to the company instead of discussing what your current compensation is.

If the recruiter still forces you for an answer, just politely say that you won’t discuss it. At this point usually I already lost interest in the company anyway.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ Author

If the recruiter still forces you for an answer, just politely say that you won’t discuss it. At this point usually I already lost interest in the company anyway.

This is also basically where my red line was one year ago.

Since then I moved my red line a bit further after realizing two things:

  • That it was useful to have a criteria to filter out companies early in the process, so that I can spend more time on the good companies. The hiring process is like the honeymoon of your working relationship. If the company acts in such a gross manner during the honeymoon, how will it act later?
  • That if a company asks me what my current salary was, it probably asked it for all the colleagues too. Which means that some colleagues will be underpaid, just because they are bad at negociating salary or they used to be underpaid. Typically the female colleagues. I would rather not have this.