Calling Those In Charge of Hiring

I’m in the process of hiring for an entry level position. This is my first time reviewing resumes and interviewing.

In my ad, I asked for people to submit a cover letter specifying salary expectations.

Of the 30 or so resumes I’ve received, only 1 person has followed this expectation. Figuring it was entry level and the youngin’s don’t know, I sent out follow up e-mails asking for a salary level. No one responded, and the candidates were good. Have I intimidated them or is this a reasonable expectation?

I’m only asking so I don’t waste my time and theirs bringing in someone who wants a salary that I can’t offer. That being said, I didn’t want to limit my ad by specifying a salary, because we are paying based on an experience level. I wanted to judge experience and salary expectation in my review.

Advice please.

I always put that my salary requirements are negotiable. I hate that little game. If I guess more than the job will pay then I don’t get the interview. If I go lower, then maybe they get away with paying me less than they should.

Next time put a salary range in your ad, or put in the minimum you’ll pay noting that experience will result in higher salary.

From the perspective of the entry-level candidate…

As someone who recently got her first salaried job, I did a lot of research on this topic. There were lots of opinions, but pretty much everyone said: “you’re laughably retarded if you actually come out and state salary first; do everything in your power possible to goad the employer to make the first offer.” However, it would’ve been polite to acknowledge your request, if only in a vague way.

This advice worked well for me. I was given a form before I started the interview, wherein there was a box for expected salary. I didn’t put in anything. As it turned out, my expected range was $18,000 below what they actually offered me. :eek:

If you’re looking to weed out the ones that have an AA degree and expect a dotcom-level 6-digit salary, I’d think it’d be pretty obvious from the resume whether they have too high an opinion of themselves or not. Sure, they sell themselves, but there’s a difference between “I’m God’s gift to the world” and “I am willing to learn, I am a recent graduate and I will bring fresh ideas & innovation”.


This is good advice. So, if I worded it with the starting salary, but also put that salary is commensurate with experience, do you think that would discourage more experienced clients?

My fear is turning off a potential excellent employee if they think they won’t get what they want.

We’re a really small brokerage that pays above average, so I don’t want at all to give the impression we might not pay for worth. I just really didn’t want to waste the time of people looking for a salary way above what I can pay.

Should I specify a minimum and a maximum salary??

I’ve sort of been thrown into this! I’m brand new!

I hate applying to places that ask for a salary requirement. I’m afraid of either lowballing my offer, in which case I’ve screwed myself out of wages, or aiming too high, in which case I’ve passed up a potentially good job because I didn’t know my numbers were too high. What a nerve-wracking situation to be put in.

I daresay you may be limiting the amount of interviewees you get by not listing your salary in advance. Even just listing the lowest and highest numbers you’d offer would be a start.

I take it you haven’t got an HR department…

Usually there is a feel for the “market rate” for a given position based on industry and geographic location for which you can use to give a salary range. This range can be fairly wide (e.g. “75-125k commensurate with experience”), and in the case of a brokerage position, you can always put in the vague but enticing “+bonus” or “+commission” after the salary range.

This is my fear. I’m not so far away from the salary question that I don’t remember the stress myself.

The problem is that I was getting a lot of resumes from professionals clearly out of league for the job.

In essence, I’m soliciting green, so perhaps I should change the ad to say “salary commensurate with experience” and take a flyer on a good candidate that we can negotiate something beneficial to all.

LOL! We’re a 5 person office :stuck_out_tongue: I’m in the process of setting up a new team of which I’m the head, and this is my first hire.

I’m going to post my ad here and remove the company name. I’d appreciate any critiques. I haven’t got nearly the responses I need.

Although I’ve never really dealt with salaries as such (I’ve been a 1099 employee pretty much my whole life after college), I certainly would be very shy of giving a salary requirement. Heck, right out of college I’d have been happy with anyjob offering more than $25K a year. Entry-level employees, I think, haven’t been in the job market long enough to know the value of their work. I would posit that they either grossly underestimate or grossly overestimate their value. Now, after 10 years of work and knowing the market, I have a decent idea of what I what various industries pay for what types of individuals. Straight out of college (which I assume many of your applicants are) have no clue, for the most part.

Every career book or counselor I’ve ever consulted advises against stating your salary expectations. If you ignore resumes that don’t list salary expectations, you’ll probably be throwing out some of your best candidates.

I agree with what pulykamell says about entry level employees being able to value their own work. Also, you’re asking the applicant to buy sort of a pig in a poke. You described the qualifications and duties fairly well, but the applicant knows nothing about working conditions or benefits yet. In fact, he has no idea of the size of your firm, and that does make a difference to many people.

A couple of points that I think are unclear in your ad:

“Minimum high school education” almost sounds like you don’t want them to have done too well in high school – well, not really, but it does sound like you may not want candidates with postsecondary education.

“willingness to obtain a Level 1 insurance license within the first two weeks” – is the candidate **required to obtain this license within a certain time as a condition of continued employment? Every candidate is going to say “Sure, I’m willing to obtain a license.” I assume there’s an exam or other qualification involved.

Anyway good luck – you can only do several times better than the recruiter did for you.

I should make it more clear, I agree.

They have to obtain there level one in two weeks, with my help in training and does involve an exam. With respect to the high school, we seem to have a preponderance of people in our area who have less than high school. I wanted to be specific that this is a minimal requirement. I need to retool this, b/c I’m not trying to weed out the uni grads.

I am on board with all the advice so far. Anyone else?

I’ve done a lot of hiring in the past and actually have ads out right now for three positions. It’s always an adventure.

Remember, you’re doing this to find the best candidates for your firm at the lowest cost. I see a lot of folks here who are stating that they’d never give salary requirements as applicants and that they want the firm to state a range first. This is about the power dynamic in the interview process. First to state is at a disadvantage in negotiations.

Plenty of fish in the sea. I asked for salary requirements in the four ads I had out last weekend and most have come back with them. One of the kids who replied (they all seem like kids these days…oy!) wanted more than we budgeted but her credentials are good enough that we’re thinking about bringing her in anyway. It would mean lowering the salary for the other two hires but she’s that good on paper.

And some of the applicants! Agh! I want to shake them and give them some sense.

As for your ad? I found it a little long-winded but otherwise good for it’s type. Was that for Monster or something?

Don’t be afraid of the people that appear too qualified, either. People have criteria other than money, and you may be able to match those criteria: If you can find someone who is way too qualified but is willing to work for signifigantly less than they could other places in return for working somewhere that is just down the street (which you are, that’s why they applied) and being able to leave an hour early each day to have more time with thier kid–that might be something you could negotiate.

Well, since you asked. :slight_smile: It’s a small thing and a bit off the subject, but it is in your ad. I don’t have it in front of me now but there’s the word “candidates” in there that seemed to need an apostrophe–before the s if you’re talking about one candidate, and after the s if you’re referring to more than one candidate.

And there was a their/they’re/there mixup somewhere too, but that might have been in a post rather than the ad. Sorry I’m so obsessive about these things.

As for the salary thing, why not state your wide range, commensurate with . . . well, whatever qualities you’re most interested in?

Like everyone else, I also will never state what salary I’m looking for in a cover letter. This is standard advice in all job seeking books. Salary expectations can rule you out but they’ll never rule you in.

Why not read a book on how to search for a job? At least you’ll know what your potential applicants are reading. I know when I search for a job, I try to read a book on how to hire people!

When filling applicants for our department, we do not mention salary until the interview. We have negotiated higher salaries based on experience, but we can’t really gauge that until we meet the person. We don’t mention salary in the ad.

In our case, the salary is the salary. We don’t make any apologies for it, and if you can’t afford to work for that amount, we understand and wish you well.

We recently filled a position where one of the applicants was uncomfortable with the salary. My boss played phone tag for a few days, then figured if she had decided she could work for that salary, she’d be more eager to call us back. We hired elsewhere.

Your question is why people won’t show you their cards while at the same time you refuse to show your cards?

Should a candidate tell you that she wants $40K even though you were willing to pay $50K? Should she tell you she wants $55K which knocks her out of your range even though she was willing to accept $50?

You could specify three different levels, each with its own salary range.

Analyst: $26-$31K

Senior Analyst: $31-$40K

Team Lead: $40-$45K. Whatever its just an example.

If you are asking candidates for more info that you are willing to give, is that the best way to start off a relationship? You are trying to get these folks to work with you, not to con them into taking a salary at the bottom of their range.

I hated the ‘salary expectation’ question when job hunting. Of course I wanted to make as much as possible but I also didn’t want to price myself out of consideration. It’s a hideous guessing game, especially for folks who really want and need a job.

IMO? State a salary range in the ad, or at least the base figure with some latitude for negotation based on relevant* education and experience. Just laying it out, straight and upfront, saves you and candiates hassle later.

FWIW, I have absolutely no problem with stating minimum qualifications. If the wording seems too stilted just say something like, “at least a high school diploma or equivalent required.”

  • I tend to look very closely at previous work, no matter what is was, when winnowing through apps. For example, front-line service folks must be able to cope courteously with the general public. Someone who’s survived the trenches in retail, food service, etc. has a real jump on someone who thinks they could probably handle it because they really need a paycheck. Same goes for at least some track record of being able to handle jobs requiring precision, repetitive work, whatever.

This seems like a good idea. The problem I’m having is that I’m conducting the first round of interviews and my boss won’t nail down a specific salary range for me!

I’d like to put something like: Base salary begins at X$$$$, rising with experience relevant to the position.

I have diregarded more than one resume this last week based on 6 month stints at jobs I knew well, fast food, CSR, retail etc. There is one candidate who has no work experience since she worked for McD’s in high school, and in college. I’m considering bring her in just because she stuck it out so long. I did my 5 years, and I’ve got more than one job on that basis as a youngin.

It was for an internet hiring site. I thought I’d be as specific as possible given our last hiring experience . I do think it can be trimmed a bit.

Sorry for the late replies, it’s been a crazy week./end

As an on-again, off-again job seeker and also as someone who does hiring, I hate when companies require salary expectations. Salary is only one part of the package. If the job is great, there’s tons of vacation, and great health benefits, I’d take a lower salary. If I get a week of merged vacation and sick pay and terrible benefits, I wouldn’t agree to the same salary. It just ends up as a guessing game where you lose the opportunity to meet your interviewees face to face because you’ve ruled too many out, or your interviewees are already in a mindset of “they’re trying to screw my pay as much as possible”.

One local company posts a minimum salary and a mid-range salary for someone in that job title, giving you an idea of where you might start or end up at within 5 years as you gain experience. This might work better than minimum to maximum starting wage, but also gives the hiree a fair idea of where you are (after all I doubt you want them to leave within a year because they were expecting larger raises).

Post a range. I often won’t even apply if they don’t put up a range, because I tend to figure that the salary is embarassingly low in industry standard. I have a job now, so I’m not desperate. Failing to post a salary range is also a sign of a scam – something in a “new business”, i.e. sales, position would make me somewhat suspicious.