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  • #2249915

    Employers asking for job seekers Salary History


    by garym ·

    I am currently employed by a company that probably pays its IT staff in the lower 20% of the normal IT salary range. After a number of years of not getting ahead, I am looking for a move to get ahead.

    However, one thing I find is that many of the Hiring managers out there are always asking for your Salary history and it is even on their application forms.

    In one interview I went on the interviewer asked me out right why I was looking for a 20% increase.

    In my opinion, my salary history has no bearing on the job hiring/salary negotiation process and that one should be paid according to your skills and what you bring to the table and what the job market dictates is the current salary range for the position you are being hired for.

    My questions to you all are… Is it appropriate and alright to decline to share one’s salary history with a prospective employer? If so, how can you do it without creating an unnecessary issue out of it?


All Comments

  • Author
    • #3222372

      I never tell them that

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I tell them what I’m looking for.

      I aren’t trying to get them to give me a job, they are trying to get me to do one.

      This attitude sometimes upsets them, but it saves a lot of time, not talking to people who can’t afford me.

      • #3222581

        I like that attitude

        by chris_abiodun ·

        In reply to I never tell them that

        I like that attitude. me thinks I’ll borrow a leaf from this aproach.

      • #3219906


        by marketingtutor. ·

        In reply to I never tell them that

        Perfect reply Tony. Couldn’t have said it better. That’s why I’m self employed. I don’t need to have someone tell me what my earning limit is. I have skills and experience, and if someone wants it, its $70 per hour. Take it or leave it.

        If you’re good, and you set a reasonable price, people do exactly that. They take it or leave it. People are like that. You get the bargain hunters, and then you get the value hunters. I look for the latter. I could charge $80 per hour for my services and still have plenty of business to keep me busy. Wisdom sells at a premium.

        People will pay a lowly mechanic $55 per hour to fix their car. How much more should they pay to someone who will give them what they need to earn enough to buy two cars and a house?

        You set the price to what you feel your talent is worth to a propective client/employer. You’ll soon find out if its proportional to your skills.

        They ask you for salary history so that they can pay you as little as they have to when hiring. When they ask you about it, you can honestly hold your ground and let them know that you don’t share that information. They can pay you what they would expect to pay someone for the work your going to do for them.

        Asking salary history is like a car salesman not telling you the price of the car until you tell him how much you make per year, and how much cash you have in your wallet. Its a terribly inappropriate question that helps them get around paying someone what they’re worth.


      • #3275414

        Private and Personal

        by fredbrillo ·

        In reply to I never tell them that

        That kind of information is quite personal and private.

        Thats why the new question on this subject is something like “what are your salary requirements?” rather than “how much are you making now or in previous positions”. Thats really none of their damn business. I always ask the interviewer to share their salary information with me….or in a more professional tone, ask what the salary budget is for the position.

    • #3222327

      Salary history is kind of ridiculous

      by jneilson ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      What does it matter to them what your making, you have an amount you want/need to earn, they have an amount their willing to pay. It’s really funny to me that an interviewer would ask you why you want to make 20% more.

      • #3219904

        Why 20% more?

        by marketingtutor. ·

        In reply to Salary history is kind of ridiculous

        Yes, I agree. Its odd and even wrong for him to ask you that. A reasonable question may be something to the effect of “Why do you believe you deserve 20% more?”

        Though I must say I am against the whole salary history request thing in the first place.


        • #3276165

          I’ve never given my salary history.

          by jneilson ·

          In reply to Why 20% more?

          But I always state my required salary when inquiring about a job. My current position listed the salary in the ad, which is my usual criteria for submitting a resume. My boss isn’t interested in what I had been earning either.

    • #3222249

      Application Culling

      by thechas ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Years ago, I was in a hiring position.

      Even back then, it was common to get a couple hundred responses when we ran a help wanted ad.

      The company I worked for knew they were paying on the low side of the market. In order to reduce the amount of resumes we had to look through, 2 types went into the trash right away:

      Those who were already making more than we could pay them.

      Those who did not include a salary history or wage expectation.

      Why waste the time of the company or the applicant if there was no way you would even be able to pay someone what they are making in their present job?

      Most of the companies I have worked for have had strict wage structures. It was NEVER an option to pay someone more than the top of the salary range for the position. NEVER!

      Likewise, these same companies had very little money available for “merit” increases. If we could not give an applicant a decent raise to come to work for us. We knew they would leave after a couple of years with no significant merit increase.

      Yes, there are risks in letting a prospective new employer know your wage history in advance. Still, I am more than willing to take those risks as I have seen far too many resumes go in the trash for not including salary history when it was specifically requested.


      • #3220812

        My experience

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Application Culling

        Four years ago, I was laid off from a nice management position with great salary. I had been there through the .com boom and that was reflected in my salary.

        I had also done some contract work at a pretty decent rate.

        Then I applied for this job, at a much lower salary and position level. I wanted a full time position and some stability, and I was willing to trade off some income to get it.

        As part of the interview process I had to fill in a form, and it asked for the salary history. It also said in no uncertain terms that they would not consider an incomplete application.

        I had two good interviews, and then a third. At the third, the hiring director was honest with me about her concerns that I would not stay once the economy picked up. I must have successfully convinced her that I liked the opportunity the company and the stability it offered. She came back with an offer for a position level higher than the job was posted at, and I’ve received a promotion 2 years later.

        I’ve also asked candidates directly about the salary expectations because I know we are about a 50% percentile payer, and there isn’t much point in beating around the bush about it.


      • #3222522

        hiding something?

        by shraven ·

        In reply to Application Culling

        In response to your concerns bythe company about paying low and needing to cull resumes, the answer is simple. If the company has something in mind, what’s to prevent them from stating it? No, seriously? In your case the company has a limitation they knew was below par. Why should the onus be on the potential employee to demonstrate they’re willing to work for low wages? Shouldn’t the applicant be allowed to determine if they are willing to take a pay cut for whatever reasons they might have?
        Such a shortsighted, narrow-minded approach as your company took serves only to cull potentially excellent candidates and ensure that your stay at the bottom of the pool talent wise.

      • #3220215

        Employers risk losing good potential employees

        by sschafir ·

        In reply to Application Culling

        Go read any salary negotiation book. It will tell you that unless you really need a job then it is never good to put down a salary history and state that it is negotiable. Putting in negotiable is not an incomplete application and it doesn’t give up your negotiation position. The reasons you state are absolutely why companies want you to state your salary history. They want to get the talent for the cheapest they can. Nothing wrong with that but my job as a potential employee is to get the most money I can. That is the game and the first one to state a number is the loser. I would rather be ruled out and not work for a company that doesn’t appreciate its employees or potential employees than to work for a company that isn’t going to give merit increases and leave the only way open is to get a promotion to get more money. We all know these companies also have very little opportunity for advancement. So in the end, they will have high turnover anyway.

        • #3276641

          Put something there…

          by gsg ·

          In reply to Employers risk losing good potential employees

          I worked for a corporate head hunter. When the applicants put this information in their resume or letters, we always edited the information to read something along the lines as “Appropriate for position, experience, and local market.” You never leave anything blank on an application. Fill it with something. Also, it’s not appropriate as the employer to automatically reject someone who made more in the previous job. For example, where I live a house that costs $100,000 would cost $800,000 in certain markets in the east or on the west coast. If someone is coming from that market, with it’s higher cost of living, they could take a 50% pay cut in my area and be much better off. If the employer insists on knowing the exact number, I stand up, shake the interviewer’s hand, and thank them for the interview, but that I don’t think that their company meets my requirements. Remember, the interview is not just for them to decide if they want you, it’s also for you to decide if you really want them.

      • #3220052

        So I would work for that company why?

        by dockeryj ·

        In reply to Application Culling

        So, if I don’t put a salary history on an application or resume, then I will be turned down by the companies who want to pay me a fraction of what I am worth? Hmmm, what was your point?

        • #3275603

          The flip side of my point

          by thechas ·

          In reply to So I would work for that company why?

          You are correct. You likely would not be happy working for many companies that request and require salary history as part of the application process.

          By the same token, why should I waste both of our time interviewing someone that I
          a. can’t afford to pay what their worth?
          b. see no near term opportunities for them to advance within the company?
          c. can’t even give them an increase over what they are making now?

          Further, why should I ask my company to invest training and transition costs on a new employee who is not apt to be happy with the compensation package or wage growth?

          Don’t get me wrong. I don’t fully agree with, or like the system as it is.

          Most of the companies I have worked for have had strictly defined compensation ranges for each position.

          The specific company that I was in a hiring position for used a complex formula to calculate the pay range. The goal being to pay equally for education and experience level throughout the company.

          Only when a critical position was vacant for more than 6 months, was there even the option of making adjustments for the job market. Even then, corporate approval was required.

          As a side thought, providing salary history may not get you the job at a company that pays on the low end. However, it might help them realize how low their pay is, and help out the guys working there and the next set of applicants.


      • #3275439

        Dead end jobs

        by caverdog ·

        In reply to Application Culling

        I fully agree with your companies hiring practice of throwing out resumes that you can’t afford, and as you are in the lower end of the salary bracket, that would include employees who wanted to make industry average. When I have worked for companies that have tried artificial methods to maintain employees (methods other than competitiver wages), they have always been miserable places to work with many disfunctional workers. The writer of the original post seemed that he would not have been happy working for you (as he wanted his salary to increase), and if he can find a job where that will happen you will both be happier that he did not post his salary history. One of the only issues I can see is when HR and the technical managers don’t see eye to eye. HR throws away resumes and the technical manager really wants the best engineers. As long as your practices match your station in the industry, everything should work out to everyones benefit.

        Caverdog, CISSP, MCSE, CCSA (not cheap)
        I do earn at the upper end of my field, though I don’t have a h.s. diploma or degree (I’m 37 years old, so it doesn’t matter so much anymore). I’ve had several jobs in the D.C. area and I can tell quite a difference in mindset and accomplishment (especially effort level) between those who treat this as a career with advancement and those who find a niche to hide in. I’ve also seen places run by highly paid/highly trained professionals. I have much more fun in those places.

      • #3218810

        Salary Negociations

        by bchirgwin ·

        In reply to Application Culling

        When asked politely ask.
        Do I have the position? Are we in salary negociations?

    • #3220728

      Interesting question

      by zen37 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I asked my sister once about that exact question, she is a Human Resources Manager for a big company.

      She told me they use the salary history to set the potential salary they can offer a potential candidate. Since i was working, like you, for an employer that did not pay very well, i asked her what i should do when ask that question. She told me to simply say that i respecfully decline to answer the question, but i my salary expectations for the position is such and such.

      I used it once on an employer, he accepted my answer and they hired me with a salary increase of 40%. They did not know what i made before and they don’t need to. Just be honest and polite. Tell you what, if they insist on the question or wanting to know why you won’t answer, maybe you should start asking yourself if you should even work for someone like that.

      • #3220613

        Good Answer…..

        by jenny.mealing ·

        In reply to Interesting question

        I totally agree. I have been in the same position and all I disclosed was what I expected to be paid for the role. I doubled my wages (I was severely underpaid before however.)

        • #3219846


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Good Answer…..

          You also have to acknowledge the risk.

          Some interviewers would see the failure to answer the question as evasive.

          Much depends of course on how you phrase it. And much depends on how the interviewer perceives it.

          At my company, if you don’t disclose salary on the form that you fill out, you will not be considered. Personally, I don’t like it.


        • #3222451

          Your company is losing out

          by bill_vargas ·

          In reply to Yabbut


          You’re right, there are risks. The potential employee runs the risk of not getting the job and the potential employer runs the risk of not getting qualified workers.

          I suspect your company is missing out on a lot of qualified people. I have been in IT for quite a while and I know a lot of IT geeks. We talk about this kind of stuff all of the time (in between the heated discussions about what programming language is best and other topics of interest to techies). The vast majority of the everyday geeks I know say that they never reveal their salary history. This is especially true for the people that I personally judge to be most qualified. I guess they could be lying. But I suspect that most of them are not.

          I have interviewed with a lot of different companies and have worked for some of the best (e.g., IBM and GE). I never reveal my salary history. If asked, I respond by asking them what they feel the job is worth and whether they feel I am qualified for the job. That generally works to continue the interview process successfully.

          If they persist I indicate that I will be happy to share my salary history with them if they will share their salary history with me and they can go first. That has happened just a few times and, as you would expect, it pretty well ends the interview. You know, I’ve never met an interviewer or hiring manager who was willing to share his/her salary history with me. Imagine that! (It should give them a clue.)

          Since I have been able to get hired into interesting jobs at competitive wages thus far in my career, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by my reluctance to reveal the details of my personal finances (emphasis on personal) to a potential employer.

          I guess if the economic situation got dire enough I might change my view on this in order to get a job. We all got to eat. But with the unemployment rate at 4.6 percent, we’re not there yet.

          I encourage you to suggest to your HR people that discarding the resumes of people who don’t reveal their salary history is counter-productive to the goal of hiring the best qualified people to work for your company. You should talk money with someone after determining whether they can do the job and will fit into the organization.

        • #3220136

          Much as I would like

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Your company is losing out

          The policies on this are not made by my Local office (Canadian region) or by my business unit/division, they are made by corporate head office, and frankly I have no impact.

          When I took the job, unemployment in Toronto in IT was pretty high. Its changed now, but at the time, with a wife who couldn’t work, and my savings drying up, I didn’t really have much of a choice.

          I’ve been in IT quite a while too, over twenty years, and I know quite a few geeks too.

          This was the first time I’ve seen it in my career.


    • #3219755

      Completely Appropriate

      by home.matt.ellis9 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I had an phone interview w/Google and was asked the same thing. I politely declined to give them that information. I also asked what the salary range for the position was, and they would not give me a definitive answer. My hunch is that is a new trend in HR hiring practices because these types of things were never done before, in my experience.

      • #3276304

        Just a new slant on the same thing.

        by marketingtutor. ·

        In reply to Completely Appropriate

        The analogy I have used in the past is like going to a car dealership and them not telling you the price until you show them a tax return, and a bank statement.

        It isn’t a new trend, but basically its just one of many vectors potential employers use to pay as little as they have to for a position. To me, it also shows that the company practicing this screening method is not in control of its own processes, or it is intentionally engaging in predatory hiring techniques.

        Salary history should not be a factor in determining qualification for a position, nor in determining their willingness to hire a particular applicant.


        • #3275989

          My take

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Just a new slant on the same thing.

          When I hire, I’ve already had the job graded. I know what the max and the min salaries are. My target is often the 25% percentile of the range. That way I have room for healthy increases if they are merited. If I hire you at the max, I can’t pay you as a big an increase, and that is often a demotivator.Still I look at context – I might make an exception for an expcetional person (knowing that means a fight with HR).

          The salary question, and I hate asking, but its part of our process, is to see if it would be in the range. Its not so much as to pay them below the range – but to see if our range is reasonable for the candidate.

          Have I told a candidate that we can’t afford him – yes I have. If they made 80 and I can pay 60, they may say they would be happy with 60, but I might have my doubts. I would have to follow up with some more questions on that one.

          But ironically thats similar to what happened to me when I arrived here. Basically if I say to a candidate that our salary range is lower than his last salary, he/she should convince me why they want to be here – thats what I did (I wanted to get back into a software company, and I liked the vertical market)

          Have a screwed an candidate/employee because they were previously underpaid? No I have not. I paid someone about a 40% increase in their previous pay because it was the right thing to do. They were clearly working below their potential in their last job.

          By the way, I am not a nickle and dime kind of boss, and while my company doesn’t pay the best, I do try to ensure to the best of my ability that people are paid fairly. I do that because employee satisfaction is important, and employee satisfaction impacts customer satisfaction, which impacts the bottom line.

          If you cronically underpay, you get a higher turnover, and you spend too much time and effort in recruiting and training. I’m not interested in a company that short sighted, and I suggest you don’t want to either.


    • #3219712

      What’s ridiculous are firms that ask for your complete salary history

      by jfpsf ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I can understand asking for the applicant’s current salary. It gives the hiring firm valuable information, and allows them to taylor the offer. What I can’t understand is some firm’s insistence on knowing the entire salary history of an applicant. Knowing what the applicaant made two jobs ago has no practical application.

      Overall, I think this practice of asking for salary history really spread during the downturn in IT after the crash. At that time, those doing the hiring had all the leverage, and having the past salary information allowed you to give the minimum offer you could get away with.

      In a hot market like today’s, the market sets the wage you will have to pay, and past, or current, salary is not that helpful.

    • #3219678

      Salary history?? Some even do Credit checks

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I mean my credit history is important to me, but what does a prospective employer need it for?? My credit may be lousy because I’m unemployed, that’s why I’m applying for the job, I need the income.

      • #3219620

        Security is one reason

        by jfpsf ·

        In reply to Salary history?? Some even do Credit checks

        In IT, security is one reason they do it. The feeling is that if you have bad money troubles, then you are more likely to be dishonest. And in a lot of IT jobs, you have acess to confidential information. Some companies also feel that if you can’t manage your own money, then you are probably not going to be good at managing a job.

        I think the main reason they do it, is because they can, and everyone hiring likes more information. That’s why they google you also.

      • #3276164

        I have very little to show in my credit history

        by jneilson ·

        In reply to Salary history?? Some even do Credit checks

        I haven’t had a credit card in 15 years, I pay cash for everything and the only loan I have is for my house.

      • #3225926

        Check Credit History? Theft / Security risk

        by larrybell_20009 ·

        In reply to Salary history?? Some even do Credit checks

        They check the Credit history because the thought is that if you are behind on credit payments, you might be tempted to steal from the company to pay the creditors.

        It was either me or my wife that had the credit check done on them prior to employment, and I think it must have been my wife that found out that was the reason.

        It is like when you go to rent an apartment or apply for mortgage. They usually will run credit check on you to see your ability to pay rent on time or at all. An employer wouldn’t want to hire someone who might be tempted to steal from them.

    • #3222560

      Turn the tables…

      by briaf ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      When asked about your salary, ask the interviewer if they are tendering an offer. When asked what you are looking, know your answer; give them the upper end of the range you seek, and clearly pitch your qualifications in the resume the interviewer has in front of them. Clearly you don’t want to waste valuable time; get to the heart of the matter since they brought it up. Let the interviewer know that you will consider/negotiate a serious offer; but do not give a definate on the spot or in an intial interview.

      • #3220225

        Turn the tables…

        by garyq9 ·

        In reply to Turn the tables…

        My answer to this question is always a confidently stated $5000 less than what I am hoping to be offered for the position I am interviewing for.

        I wouldn’t be looking for a new job if I was happy with the current $$, and I am not going to sell myself short.

        My last job was a retail position paying $32k. I have no intention of telling anyone that! I told them I was on a base of $40k + $15k commission – because I wanted to be offered $60 – $65k for the job I am now in.

        The upshot is they saw that they would need to table a decent offer to tempt me, and since they obviously saw me as a good fit, they accepted my request for a $38 p/h contract – more than doubling my _previous_ (embarassingly low) salary – everyone happy.


        • #3276295

          To garyq@…

          by thelegman7 ·

          In reply to Turn the tables…

          Are you not worried about them calling your present employer to verify the salary you gave them.

        • #3276281

          Calling current employer

          by garyq9 ·

          In reply to To garyq@…

          Frankly, no – the same way I wouldnt expect any interviewer to insist on a reference from my current employer – talk about tipping your current job off to the fact that you’re looking to jump ship!

          What hasnt really been highlighted in this discussion is that the job selection process is a two way street. If you’re unemployed, you might take whatever is offered – but if you have a stable job that just isnt fulfilling (career or remuneration-wise) you dont have to turn up to an interview cap-in-hand.

          There have been several occasions in the past where I have gone through an interview process, been offered a job, and then declined the offer for one reason or another. ‘Look, let me stop you there – I don’t want to waste your time when it is apparent that your job / offer / skill requirement etc isnt going to be a good fit for me…’

          What we should be asking ourselves is – what will make me get out of bed for these people?

          The only question relevant to an interviwer is ‘what will it take to persuade you to accept this position’.

          If a company can fill their vacancy by putting a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the local supermarket, then my skill set and salary expectations are competing with people who will work for half what I think I am worth.

          Has anyone read The Grapes of Wrath?

          If you have to _hunt_ for me – via an agency or resume selection process, then I am worth something. I tell you what I want to be paid, you decide if you can afford that. We negotiate around that figure, not what I was being paid last week.


        • #3275538

          most employers now

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to To garyq@…

          will only accept verification of employment by phone. to request salary history usually requires a written letter, many wouldn’t bother with.

        • #3275893

          commercial in confidence

          by womble ·

          In reply to most employers now

          Employers by law are restricted in the information they are able to provide to others. As you will not tell someone details like this, why should your employer. If they have not correctly identified that person, and guaranteed that the information will be held in confidence, they would be putting themselves at risk of litigation if they did tell and it was not a legitimate request.
          In addition, this sort of information relies on a good relationship with your employer who is happy for you to pursue your career outside his organisation – how many people you know who would do this!
          The most that I see employers willing to provide is a written statement of service and overall performance, with contact details for further information – never salary!

          It is up to you to provide the information you wish them to have – you can decline to provide

      • #3220166

        Briaf, Like your reply!

        by ljkinder ·

        In reply to Turn the tables…

        Hi folks. Did you know that prospective employers can’t ask a former/current employer for this information? Sometimes, it is a way to confirm credibility. For example, if you say you are a director, IT and don’t make [n] dollars, the hiring employer may wonder why. I always take a check stub with me on interviews; and show it to the interviewer. Gets me to the next level of interview every single time. Admittedly, sometimes I am deemed over or under qualified based on salary alone. It’s business. Look at it this way: if your salary is low, they can give you 20%. If it is too high, they may not be able to. What is more important is steady work history, contributions, attitudes, achievements.

        • #3275424

          A personal choice

          by sschafir ·

          In reply to Briaf, Like your reply!

          I would not ever show an employer a check stub or a W-2. You have now taken the negotiation out of the deal. Let’s say they are in your range. Wouldn’t it be in your best interest to get the most in that range you could? If you show them any of that personal financial information then how could you possibly negotiate for more money. If what you are earning now is lower than there low range they may suspect you are not worth that much and pass on you as well. Although showing a pay stub may get you to the next level it more than likely will get you eliminated and also will remove all room for negotiation.

      • #3275558

        Excellent – some other ideas on turning it around

        by drowningnotwaving ·

        In reply to Turn the tables…

        Always ask for the names and phone numbers of three current employees with whom you can discuss the realities of working for the company. If they are not comfortable in setting this up in some way (perhaps meeting the current employees in the cafeteria) then walk.

        Ask them to prove how many employees actually get paid their full bonus. Or is the bonus statistically curved so that, no matter what you do, only one in fifty will actually get the big bikkies (just ask a Microsoft employee that one!).

        Ask how many actually overacheive and get paid MORE than their bonus?

        Ask them to prove the growth in salary for people in your desired job over the last three years.

        Ask them to prove the investment in training and education on a dollar or days/year basis for people in your desired job / area. Is there a minimum target for each team member?

        Ask if the management are aligned to the same plan and objectives as their team. Is there a scenario whereby management can make a bonus when their staff have ‘just missed out’? For example: by not paying performance bonuses to staff, can the manager meet their expense target and get paid a bonus???

        Even simpler – do they disclose (on a percentage basis) the performance and acheivement of the management team?

        (A good plan is where the manager is paid a weighted average bonus based solely upon the bonuses paid to her team. There is always someone in the finance group to oversee and make sure that the bonuses aren’t being given out frivolously, and thus the manager performance is based only upon team performance. Just watch them make sure you get every single tool you need to do the job!)

        Ask what percentage of the current management team have been hired from within or brought in from outside? This will give you a real understanding of future prospects (if, of course, the dreaded M-word is on your list of possible career objectives).

        Ask has the company reviewed the latest trend in outsourcing HR tasks to cheap Paraguayan labour and how does the HR executive feel about possibly moving to the rainforests to stay part of the team? Okay maybe don’t ask this one.

    • #3220217

      The ironclad rule

      by mdhealy ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      The ironclad rule is, whoever first says a dollar amount loses. So unless you think you really want to work for them no matter what amount they offer, try very very very very hard to postpone discussing money for as long as you can. But some employers do insist, in which case you have a tough decision.

      One thing NEVER to do, though, is lie. Never ever do that.

    • #3220190


      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Hell, after the .com crash I took a crappy sys admin job for 30k/year. Why a company wants to know what I made SIX YEARS AGO if beyond me.

      Oh and for those that are doing the hiring, you want my talent. I may be a jackass sometimes, but I’m a big boy and I’ll admit when I wrong. Hell, I’ll even say “I don’t know!” GOD FORBID an employee doesn’t KNOW something off the top of their head…esp an IT drone!!

      • #3220167

        I have to agree with you. :)

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to No!

        I agree with your post but that’s not why I replied. I wanted to say that I think very highly of people who will say that they don’t know something. It amazes me how many people will tell a blatant lie before they admit that they don’t know the answer to a question.

    • #3220149


      by dlayne1 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I simply will not supply salary history. It is a private matter. My own personal privacy is not worth giving to anyone for a job. I am fully capable of making a decision to accept or reject a certain salry level once it is on the board for discussion.

    • #3220112

      We Shop…

      by wmlundine ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      …what makes you think employers don’t? And obviously, you do not always want the cheapest. Anyone want an older model admin?

    • #3220064

      Imagine being on the other side of the table

      by songsan2000 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I was reading some of the replys, a few I agree, while most of them I see trouble. Been in IT/IS for over 14 years, starting off in the bottom and crawed myself to an executive and during the process has gave over 200 IT interviews.
      I never had an issue giving my salary history or check my credit. Perfect credit and nothing to hide. I never go to an interview unless I am happy with the salary/compensation.
      If somebody refuse to submit their credit history, their resume goes in the trash or the interview ends and I go to the next person. Reason is that if I allowed them to act this way, when hired they can also accept/refuse tasks they choose. Not acceptable.
      And for those that refused to answer the question and got a 40% more or double your salary at $38/hour. Just remember, the more money they give you, the more they expect. When you show the first sign that you don’t know what you are doing or are overpaid, out the door you go.
      My advice, spend 3 hours everyday on learning about your field. Within 3 years you will be in the top 5% of your field. Then you can ask whatever you want. So far my salary/compensation increased $20k-$30k annually so it is working.

      • #3220058

        Personal Information has no place in the hiring process

        by ken cox ·

        In reply to Imagine being on the other side of the table

        Personal information has no place in the hiring process. My credit score does not reflect my capabilities to perform a job task or even manage complex processes. My previous salary has no bearing on the job I am applying for today. If that denies me a position then so be it.

        • #3219973


          by ericl_w199 ·

          In reply to Personal Information has no place in the hiring process

          you would be surprised how much your credit score tells someone about you.based on your responce i bet yours is low.

        • #3276236

          839 FICO for me….

          by marketingtutor. ·

          In reply to accually

          I have stellar credit, and can qualify for >1,000,000 loans without a shred of income docs. I still don’t think it is an employers place to check credit. Credit records were established for lenders and people who offer credit to see how reliable a person CURRENTLY is in repaying debt, how much the float, etc.

          If the reporting was somehow tied only to those people who willfully (as though you could tell) neglect paying debt, then it might be a reflection on character. But if someone has a low score, you have no way of knowing the hows or whys of the particular situation. So you make a prejudiced decision on the persons ability to carry out the job, based on insufficient evidence of personal responsibility obtained from a credit report.

          I can imagine all those people relocating from New Orleans have some pretty bad debt situations. Now they come to California to get a job and some misjudging employer looking at credit report turns them down for a job because of what they see on “The Record”.

          Sorry, credit report has no business in the interview process.

          Previous Employers…Yes
          Credit Report…NEVER

          Anyone with a good credit report can be all for it. You know, the “What do I have to hide?” type of hypocrites who would have a VERY different view if they had a bad record.

          Just like the social security card was never going to be a form of unique national ID. Uh huh, yeah credit bureaus hate being a central location for obtaining personal info, what with all the fees they garner by charging to lookup a report.

        • #3275359

          What about DIVORCE????

          by justinsvalois ·

          In reply to 839 FICO for me….

          Divorce seems to cause HUGE strain on credit…. My situation? I used to have an 820.. Own my home, Own my cars, outright.
          My wife passed. My credit is arount 720 now. Losing that extra income alone was bad enough, let alone the emotional issues I deal with on top of that. 26 years old. I have a clearance. My company checked my clearance. Which Credit is used also. Im sure had I not done my best to keep my bills paid as best I could. I wouldnt have my job. That tells you something at least, While my bills may have been paid late during the last year. I paid them when I could and as soon as I could and I now have a job. Not to say I didnt want to give up at times. but I didnt. Things happen that are reflected in credit, and its NOT FAIR for any company to check credit, and not give you an opportunity to explain. PERIOD

        • #3275344

          Here Here

          by marketingtutor. ·

          In reply to What about DIVORCE????

          Yet another good reason why credit is bad indicator of personal responsibility. Imagine throwing a family illness on top of the rest of that, and it breaking the bank. Now you have even worse credit and an empoyer judging youbecause of it.

          A credit check just simply isn’t needed.

        • #3275984

          Yeah, and I’m sure Donald Trump has an excellent credit score

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to accually

          The man is probably up to his ass in business debts and his D&B and FICO score is not all that great, but then again, the man is a billionaire and knows how to make money. What does his credit score say about him, other than that he has debt up the wazoo from spending money to make money?

          Credit score is an assinine way to determine employability if you ask me.

      • #3220021

        No no no no no!

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Imagine being on the other side of the table

        If you request a credit history, even if I have excellent credit, it is NONE of your business. Why do you need to know my credit score? Are you giving me a loan? Credit score proves nothing other than people don’t know how to interview anymore.

        As for the rest, duh. Everyone I know in IT not only keeps on top of technology, but is usually a step or two ahead in some areas.

        What REALLY is irritating is that you lucked out and you are acting like it was all skill. Getting into those top positions is about 20% skill, 30% politics, and 50% pure luck.

        • #3219971


          by ericl_w199 ·

          In reply to No no no no no!

          credit scores tell a lot about people and if you think im wrong just ask your insurance,power,phone company since they all use your score to determin a lot of be willing to bet you have a low score.

        • #3219915

          Not being funny but the scariest thing to credit

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to again

          companies is them not finding a history.
          I’ve been refused credit twice both times they spelt my name wrong.

          Did you just join up to insult people by the way?

        • #3276232

          You are ignorant for sure

          by marketingtutor. ·

          In reply to again

          You seem to know a lot about what all these organizations use this info for. Well Mr. Smart-A##, when you say they use it for a LOT of things, please, I would like you to list a few of them here to enlighten all of us with your superior knowledge. C’mon, inform us all.

          I work with these kinds of companies, and policy is strictly that it is used to determine the reliability of a borrower. And, by the way, it is illegal in Maryland and Washington (with a host of states coming on board now too) for insurance companies to calculate your premium using ANY information obtained from your credit report. They can require you pay up front for coverage if you have bad credit, but their formula BY LAW can NOT use any information from a credit bureau to calculate premiums.

          That is NOT what employers use it for. They use it to check if a person is “responsible”, or if the person wants a higher paying job to pay off some bills, or other personal factors which are NONE of the employers business. A credit report can contain negative items which may or may not be true, depending on what caused the negative items on the report. While its not illegal to deny employment based on the results of a credit inquiry, it certainly qualifies as a form of discrimination, particularly if your bad credit score is a result of circumstances beyond your control.

          Telcom and Electric only use the public credit bureaus when you have no previous record of doing business with them, and in that, they only use it to determine how much, if any, credit to give you, and whether or not to require a deposit. The don’t use it to decide if they will provide services to you.

          So in the end, all these companies you site, don’t use the information in the same way as an employer, in any way/shape/form.

          You’re not borrowing anything from the employer, so there is no reason for them to check your credit.

          That is WHY they are called CREDIT BUREAUS and not PERSONAL REPUTATION BUREAUS.

        • #3276200

          My credit score is just fine, thank you very much

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to again

          So what does my credit score “determin” about me? What does it tell the hiring manager that couldn’t possible found out in the interview?

          Anyway, if you are really interested and look at my debt, it seems to be a little out of wack. Why? I’m paying for my schooling and my wife going back to school. Yet, I magically manage to make my payments on time and have a clean credit record. So, what does that mean? Do I not get the job?

          The phone, insurance, and power company seem to have no problem with me.

      • #3220006

        Salary increases

        by garyq9 ·

        In reply to Imagine being on the other side of the table

        I know this shouldnt turn into a to-and-fro, but sometimes there are reasons you end up earning a crappy salary for a period…

        I spent 6 years on a stable, renewable 2 year contract paying $33 an hour… the job was gold – 3km from home, school holidays etc.

        Then my wife left – and to keep my house and pay her out, I had to quit the contract and get a ‘real job’ to convince the bank that I had a stable income. My annual wage went from $85k to $32k – and I was stuck that way for 11 months while lawyers, banks and the Family Court all decided what my future was worth.

        Then I had to present myself for interviews with a year of retail sales in the middle of a Network Admin’s resume.

        So yes, when I went for the current contract, there was no way I was telling them I was making $14.50 an hour in my previous position.


        • #3276293

          Perfect Example

          by marketingtutor. ·

          In reply to Salary increases

          of why salary history doesn’t belong on the resume. Its none of their business why you were down to a 14.50 hourly job. Of course, then they get all wierded out when you give them a resume that has time gaps in it.

          “Ahh, I see you were unemployed for uh… [flipping pages]…16 months…So…uh..What did you do during that time?”

          It seems the days are gone of hiring based on experience and aptitude. The psycology generation is about to take over, with political correctness and sensitivity weighing in and landing jobs for the “Perfect People” rather than the qualified people.


        • #3276276

          Gap in resume

          by garyq9 ·

          In reply to Perfect Example

          Well, there isn’t a hole in my resume. I put down that I was working in retail (selling network solutions). I _very_ briefly explain the circumstances – Divorce and Property settlement is usually all I have to say.

          What I do NOT do is tell the truth about what I was making in that crappy job. Instead of $14.50 an hour, I tell the interviewer I was on a $40k base + commission. Puts me just under what I want the new job to pay, which makes it reasonable that I would be looking to make a move, instead of desperately trying to jump ship and willing to take any offer…


      • #3219917

        You see trouble huh

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Imagine being on the other side of the table

        A wild stab in the dark here, you don’t like subordinates who disagree with you.

        No one gives their best efforts for someone they don’t respect, when your life comes unglued, it’s going to be messy.

      • #3276298

        Nice modified Brian Tracy quote…

        by marketingtutor. ·

        In reply to Imagine being on the other side of the table

        Your post is a load of Bull-S.

        “Reason is that if I allowed them to act this way, when hired they can also accept/refuse tasks they choose. Not acceptable.”

        Load of crap. You can asses a person enough during an interview to see if they are a deadbeat or not. Only a spineless boss does the whole “Here is a task, please do it?.?.”

        When they work for you, they don’t have a choice. Do what I ask or you’re fired. Pandering to an employee to do a task is utter nonsense. It doesn’t work that way. You’re just using that as an excuse to get the credit history, which is used only in the absence of discernment.

        Its none of your damn business what their credit score is. For all you know a family member had cancer or something and cast them upon bad times. Credit history is no judge of job reliability. Thats what references are for.

        “I never go to an interview unless I am happy with the salary/compensation.”

        We’re talking about employers who refuse to tell you what the salary range is at the get go, but are wanting your salary history in advance, to determine what to offer you. There will always be saps that accept that, but in the world of REAL business, nobody negotiates that way. Certainly nobody who is honest and knows what the position is worth.


      • #3275362

        Wow, Glad I DO NOT work for you

        by justinsvalois ·

        In reply to Imagine being on the other side of the table

        No offense, I am glad I dont work for you.
        I am fairly new in the IT field, though I have years of experience with computers and networks and doing the small business setup.
        I came to work here, my first IT job, and was not required to give a salary, but I offered it as they told me what their offer was first… Their reply. “Oh, thats not something we need to consider then.” This gave me the feeling that They were just curious, as I made a lot less then, than I do now. And While my company doesnt pay the best, I am getting valuable training and experience at this job. Anything I do not know, I can ask or GOOGLE. How hard is that? So To be completely honest, I can do just about anything the more experienced guys can, though it may take me a few more minutes. BTW info sharing is great at my job…. People keeping their secrets is not productive to a company. I love working here, and I am not worried about the pay. Im worth what I get paid and it is a fair amount in my eyes. However they left that up to me. Not to mention, they are very happy with my ability to learn new things and get things done. WIN/WIN

      • #3219402

        With regards to the credit history…

        by _itpro_oc ·

        In reply to Imagine being on the other side of the table

        in a perfect world, everyone’s credit history would be prefect and spotless clean. In which case noone would have a problem disclosing that information. But when things happen and unexpected emergencies ariase and you are unable to coupe with what’s come up,
        it would be a shame if something as personal as hard financial times would prevent me or anyone else from landing a new position 2-3 years from now. A little upsetting to tell you the truth. I can personally speak from experiance and say that I’ve been in that situation with my current employer of 9 yrs and have not once thought about doing anything that would cost me my job, just because I couldn’t pay my bills. What does upset me is being over worked and under paid. And to think someone could deny me a position for that reason makes it that much more harder to accept. Having a wife and 5 year old daughter to think about, doing anything to jepordize that would be foolish on my part. But my point is credit history should not make or break the deal.

        As for the salary history disclosure, I see both sides of the coin but agree that it too shouldn’t determine the pay for the job you are applying for.

        My 2 cent, which btw are my first in a discussion.

    • #3220045


      by jefferyp2100 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I would decline to answer. Instead, ask about the salary being offered and be ready to discuss the salary/compensation rates for the position. You should also know the salary range for comparable positions in your area, factoring in your experience, education, background, etc.

      You may get automatically rejected by not discussing salary history. This is an indication that the pay is probably too low (and you don’t want to work there, anyway).

      Look for a company that values you as an employee, not a company that wants to fill a position at the lowest cost possible.

    • #3276265

      That’s how HR takes advantage of you

      by georgeou ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      HR will try to pay you as little as possible and they know you’ll take a 20% pay increase if that’s all you can get.

      • #3276199

        George, I gotta agree with you…

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to That’s how HR takes advantage of you

        Yes, the four horsemen are mounting up, but you are right. HR will make sure you don’t get what you are asking for if they can see your previous pay rates.

        • #3276184

          After the dot com bubble burst

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to George, I gotta agree with you…

          I took a 25% hit in my contract rate, do you think if I’d have told them my old one they’d have matched it?

          Personally I have my doubts!

        • #3275829

          This is a sticky issue for me and it caught my eye

          by georgeou ·

          In reply to George, I gotta agree with you…

          I had to divulge my salary history before and I wish I hadn’t.

    • #3276234

      I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

      by drowningnotwaving ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      What planet, era and genus are you from, fool!?!

      Of course I have the right to ask you what your salary is. I also have the right to ask for proof of your educational background and I have a legitimate reason to ask for proof of your identification as well. Plus a whole stack of other things.

      This, in business, is called ‘due diligence’.

      And I LOVE the replies – get this:

      “Personal information plays no part in the interview process” ????????????


      The interview process is entirely, like 100%, PERSONAL information.

      As a director of a software company that has been extremely successful, I ALWAYS ask for proof of previous salary. That comes in the form of their previous tax returns or their previous pay-slips or whatever.


      It has been shown that 87% of people LIE in the interview process.

      The fact is that previous salary is one of many indicators of previous (perceived) value. But it’s a good one. For example, if I am interviewing someone who works for a company that I too used to work for, then their previous salary gives me just a little more indication of their perceived value.

      In the days when your age and years in the job dictated your salary I would agree that to ask this question is worthless. but today when salaries are paid in perceived merit, then this is as important a question as asking for proof of identification, proof of education and proof of previous work experience.

      And the key to a professional manager is proof. Just like going to a bank or catching a plane. They know 99.99999 percent of the people are who they say they are, but they still ask for the proof.

      If you work for a really bad company and have been paid a pittance, then you should be able to PROVE why you are worth more and then get the job.

      Perhaps though you could ask – is the reason you work for a bad company because you are, well, just very bad at what you do?????

      • #3276231

        Having said that, Credit history is not an ethical question

        by drowningnotwaving ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        Sorry I hadn’t read all of the thread. Didn’t see this one. In some countries (i.e. mine – Land of Oz) this is just straight illegal, let alone immoral and unethical. Same as asking about age, sexual preference.

        Or religion (or lack thereof).

        Good thing those pesky Muslims wear costumes – makes them terrorists so much easier to spot in the crowd.

        • #3276201

          But can’t you see

          by marketingtutor. ·

          In reply to Having said that, Credit history is not an ethical question

          that is why we need to sweep the lettuce farms, deport all illegal aliens, cutoff public benefits for all able bodied individuals, and have enforced labor at the lettuce field to force all of those waste-of-flesh-gubment-cheese-eatin freeloaders get their carcasses to work.

          Ooops, that has nothing to do with your post…oh well, take it as a paid political advertisement by TechRepublic.

      • #3276181

        Whose an idiot ?

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        If I preempted your question and asked you what the maximum you were prepared to pay, would you tell me the truth?

        If I came to you for your best possible quote for a some work, and then told you someone offered me it cheaper, would you lower it?

        If you were selling something, you’d got cheaply would you tell me the minimum you would take for it?

        You obviously do not percieve recruiting as a negotiation between equal parties. That obvious and abysmal lack of respect will scare off decent candidates. You’ll get sycophants and wimps.

        I have to prove my value, you have to prove you are worth that value. Based on the impression I got from your post, you most definitely are not.

        Does your company know of your attitude to islamics, that comment in your post would scare the crap out of me if I was your boss, you are a walking law suit.

      • #3276121

        Who’s the IDIOT!!

        by dlayne1 ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        Judging you by your own comments, I would gladly put an end to any interview with you. I would starve to death before I cowtowed to someone like you that wants nothing more out of life than to intimidate or deride others.

        • #3275582

          It just may come to that

          by drowningnotwaving ·

          In reply to Who’s the IDIOT!!

          Two words pal:

          Bangalore & Beijing.

          Now I guess a funny IT geek would say that’s three words. And that would be very funny indeed.

          But just keep on laughing when your job just got swallowed by one of the estimated 2 million IT graduates this year in India and China who speak English and come on line each year for the next few years.

          Starving before you get your next job could well be on the cards.

          Now, tell me the one again about how you or your colleagues deserve a 40% pay increase???

        • #3275576

          Do you work for Gartner?

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to It just may come to that

          Jeez…This train has come and gone. See, companies found out that outsourcing critical projects to India/China was a BAD idea because:
          A) The IP was stolen
          B) The project wasn’t completed on time or wasn’t what was speced
          C) Typically, you get what you pay for and that is exactly what happened

          Lemme tell you something, if you hire inferior labor, you’ll get inferior results and you’ll go out of business…

          So tell me again why you won’t pay for a 40% pay increase?

        • #3275568

          Umm I think you’d better recheck the data pal

          by drowningnotwaving ·

          In reply to Do you work for Gartner?

          You used to be right. That is exactly what the experience was. No argument.

          But the temptation of the cheapie was/is too big for some companies. Their question was not ‘yes or no’, but ‘how’.

          So the companies worked out that outsourcing is a bad idea.

          Not to mention all the jokes we used to say about code coming back overnight from Asia and the relative quality of it how it took 30 iterations to get something done and how one person in Boise Idaho could have had the job done weeks ago.

          Well start getting scared, pal. And from your lack of uptodate info, very scared.

          ‘Cos now the companies have worked out that if they don’t outsource, but actually build their own centre with their own control and put on the top floor their own maharajs coming straight in, then they can indeed get Suresh, Hamid and their friends at $200 per week and get something approaching reasonable productivity out of them.

          As productive as you or me? Well that would be impossible – you and I both know that.

          But controlled and productive and business-savvy enough that 3 Sureshs = 1 BillyBob. and I never have to give my IP to another company. Even if the equation is 6 Sureshs, in the long term for big IT shops it makes it a happening thing.

          One answer? Stick with small companies where the good old fashioned concept of loyatly, every now and then, may still yet exist. But it doesn’t really.

          The beautiful irony is that even Singapore and Japan complain about their jobs being lost to cheap asian labour.

          There is not a large corporation on the planet that hasn’t got a guy or gal on the ground looking to buy a building in India, Malaysia, the Philippines or China, set it up and get the graduates running hard.

          And if your company tells you that they are absolutely never going to do that – be very scared indeed. They are either lying or sitting on a time bomb.

          80 years ago your argument was identical in the car world, the electronic world, the building products world and on and on. We laughed about quality, the size, the funnily-JapEnglish user instructions and all that stuff.

          Pesky little buggers just learnt how to do it better.

        • #3275355

          Ah, so you DO work for Gartner

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Umm I think you’d better recheck the data pal


      • #3276066


        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        Dude, honestly, I’d sooner sell pencils on a street corner than work for you. You want to know about merit, look at what I’ve done, not what I’ve been paid or my credit score.

        A) It depends on where you live as to your pay scale. For example, getting paid $70k in San Fransico is like getting paid $50k here in Albuquerque.

        B) Did you work goverment jobs or non-profit jobs? Then, chuck off anywhere from 20%-50% of “normal” and that is what you’ll make working those jobs.

        C) I’m too old to play the “prove yourself” game. Look, either you want my talent or you don’t. If you don’t want it, fine…

        D) It’s been proven that 73% of all statistics are made up.

      • #3276056

        My reply

        by ed woychowsky ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        If someone asks if I could tell them my salary history my reply is simply “yes”. Of course they wait for me to continue, but I answered their question; I could tell them my salary history not would I tell them my salary history.

        If that’s not enough information for them they can Google me.

      • #3276005


        by why me worry? ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        I’ve had jerkoff hiring managers like you who thought that the world revolved around them and that it was their sworn duty to lowball every candidate that applied for their so called “positions”. If I were to ask you what your annual salary is, would you readily disclose it? Or how about what your monthly mortgage payment is or how much money you have in your IRA? You would probably go tell me to go “four letter expletive” myself because it was none of my business. With that in mind, why is it any of your business to know what anyone made at their last job? Of course people will lie because they have to try to squeeze every extra dollar from penny pinching bastards like you who would outsource jobs to India or China at a drop of a hat because it costs you “less money”. What somebody makes is no indication of his or her true market value because many people are grossly underpaid according to true market value and deserve to be paid more. As long as idiots like you exist, you will continue to feed the source of the problem.

        If you cannot be part of the solution, then you are definitely part of the problem.

        • #3275572

          Okay, let’s take a show of hands

          by drowningnotwaving ·

          In reply to HERE IS A BIG NEW YORK “F**K YOU” FROM ME TO YOU

          How many people in this department think they are underpaid, work too many hours, have to put up with unreasonable demands, who think the boss is a dick, his PA has too much influence and that HR have no role to play in the modern company, who have to deal with users who get in the way of good systems design, who think they’re worth heaps more and should have job guarantees?

          Oh, what? All of you? Gee, I didn’t realise the problem was so wide spread.

          Okay. No problem. It’s yours. How could we have been so insensitive? Here, have a vase as a sign of our appreciation of bringing this problem to our attention.

        • #3275567

          You arrogance and ego is why your company most likely sucks

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to Okay, let’s take a show of hands

          and you have a high turnover rate. Do you look at all of your employees as “employee IDs'” and expendanble resources? If your answer to that question is yes, which won’t surprise me, then you have answered your own dilemma. What separated good employers from egotistical jackasses is the sense of humbleness and respect towards the people who work for him/her. If your sole purpose is to lowball and expect stellar performance out of people who know they are being paid well below what they are worth, then don’t be surprised if they don’t give you 100% or jump ship, or worse, sabotage your system out of spite towards the company from being disgruntled. Ask not what we were making at our last job, but what we think we are worth. Personally, my resume and references should be enough information for any employer to see what I have accomplished throughout my career and am capable of, and what I expect to be compensated for my skills and expertise. I should not have to play the “prove it to me that you are worth xxxxx dollars” with a prospective employer because the way I see things, they need my services more than I need theirs. If they want quality talent and expertise, then shut up and pay up, or they can always get the H1-B visa foreigners who can’t speak English for squat and will botch up everything they touch, but hey, they come at a bargain price.

        • #3275563

          Hey WMW do you think you’re just missing the point?

          by drowningnotwaving ·

          In reply to You arrogance and ego is why your company most likely sucks

          Each and every one of us has to prove every single day the answer to that particular question !!

          In that respect my job is easy, because it is easily measured and is quantifiable, not qualitative. I either perform and get paid extremely well, or I am out.

          Every single day I am asked to prove my value to the company.

          If you have the relaxed position of not having to do that, then all power to you.

          I’m not exactly sure but I interpret the H1-B as meaning some type of cheap/cheaper labour from other countries.

          Can you see the inherent racism and jingoism in your comments? I got lambasted for a poor-taste joke and probably rightfully so, but sir/madam just read behind what you have just said.

          Are you so supremely self-assured and confident that the migrant / itinerant worker never will catch up to you? Never?

          And remember since you guys invented the internet, they don’t even have to leave their own country to be a threat. Are you still so sure they won’t ever be as good as you?


          Now that is an enviable spot to be in. Congratulations.

        • #3275522

          BTW — F**K That New York Attitude

          by davidclark9 ·

          In reply to Okay, let’s take a show of hands

          Seems to me that NYC used to define the US and the US used to define the planet. Dame shame, but things have changed a little. Sadly too, might I add. I wouldn’t live in NYC if I had a penthouse overlooking the Park.

          Wouldn’t work there either, but the US is still the greatest place to live work and prosper on this planet. The way we treat our employees isn’t always top drawer though.We are the most productive workforce but over worked industrialized nation on the planet. Thanks to the useless MBA’s and CPA’s who have completely screwed up IT for many of us, we’re not always paid according to what we contribute. As a manager,I think we’re a bit slow to hire and quick to fire. Credit checks should be banned except in instances where bonding or fiduciary concerns warrant it. In my opinion most HR departments are little more than over staffed enclaves looking for someone to spy upon or fillet. Never assume for a moment they’re your friend.

      • #3275411

        HOW MUCH

        by fredbrillo ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        Ok…How much do you make? I ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

      • #3275405

        My take on this situation

        by sschafir ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        If I were interviewing with you and you had this attitude I would not want to work for you. I am not referring to your thought patterns but your attitude. I have worked for guys like you before and when I have discovered it I immediately began looking for another job. I would immediately end the interview, thank you for your time, post on as many sites as I could, talk to as many IT people I know to warn them about keeping away from you and your negative, nasty attitude and how they would not be happy working for you. I am sure you have a high turnover rate and all the people working for your are looking for jobs now.

        • #3275885

          Actually . . .

          by drowningnotwaving ·

          In reply to My take on this situation

          Really, the only people who leave me and my company are unimaginative, two-faced, time-wasting, rumour-mongering folks.

          Oh, like you.

          Everyone else? Well, we work four and a half day weeks, we have a billiard table in the office, we’re number one in our (albeit very small) niche, we have our children in the office with us during the day, and we have fun.

          See, rather than 20% more money, or 40% or 60%, I’d take a pay cut to work in an environment that was a lot of fun.

          But you sound like you’d have to look the word up.

          So have no illusions pal, I doubt you’d get past our receptionist whose job it is to suss people out for their fun factor.

          You’re on the heap.

        • #3275839

          I give you the golf clap

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Actually . . .

          Not only have you managed to insult some very intelligent posters in a single thread, but you’ve also alienated yourself in a month!

          Way to go!

        • #3275796

          Darn it

          by drowningnotwaving ·

          In reply to I give you the golf clap

          Aw cmon JM laugh a bit out loud. They say it’s very good for you.

          Some people think these little fire-side chats are so serious (“but they mean so much to me !!!!” – but surely you realise they really are just the emotional equivalent of either a punching bag or a porn site or even both at the same time?

          Is it really truly all that vital, for the health of everyone’s anonymous & vicarious web conscience, that everyone else agrees or is nice and conciliatory in their manner?

          Are our techni-fake emotions really so techni-fragile?

          Is being ‘nice and conciliatory’ really the american way? I mean, I asked my good friend Condaleezza but she was neither here nor there about it. Donald and George were reaonably sure and, I have to say, pretty adamant about their take on the conundrum.

          I mean, the Big New York F–K YOU, now that was good and balls-ey. Slightly hysterical in content but way-to-go buddy.

        • #3218937

          I am not sure who you are replying to

          by sschafir ·

          In reply to Actually . . .

          I work in a very fun loving place where we have a fun on a daily basis. In any case, I might take a slight decrease in pay to work in a more fun place but not that much. You are much less in need of money (or so it seems) than the rest of us.

      • #3275329

        Remind me not to apply for a position with your company!

        by zeppo9191 ·

        In reply to I D I O T ! ! ! ! !

        Judging by your post, you’re definitely NOT someone I (and I imagine most people) could tolerate as a supervisor. The act of your starting your post by being so horribly demeaning was my first clue, and it went downhill quickly from there.

        Your statement that an interview process is 100% personal shows how little management training you’ve had. There are many, many PERSONAL questions you’re not allowed, by law, to ask. Chief among them is religion, but there are several others. (During a phone interview, you’re not allowed to ask about race, either, and even during a face to face, you can’t ask about ethnicity.) The reason for these laws is to keep the interview and decision process business related, and not tainted by personal bigotries and/or opinions.

        As for discovering lies in a resume/interview, there are other means to flush them out, without knowledge of their salary history. Even IF they disclose their salary history, how are you to know whether they lied about that? After all, it’s not something their previous employers will release to you without some risk on their part.

        I sincerely hope, for your sake, that your immediate supervisor can’t identify you as the author of this post; or if you own your own business, that your customers can’t, either.

    • #3276133

      Skilling and Ebbers probably had great credit histories!

      by white rabbit ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Now they’re doing 20+ years! Yeah credit rating tells alot about a person…

    • #3275991

      Checking background for criminal record is OK. Credit information is not.

      by why me worry? ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I simply cannot for the life of me understand how one’s net worth, credit score, or amount of debt has any bearing on the position he/she is applying for. Say that somebody made a bad business decision and had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to protect themselves from creditors. Does it mean that the person’s life and career is over because he/she is insolvent and a credit check will reveal that this person has filed for bankruptcy? It’s bad enough that this person is bankrupt, but being denied a job because of this is simply addint insult to injury to someone who is already in a financial craphole. I can understand running a criminal background check to make sure that the company is not hiring someone engaged in illegal or illicit activities, but a credit check? Unless the employer is willing to pay off my mortgage and credit card bills, how is it any of their business to know what my FICO score is and what debts or collections I have on my file? Like someone recently posted, I’m sure the former executives of Enron had stellar credit histories when they got their jobs. My take on salary history is no different than my take on credit checks. What one made at his/her previous position has no bearing on what the job/he she is applying for because it’s a known fact that HR and stingy hiring managers will use this information to lowball a candidate. I will not divulge salary information and if they are adamant about it, I take my business elsewhere where they aren’t so anal about stupid statistics.

      • #3275981

        Some roles….

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Checking background for criminal record is OK. Credit information is not.

        Back a few decades ago, I was laid off and decided to take a job with a stock brokerage firm, a role that would provide me with training and pay for my fees and exam testing. Totally non IT.

        I had to get a background check, a letter from my bank, and a credit check. Back in the pre computerized days, this took 2 months.

        This was a legal requirement.

        Similarly when I went to work for a courier company as an IT person, I had to become bonded – credit check, background check etc. Neither the employer or I had a choice.

        I’ve also been cleared by the government for an IT position – cleared up to secret. It included a credit check.

        But there are jobs out there that do not require such checks, and no one is forcing you to apply to them. In my case it was always in the job posting so I knew already. I chose to apply to them. If you don’t like credit checks, don’t apply.


        • #3275980

          I agree 100%, but many positions that don’t require it are abusing it

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to Some roles….

          because everyone else is doing it. I can understand how working for a Financial Brokerage House or Trading Firm in their IT dept can require a credit check to make sure they aren’t hiring someone with a known ID theft criminal charge or so, but for some rinky dinky company that has nothing to do with such regulatory crap to go crazy with all of these credit checks is completely unwarranted and going a bit too far if you ask me.

        • #3275974

          Rinky Dinky ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I agree 100%, but many positions that don’t require it are abusing it

          You can’t say that, they employed this discerning individual.

          Point taken.

    • #3275612

      Alternate View

      by thechas ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Here is an alternate view to consider.

      Let’s say that there are 3 applicants for the position. Assume that all 3 have equal qualifications and similar backgrounds.

      Applicant 1 is guarded about providing his salary history. And is somewhat offended by the question. He also has to be strongarmed before he provides his permission for a credit check.

      Applicant 2 openly provides her salary history. But, refuses to sign the authorization for a credit check.

      Applicant 3 provides a concise salary history, and approves the credit check. He lets the HR representative know the details about items on the credit report that might have a negative impact.

      Who gets the job?

      When you know that you are the best person for the job and you have no real competition, you can stand on all the principle you wish.

      When you are one of several qualified applicants, you need to weigh the potential negative impact that standing on principles may have on your prospects.

      The lucky few that are excellent salespersons may be able to work around requirements that they do not like and still get the job.

      For most of us, we either have to play by the employers rules, or forget about getting that job.


      • #3275574


        by drowningnotwaving ·

        In reply to Alternate View

        If, in the rare instance, you’ve been headhunted by the company, well you have a strong hand. Tell ’em you want a million bucks and your current payscale is irrelevant because you took a mediocre role to prove how good you were capable of being.

        Or if there is genuinely no competition for the role. Then you’re strong as well.

        For most of us, most of the time, it just isn’t like that.

        Despite some of the chats on this thread bemoaning some utopian picture where the interviewer and interviewee are on some level playing field, that may happen on an episode of Bewitched but it doesn’t happen in real life.

        I haven’t yet heard someone take the complaint further and ask why an IT professional should deign to be interviewed by a mere HR corporate overhead in the first place. Who has no concept of their talent or skill, and no chance of ever understanding the intricacy of what it is that they do. Who are they to judge?

        Ever thought that in the absence of technical skill, a valid way of getting just one aspect of the judgement of people may be to compare how others have judged them in the past? Like, “hmm, so, how much do you actually earn now?”

        Be serious – if this was the only real area of questioning, with no review of the hundreds of other aspects that make up a person and a role, then you’d stand up and walk out. That is your level playing field right and capability.

        But it’s just one aspect. If I have someone who is trying for a job significantly higher than where they are at now, then I have a duty to ask them why they think they are that much better? If they can answer that then all power to them and I would be suitably impressed. If they can back their answer with references to prove it then I’d probably pay it – it is a much better idea to overpay than underpay. Life has proven that time and time again.

        I’m no economist but I think I recall something about the free-market and supply and demand. If you beleive in that, then current salary must be seen as an indicator (and nothing more) of the perceived demand for you and your skills.

        • #3275354

          Are we talking real dollars?

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Exactly

          What does salary mean if you worked in NY, getting paid 2x as much as you would in ABQ? Does it mean they are worth 2x more?

          What if they worked for a non-profit or the governement or education? Your logic is flawed and your reasoning skill are subpar.

        • #3275782

          You want to bet?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Exactly

          I’d flip burgers, round up supermarket trolleys or empty trash bins, before I ever put myself in position where to get a job I had to jam my nose up someones arse.

          No one has got anything worth me doing that and I’m more than good enough to find an opportunity somewhere doing something to earn a crust.

          So if you are demanding servility as an acknowledgment of your superior position, you are s.o.l with me.

      • #3275398

        Missing the point

        by sschafir ·

        In reply to Alternate View

        At the least salary history plays no part in the negotiation process, it eliminates it. So in these 3 cases that would be the one factor that would level the playing field. Also although I have never thought about why companies should now ask for credit history, after reading many of the posts here I agree. A company does not need credit history unless you are in a sensitive government position or working for a financial firm. So eliminating this you would then have to make your choice based on your impression of the candidates and their actual skill sets plus what you thought of them by the answers to your questions. Wow, what a novel thought because this is the way interviews have been done for a long time until the mid-90s where we thought it was ok to check out every little aspect of a person’s life. I do agree on employment verification and criminal background checks but as far as salary history and credit checks, no thanks.

        Also during the 90s I made more money than I do now. Most companies would just ask what you wanted and would pay for it (I have been in IT for 23 years) because they were hungry for people with IT skills. Once the market is flooded with talent as it is now but will soon change as baby boomers retire and students are not seeking IT degrees because they are not as lucrative as they once were, then the job seekers will be able to name their own prices again. For now, the employers have the upper hand but in 23 years I have never been asked to verify my salary. I have been asked for salary history and either responded with a range or just not applied. It is not the potential employer’s business what I make now or in the past. And I certainly would not produce a pay stub or W2.

    • #3275494

      Non-Disclosure Agreement

      by tamannerud ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I have found that the best is not to inform them of your previous salary. Their purpose isn’t always to find out how little they can pay you, but also to see if you fit within the budgeted range for the position you are applying or interviewing for. Try instead to give an indiciation of what your assets are what you would bring to the company, and then give them the salary range you would expect. If you want you can also refer them to salary survey for your position and town – that would give them a fair range of what other companies are paying people for the same job.

      • #3274733

        Absolutely the correct answer

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Non-Disclosure Agreement

        I have always found that reply to be the correct answer. If they absolutely demand to know my past salary history, I reply, “I cannot do business with a firm that requests I perform an action which I know to be unethical and can lead to legal action against myself. Thank you for your time.” I then get up and leave.

        It isn’t worth the worry and the stress to deal with organizations that are willing to play fast and loose with the rules of behavior ala Enron, Tyco, etc.

    • #3275492

      Wrong Question

      by sysadmn62 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Sounds to me like you’re answering the question you thought they asked, and not the question behind the question. In my experience, that question is shorthand for “How little do we have to pay you?”, “Do you know what the salary range for this job should be?”, and “Is there something wrong with this guy?”.

      So answer those questions – “My salary expectations are …, and are reasonable based on …; I’m bringing these skills to the table, and it sounds like I’m a good fit for the job, and am excited by the opportunity”. If you really have to give your salary, don’t whine about your old company – it makes you look bad. Instead, focus on what you’ve done to grow – training, leadership, additional duties, and say you realize you’ve outgrown that company.

    • #3275462

      Employer seeking Employee Salary History

      by barbaraagreen ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Most employers of any size perform or buy annual salary surveys and set their salaries based on the marketplace for a particular job. If the market in Longmont, Co. is paying 20% more, then employers will have to offer the market salary or potential employees can continue to search for a firm that is at least paying market salaries. It sounds like the H.R. person you spoke with is not aware of this. Perhaps your answer should be “I’m seeking a 20% increase because that is what other employers in Longmont are paying.” You may be able to verify market salaries at

    • #3275435

      Lets get real here. Turn the tables on them.

      by rclark2 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Before I post, let me say that everyone needs to read the content, and try to recognize the spirit behind the post before going off on the poster. Some of the comments were not meant to be taken seriously. If you can’t laugh with them, then just laugh at them. Life is too short.

      Having said that. I got cold called by a headhunter one day. Wasn’t and generally am not in the market to change jobs. But I listened. The job sounded like a challenge. Internationally ranked company needed a CTO to drive development. Good opportunity, phone interview took about three hours, we hit it off great. But it was in the CITY. Not one of your big cities, but not what I like either.

      So I did the whole pro/con thing and looked at what I would be giving up vs what I would be getting. And the money difference was just not worth the stress of job change.

      So I called the recruiter back and told him that I would have to have comparable benefits and perks and faxed him a list. He wouldn’t even take it to the client because his client doesn’t negotiate policy with potential employees. In other words, salary is negotiable within their narrow range, but most people don’t stay or go for salary. They want child care, health insurance, educational assistance, and paid time off. Even parking can be a big deal in large cities. They were not willing to match my benefits package, and I wasn’t willing to trade my lifestyle for money.

      So yes, I tell them what I make, but I also demand full disclosure from them. I look at their 10Q and see if they are in trouble. And I talk to their employees. Are they satisfied, what is the biggest gripe about the company. What does the company do really well.

      An employer/employee relationship should last as long as the two are happy with each other. And it takes work to make a relationship last, on both sides. Be that marriage, employment, friendships, or even antagonists.

      • #3275426

        CTO , thats different

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Lets get real here. Turn the tables on them.

        When you are coming in at an entry level, employers want to keep things level. If you give one new employee something you don’t give the rest, they can complain.

        But the higher you go up the food chain, the more flexibility you can ask or expect.

        In my company, vacation is fixed and not negotiable. In others, I have heard of instances where people negotiate higher vacation up front. You are more likely to be able to negotiate that if you are a senior person with highly valued skillsets.

        Many younger people focus more on the salary than the benefits, because they don’t use the retirement plan, health benefits as much as they will when they are older and have a family. When you are older (and in a higher tax bracket) the additional salary may not mean as much as a nice perk.



    • #3275336

      My personal attitude

      by zeppo9191 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      I’ve started to refuse to give salary history, even when it’s requested. I’ve had potential employers ask me about the omission, and my standard reply (I don’t mind being blatant toward them) is that my salary history has no bearing on my skills and experience. However, as someone stated earlier, this might not be the best of models for someone just starting their career. I’d still advise you to refuse to give your salary history, but use a more politically correct way of explaining yourself, and only when prodded.

      My attitude is that if they refuse to consider me for employment, it’s probably not a company with whom I really want to be employed. After all, how many truly successful, reputable companies exist by only considering the least expensive route toward their goals, without considering other options?

      As I stated in my first sentence, this is a tact I’ve only recently (it’s a relative term – I’ve been around a while) started. In the past, I’ve been hired by companies that make it a habit to base salary offers on previous histories, and I’ve always been angered to discover that a coworker whom I respect (and sometimes even consider to be more skilled than myself) makes as much as 40% less than I. The way I figure it, if they’re willing to ‘screw over’ my coworker, they likely won’t think twice about doing it to anyone else – including me – given the chance.

    • #3275673

      Politely dodge the qustion.

      by tribeliker ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Tell them you think it is too early to talk about $$ and you would like to know about the position

      or ask them “Are you offering me a job?”

    • #3138059

      Employer Seeking Salary History

      by sabol67 ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      It has became the usual code of employers to know how well you are being taken care of by your former employer and why do you opt to leave. Im afraid if i frame the pay as big as i want,are they ready to pay ?.
      The truth about this issue is if you desperately needed a job there is no crime in telling your employer the salary history because one wouldnt know if this is what will disqualify you in the interview.

    • #3276372

      Who values you , salary history or qualifiation or exp ?

      by technowiz ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      Always an important question that the HR throws to anyone whom they interview. People who have stuck to the process and have justified it, do u mean to say the knowledge is quantifiable and intelligence can be put in a numerical form. In such a knowledge driven global economy , the company trimuphs with its innovation and identifying the pulse what is required rather then what can be manufactured or delivered by them examples Microsoft , Google and mostly all IT companies have succeeded by creating a new segment or being early entrants. I have seen ppl been given even 100% increase in first promotion and few who have recd. no promotions for quite some time , so how valid and justified HR was in selecting such ppl who they have selected and have been nothing more then liabilities or no value addition to the employer. The changein job scenario has been faster then the decision taken within the closed doors of top management. Not everyday is a sunday, so the whole illusion of past history being a template for current and future prospect is a total misnomer , it kind be indicative but not a necessity and requirement. Such a policy is decremental for company itself, since long term prospects seems grim.

    • #3222954

      There is a case where it can help the employee

      by fe ·

      In reply to Employers asking for job seekers Salary History

      We know that we are not always competitive in salary. We will ask about salary history, or desired salary range early on in the interview process to keep from wasting candidate’s time where we are too far apart. We will talk about the salary range, but that can be deceptive. In the case of a very highly qualified candidate, we will exceed the published range. We will not, however tell a candidate that for obvious reasons.

      Making the recruiting/interview process adversarial from either side will almost ensure a poor start to an employee/employer relationship.

      • #3222757


        by davidclark9 ·

        In reply to There is a case where it can help the employee

        From the get-go every employer-candidate relationship is a contest. You don’t know each other. Much is at stake. Do they want you? Do you want them? There’s always some bullsh*t,always has been,always will be. Few of us are as we see ourselves and we always try to place the best appearance foward. Unfortuantely we live in a time and place where business has become more and more explotative,even mercenary. Get more for less.
        My mother in law doesn’t understand why people today don’t ” get a job and stay with it.” Can’t tell you what I told her – I’d be banned.

      • #3219399

        Well if you’d have told me that up front

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to There is a case where it can help the employee

        I’d be stupid to believe you wouldn’t I. You might be a paragon of virtue, most other employers are not.

        Suggest you work on them first. 😀

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