How to Get an Employee’s Salary History (And Why You Don’t Need It)

My editor sent me a copy of this article by Alison Green, How to Respond to Questions About Your Salary History, and because this article is full of suggestions for job candidates to use to avoid providing this information, she suggested I write an article telling hiring managers just how to get this bit of information.

I can do that, and I will, but first, I’ll state flat out that I agree 100 percent with Alison Green. (If you don’t follow her blog, Ask A Manager, you should. In fact, it should be required reading for your management team.)

To continue reading, click here: How to Get an Employee’s Salary History (And Why You Don’t Need It)

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11 thoughts on “How to Get an Employee’s Salary History (And Why You Don’t Need It)

  1. Love it !! I am sure I was automatically disqualified from some jobs because I didn’t give up salary history. Why the heck does it matter what I get paid now, let alone 10 years ago?

    This ties into all that other stuff they don’t need either, at least in the beginning stages, like SS, my approval to check my background and so on when they don’t even know if they want to inteview me, let alone even 2nd interview me.

    1. Oh yes, I especially love the 10 years ago question. Seriously? Why on earth does that matter? Especially for me. 10 years ago I was managing the domestic HR data for a Fortune 100 company. Today? I’m writing about HR. The jobs aren’t even remotely the same. (Although, to be honest, I’d love to go back to my salary 10 years ago!)

      1. I’d love to go back to my salary 10 years ago

        Me, too. Which is why when I had a phone interview the other day and the recruiter asked what my current salary was, I said, “I work at a nonprofit. What range are you offering?”

        She countered by asking what I had made in my last corporate job. I was perfectly happy to give her that number because I want to return to that number.

  2. I read both you and AAM and you are both awesome. I love how you answered the question but did it in a way that will hopefully make companies re-think this requirement.

    1. I hope they do rethink it. It’s really a ridiculous question. Tell me what the job pays and I’ll tell you if I’m interested.

  3. Working for 25 years in the HR field, I have ALWAYS found asking salary history to be ridiculous. It is very easy to scare off a great candidate by asking a silly question, Most places that I have worked have a specific salary range for each position; asking past compensation will not change the range or the fair market value of a job. I agree completely that it is much more logical to ask salary expectations instead.
    I have even seen situations where individuals are willing to take a reduced salary in order to get a better quality of life for example (in one extreme case, a candidate took a $40,000 pay cut in order to leave a difficult situation.). Our favorite Evil HR Lady is dead on in this case. Any candidate should be valued on what he or she brings to the table, what monetary value your organization places on those qualities and what the general market rate suggests.

    1. Exactly. Why on earth does it matter what another company paid me?

      FWIW, I currently have writing contracts with 5 different organizations. 2 pay me the same amount per article. The other three all vary. 5 contracts, 4 separate fees. But, I don’t go saying, “I make $X at this place, so you must pay me $X as well.” I look at the work required, and give a figure that represents what it will take to bring me on board. It varies because the work varies so much.

  4. i just give them my salary history if they want it – who cares? if it shuts down the position then i didn’t belong there – simple as that.

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