The Candidate Walked Out: Why You Need Salary Ranges Upfront

Why won’t you tell a candidate the salary range for a position?

A candidate got up and walked out when one company balked, according to a story shared at Reddit’s r/aita group. The poster explained:

15 minutes in they had not talked at all about compensation so I asked. The interviewer told me that “it’s bad mannered to ask for a salary this early in the process.” I just smiled and said that I disagree and that I was not going to waste my time entertaining an offer if they could not compete. He tried to argue back that they were a startup and yada yada so I just did what I did before. Stood up, thanked him for his time, and left.

The hiring manager–who turned out to be the CEO–flipped out, and the recruiter was angry enough to make a passive-aggressive post about it on LinkedIn.

Listen, I know there’s a long tradition of holding off on salary information as long as possible. Candidates aren’t standing for it anymore. The concept is that you get the candidate so excited that they’ll take the job even if the salary isn’t great.

This is a terrible strategy.

To keep reading, click here: The Candidate Walked Out: Why You Need Salary Ranges Upfront

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8 thoughts on “The Candidate Walked Out: Why You Need Salary Ranges Upfront

  1. When I worked for a budget-challenged college, I started all my initial phone interviews with a compensation discussion. I told people what we could offer as we didn’t have the ability to negotiate. I also discussed all our benefits and then asked the candidate if they wanted to continue the conversation. I said I didn’t want to waste their time, or ours, if our salary wasn’t acceptable to them. It worked really well and was appreciated. Sure, it was an easier conversation because we were a mission-driven non profit but I can have that conversation at my current organization today just as easily.

  2. I’d walk out too, if an interviewer failed to disclose at least a salary range after being asked.

  3. I and my teams have been learned years ago to do a ‘salary overlap” test early on in the dialogue with a potential candidate of value. Postponing this check to the end of the recruiting process is in some ways an insult to an adult. At the same time, some candidates are just un-affordable, given their expectations. Recruiting time is jsut too valuable to waste for both sides. We lost high value candidates to compensation competition or job attractiveness competition. But we eliminated the ‘candidate walks out at the last minute’ risk that comes if you do not do a comp-check overlap early on in the process.

  4. Not posting or sharing the salary range is bad enough, but to tell a candidate that it’s “bad manners” to even ASK?

    That is some dysfunctional nonsense.

    1. “That is some dysfunctional nonsense.”

      People tend to see in others what they see in themselves.

      It may be bad manners to ask, but it’s far worse manners to answer with insults.

  5. Potential Employer: So we need to know your work history, your education, your certifications, your address, phone and email, and we’re going to run a background check. Also take this personality test, then answer these questions – what’s your biggest weaknesses? strengths? why should we hire you? where do you see yourself in five years? five months? five minutes? if you were a tree, what kind would you be?

    Potential Employee: sure, but first what’s the salary range

    Potential Employer: what an unprofessional, unmannerly question!

  6. When we introduced performance challenge hiring in the large IT organizations I led, we found that hiring managers could often not answer the following questions,

    What will this person be expected to do deliver in the next 12 months and how will you know the person has succeeded – what measures will you use?

    Instead, we often got – just show me the resumes, and when I interview the people, I will know what is right for me?

    Given we needed to hire top performers, we developed a training scheme for recruiters by which they could ‘interview’ the hiring manager, facilitate the needed dialogue, and create the initial target performance profile for refinement with the hiring manager. The result was a performance profile that the recruiter could use to evaluate a candidate’s approach to delivering these performance targets.

    We followed up with our managers – why was this so difficult for them?

    They essentially told us

    “No one ever taught to us about how to recruit. We were just expected to be able to do this once we had staff working for us.”

    So we developed a whole training program which eventually lead to the follow e-learning program.
    Readers of this blog can access it by using the coupon code “promotion” (lowercase – no quotes) if they are intrigued.

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