Inappropriate salary discussions

Are you having inappropriate salary discussions with recruiters and employers? Or rather, are recruiters and employers having inappropriate salary conversations with you?

One salary-related tweet has generated a big reaction. Someone attempted to headhunt a tech professional for a role with a salary that’s £25,000 below her current rate. The reason? Apparently the company could train her and her new reduced salary would be ‘more aligned with her age!’

Thankfully, she was savvy enough to decline the offer. However, as a result of the conversation, she reports finding herself ‘second-guessing her abilities’.

Stylist Magazine has shared this tweet along with some of the issues raised by other commentators. We’ll discuss some of these issues today…

Being contacted for roles that are beneath your salary level…

Be wary of anyone suggesting that you’re not worth your current rate for any reason. There may naturally be times an employer can’t match your current rate. This is a completely separate issue and the conversation should come from that angle and in no way try to belittle you or your achievements.

If the opportunity offers something more attractive than salary alone, it’s then your choice as to whether this is a good option for you.

Most trusted recruitment agencies will establish your salary intentions early on in your career discussions and ensure to contact you about suitable roles. If you’re regularly contacted about positions that in no way meet any of the requirements you’ve discussed, you may want to seek out some alternative support. The REC directory is a great help here.

Your age is cropping up in your salary discussions…

While employers are entitled to confirm you’re over 18 for certain roles, such as for the sale of alcohol, your age shouldn’t feature in your recruitment discussions. This is in order to avoid age discrimination in the workplace.

Your age certainly has no bearing on your salary (outside of the context of making sure you’re earning at least the minimum wage). Therefore, there’s no need to put your age or date of birth on your CV…or your public social media feeds!

Never feel obliged to respond to these conversations – there will be better opportunities and far more ethical employers out there for you.

Your partner is brought into the mix…

One tweeter was told that due to her prettiness she must have a boyfriend ‘who treats her to nice things.’ In other words, why does she need a high salary when she’s so attractive? This conversation is problematic on multiple counts.

The first, flirtatious comments on physical beauty can fall under the bracket of sexual harassment in the workplace.

What’s more, interviewers shouldn’t delve into your relationship status in case it biases their decision-making process. Choosing not to hire you based on your sexuality is another form of discrimination.

Finally, there’s the general unprofessionalism that comes with such a statement. Why should your relationship status influence your salary in any way?

Why employers don’t always detail salaries on their job advertisements…

This is an interesting topic. One commentator asked, ‘how do I know if I’m interested in the job if I don’t know that I can afford to pay my bills if I take it?’ It’s clearly a valid question! However, there’s usually a good reason an employer hasn’t detailed a salary level in their initial job advertisement.

In many cases, the salary range has yet to be finalised or is so broad that it will truly depend on the work experience and expectations of the applicants. Meaning they may be open to people from lower or higher salaries and will shape the final role accordingly. Contrary to popular belief, it’s rarely the case that an employer is specifically looking for the cheapest option.

Spotted such a job on a recruitment agency website? You should always feel able to call and gauge the situation before making any applications.

You can also find clues within job advertisements: take a look at the job description and individual requirements. Does it sound like you’ll be dropping many of your responsibilities or taking a huge leap up the ladder? Your industry experience will probably tell you a thing or two about the going rates in your field.

The more often you read local job specs, the better you’ll be able to predict salary offerings! Finally, don’t forget to speak with your Recruitment Consultant regarding any related concerns.