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Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 8:27 PM

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  • Is it appropriate to ask for salary history in hiring?         

When we hiring a new staff, we often request the information of applicant's salary history from their previous jobs. We would like to know the pay level the applicant is expecting and get a sense that what is expected is close to what will be offered.

Is this reasonable request / practice?
(Post #1)
1 reply

Monday, Apr 27, 2009 9:42 AM

Depends on from what prospectives.

From employer's prospective, it is certainly a good strategy in new hiring to request the salary history information. From the previous salaries, you can see the change / growth of the applicant's career path, to see if there is an increase of responsibilities over time, how much and how often their salaries are raised. If they do not bother to provide the information or no further communication, it means the candidate is not really interested in the position or working in your organization.

Do ask the candidates what is the salary they are expecting. Also ask for permission to contact their previous employers. If they say no without reasonable justification, then that may raise a red flag.

On the other hand, from employee's prospective, you may want to ask the employers what is salary range they are going to offer. If it is too low, you do not have to bother to provide your salary history to them. Go find another one. If you are really interested in the position, you may want to provide them your salary history which shows your interest in the position.

Do not lie about your salary history. They can verify it with your previous employers. If your previous salary is very high and you are really interested in this new position, tell them you are flexible on the salary level. If your previous salary is too low and you felt you were underpaid and you wish to have a more reasonable pay for the new position, express it in your cover letter.
(Post #2)

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