Interviews are stressful. We've all been there- your palms are sweating, you're in the stiff suit you pulled out of the back of your closet, you're hoping you say the right thing and don't mess up. You feel as though you're on display, being quizzed and trying to guess the right answer. And then the dreaded question comes: "what are your salary expectations?" Many of us are at a loss and feel like it's a game of "pin-the-tail on the hiring range," where we need to guess a number that's not too high, but not so low that we undersell ourselves. So here's my proposal for hiring managers: stop asking this question!
You may be thinking "but Julia, how do we find out if the candidate is expecting more money than we can pay?" Here's my solution- just tell them the range. When I set up the initial interview, I disclose the hiring range, hours worked, and any other essential info about the job I feel candidates need to know up front. This lets them chose whether or not they want to continue in the hiring process based on the realities of the role. While perhaps not conventional practice, this has been extremely successful in practice for me!
When it comes down to it, applicants feel put at ease when you are transparent throughout the process. It allows for better communication and for candidates to evaluate if the role is a good fit for them. Interviewing is a two way street- why not be open and honest? And if you're hoping to offer a lower salary by not disclosing the range, rethink your practices. Employees deserve to be well compensated. This practice also disproportionately affects women and minorities, which is discrimination. For the sake of retention, equity, and just good business practices be direct. Be clear. State the range.
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