What’s Your Salary Range?
Often I get asked by my clients what to say when an employer or recruiter asks them for their salary requirements. The simple answer is: try not to answer this question as long as you possibly can in order to maintain leverage further along in the interview process (more on this in a future post). But, as sometimes is necessary if you must answer this question it is very important to make sure you have a salary range in mind (ex:$60,000 -$75,000). Most employers will come into the interview process with a budgeted salary range for the position they are trying to fill and for the same reasons as you. If you were to give just a figure (ex:$65,000) then an employer can try and draw conclusions from this information and use that to exclude you from the hiring process. They may determine that your salary is too high, or out of their budget for the position you are seeking and not consider you any further. An employer can also look at your salary and think it is too low (at the lower end or below their range) and that you are not capable of producing the level of work that would command a higher salary. As I have said before, HR’s job is to eliminate as many candidates as possible until there are only a few remaining. Make sure you have a salary range in mind and don’t get screened out by HR.
There are a few ways to try and determine a reasonable salary range but I think the best and easiest way is to use reference sites from the internet such as salary.com or payscale.com. On either of these sites you can search by job category and pull up average salary information for thousands of job titles in different geographic locations. Now you don’t just want to use the average salary to determine your range, you also must take into account your own skills and the value you can bring to a given role as well as what the given role requires. Use this information to help you determine your salary range or at the very least it will get you pointed in the right direction.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment if you have any ideas to add or questions.