Why You Want to Share Your Salary History with a Recruiter

A good recruiter doesn’t want your salary history to use it against you, but to know that the two of you can talk honestly about anything.

We all clamber for advice when we begin our job search including how to discuss salary history, whether currently employed or not. While money isn’t everything, as discussed in the blog, “7 Reasons NOT to Accept a Counter Offer,” money is one of the most common things for people to talk about when looking for a new career opportunity.

Maybe the predicament is that you feel you are greatly underpaid but have amazing benefits, or maybe your skills are unique and you’re looking to command a higher salary with a new company. No matter the situation, we want to give you the inside perspective on why sharing your salary history with an IT recruiter is important to ensure you find the right position that closely matches or exceeds your ideal salary.

First, this isn’t a catchall for all IT staffing recruiters. You first need to establish a relationship with a recruiter based on openness and honesty. A lot of people wonder if they should share their compensation history with every recruiter that asks, and the simple answer is, “no.” However, when you find a good, relationship-based recruiter you absolutely should.

What are some signs that you’ve found the right recruiter? The first tell-tale sign is the recruiter wants to meet you face-to-face to get to know you. They’ll also be able to demonstrate to you the strong foundation of existing relationships they have with both clients and candidates. Lastly, you’ll walk away feeling the potential for a lifelong relationship, one in which the recruiter will continually engage you as opportunities become available.

Now that you’ve found that right recruiter, here is greater insight into why you are encouraged to share your salary history. Given that your colleagues likely don’t share their salary history with you or if they do, you suspect they have padded it a bit, you have little insight on what others with similar skills, education and experience are making in your area. A local IT recruiter knows exactly what companies in the market are paying, what others with similar experience are getting paid and is the best resource in your search.

By sharing your salary history and not just what you are looking to make with your trusted recruiter, they will be able to help you understand where your current salary falls within the market and are the best equipped professionals to help formulate a strategy to get you to that next level. Bear in mind, it is always in a recruiter’s best interest to procure the greatest salary possible for you, both financially and to make the job appealing.

When discussing your current salary and your ideal salary, way too often we see candidates that may be undervaluing their worth and others that forget to look at the big picture which is total compensation. I’ve heard it first hand, someone took a new job thinking they were getting a $15k raise, but after subtracting increased health insurance premiums and city parking, that raise was less than $5k. Remember a new job is about more than just salary. You need to understand the value of health benefits, supplemental benefits, PTO, bonuses and 401k contributions. And outside of compensation, you likely have an expected level of flexibility and opportunity for growth that needs to be met.

An experienced, local IT recruiter understands each of these factors and can help you understand their exact value, set realistic expectations on work/life integration and the bottom line, offer guidance by sharing with you what it can be worth for you to make a job change and presenting a holistic view of a compensation package.

Ultimately, why you want to share your salary history with a reputable recruiter is that they have your best interests in mind. Would you ever consider not telling your relator how much you are looking to get for your house? Here at OpenArc, your recruiter acts as your true advocate, listening and understanding everything about you to guide you towards long-term success in every scenario, even if it’s outside of our firm. To accomplish this, they need you to display the same level of transparency you expect from them, including your salary history to help you find that next job. Having mutual trust every step of the way allows you and your recruiter to talk honestly about anything.

If you have questions or need guidance on finding a local IT recruiter, set up a free consult with OpenArc’s Director of Recruitment, Scott Moore [email protected]

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