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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default I was asked for a salary history at the end of an interview

    Good Morning,

    I had an interview yesterday evening for an IA type of position. At the end of the interview I was asked to provide a salary history. I live in New Hampshire and the company is in New Hampshire and we do not have laws ATM on preventing firms from asking.

    My current job is as a one man IT department and I work for a human services provider with an absurdly low salary and I want to get something close to market rate. I have done risk management on ACAT III (Air Force programs) so I'm not walking in completely without experience.

    I like the company and really like the role, because it is far closer to what I want to be doing.

    How would you guys and gals handle the salary history in this situation?

    Thank you!
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  3. Senior Member Phalanx's Avatar
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    #2
    Be honest, but also be forthcoming in what you expect (and why you expect it) and what compensation(s)/extras you are looking for. Be prepared to negotiate, but don't shirk from holding your ground if you believe you are being taken for a ride.
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    #3
    Really all depends on where you are with your career, if your just starting out, you have to jump thru any hoops and juggle on demand. If your well established in your career, you could tell them it's none of there business. In my case, i would tell them I do not provide that information, you pay me what I'm worth, not what the last job paid me, be it peanuts or gold
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    Really all depends on where you are with your career, if your just starting out, you have to jump thru any hoops and juggle on demand. If your well established in your career, you could tell them it's none of there business. In my case, i would tell them I do not provide that information, you pay me what I'm worth, not what the last job paid me, be it peanuts or gold
    I have been in IT for about ten years in total and back in an IT role for eighteen months. I would have far happier to give them my requirements instead of my history because it is apples and oranges.
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  6. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #5
    I give my salary/compensation requirement before the interview. Need to make sure we're in range before both sides start spending time and effort. After that I don't care if they want my salary history.
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  7. Senior Member cyberguypr's Avatar
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    #6
    Very personal decision if you want to provide that or not. I do as dave330i said and make sure we are both in the same range of expected compensation before we even start talking. Given that everyone;s time is valuable, to me it doesn't make any sense to talk if this hasn't been brought up. I however, never discuss my salary history because it's completely irrelevant.
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    #7
    Great thread thank you. What is the typical response from HR when you decline to provide past salary?
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    #8
    Sometimes I tell them I signed a non-disclosure.

    I don't understand why companies will ask for your salary history and expect you to give it to them, then make you sign a non-disclosure on your salary.
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    #9
    What a bunch of unethical jerks. That's illegal in numerous states/cities. Could cultivate a boycott, though I think that wouldn't help much in improving your current employment situation. Not a good foot to start off on for a new job at all IMHO.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by yoba222 View Post
    What a bunch of unethical jerks. That's illegal in numerous states/cities. Could cultivate a boycott, though I think that wouldn't help much in improving your current employment situation. Not a good foot to start off on for a new job at all IMHO.
    As much as I hate big government, I am in favor of a law preventing firms from asking about salary history.
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  12. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NavyMooseCCNA View Post
    As much as I hate big government, I am in favor of a law preventing firms from asking about salary history.
    Salary history is not PII. Politicians should not be wasting their time trying to pass a needless law.
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    #12
    From my understanding, HR departments can actually find out this information even if you aren’t willing to give it up. I’m guessing it’s related to background checks, and especially if you are government or contractors it would be easy to acquire.

    If they aren’t willing to pay you fairly, do you really want to work there anyways? That part of the process is very telling about a company’s culture...if they pay you a slight raise and you are an expert I would look elsewhere. It’s not a big deal, but you need to know what you think you are worth and not accept less...that’s where issues happen. You can always counter but just be honest about it.
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    #13
    Of course that is not PII. I'm not a fan of government intervention or regulation but in my eyes this helps level the field for candidates that are too afraid or unwilling to put up a fight. You sell yourself based on your expertise and qualifications and they make a decision based on that plus whatever value you may bring and their budget for the role. Super simple but employers like to complicate it with games like "well, I can't pay you $X because that would be too much of a bump over your $Y salary at your previous role". I like to keep the power on this side of the table.
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberguypr View Post
    "well, I can't pay you $X because that would be too much of a bump over your $Y salary at your previous role"
    I had a phone interview with a certain security vendor a few months back and this was their exact phrase. The position pays roughly X, but since you're only making Y now, we can only pay you Z at the most

    To me, it's a stupid question because of how irrelevant it is. If I hate my job and want to get out ASAP, I know I'll take a job that fits that pays equal or better to what I have. If I'm looking to leave just for a better opportunity and make a certain amount that I feel I'm worth, it really doesn't matter what they think they're going to pay me based on my history, I'm not accepting the job unless the number is right
    Last edited by MitM; 10-06-2017 at 09:14 PM.
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  16. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MitM View Post
    I had a phone interview with a certain security vendor a few months back and this was their exact phrase. The position pays roughly X, but since you're only making Y now, we can only pay you Z at the most
    Question, was Y > X ?
    Z > or < Y?
    If Y was an unknown value, do you think X or Z value would be greater then is was?
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    #16
    Companies do this type of thing when they feel they are in the driver's seat. If that's the case for your area, you might have to bite the bullet, but don't forget there's more to compensation than just salary. You'll also find that companies that focus excessively on salary history are also often deficient in other types of benefits. So mention things like the generous work-life balance, 401k matching, separate vacation and sick time, etc. as appropriate. You don't want to gain a 7% salary bump at the expense of two weeks of vacation or a 401k match of 5% of salary.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    Question, was Y > X ?
    Z > or < Y?
    If Y was an unknown value, do you think X or Z value would be greater then is was?
    lol, the job "typically" pays 40,000 more than what I was making, but due to my current salary, they'd only be able to offer 10,000 more at the most.

    By the way, this was all said before any type of interview started, so there was no gauge of my knowledge
    Last edited by MitM; 10-07-2017 at 02:12 PM.
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    #18
    They want me to come back for a second interview next week. It is a very small firm and I'll be meeting with the CEO this time...
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    #19
    It's a free country.

    Lawfully, they can ask.
    And, lawfully, you can respond, No Thank You.

    :]
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    #20
    Let's be real here...most of us agree that having to provide our salary is irrelevant, but companies also don't have to proceed with the process of evaluating you as a candidate. Plus, either way they will likely find out your salary during the background check you consent to.

    "Oh you don't want us to contact your current employer? Well we're going to have to have copies of pay stubs or W-2's"

    Trust me, I think it's a sick practice too, but they kind of have the upper hand. Especially for those who are less experienced.
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  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ITSec14 View Post
    Let's be real here...most of us agree that having to provide our salary is irrelevant, but companies also don't have to proceed with the process of evaluating you as a candidate. Plus, either way they will likely find out your salary during the background check you consent to.

    "Oh you don't want us to contact your current employer? Well we're going to have to have copies of pay stubs or W-2's"

    Trust me, I think it's a sick practice too, but they kind of have the upper hand. Especially for those who are less experienced.
    That last part is me in the IT Security world, I have a cert and I'm actively studying for another but I have almost no practical experience....
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    #22
    Look up the equifax hack information...your salary is reported and can be attained by a prospective employer once you agree to a background check.

    Even if you decline to answer, the employer doesn’t have to follow through if they decide to not proceed once they find out your salary.

    Does it stink? Sure if you are trying to make big jumps...but you might as well just say it from the start and not waste time. A good pay jump is somewhere around 15% or more...depending on what the job gets you. If you don’t get that...you can turn down the job.
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    #23
    My two cents, if a company gives you that song and dance about what you made before and they will not pay you what you're worth, or what the going rate is, keep looking. I will gladly provide salary history if asked. But, if my previous salary is the defining factor of how much a new company is going to pay me, then we either need to negotiate or part ways.
    Just as an FYI, a company I worked for had a policy that you could only receive a 5% salary increase when moving from one business unit to another regardless of what job they were moving to. Many people quit and then came back later to receive the going rates for the jobs they were doing.
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru80 View Post
    Look up the equifax hack information...your salary is reported and can be attained by a prospective employer once you agree to a background check.
    Usually background checks are conducted by the HR or security department, they do not normally share this information with department managers, unless they find something questionable in your past. For example, on my resume I omitted a job I was fired from on my resume, but I did list it on my background check application. I was fortunately I never had to fill out a job application, so wasn't in violation of the legal language they usually have.
    Last edited by TechGromit; 10-12-2017 at 04:35 PM.
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  26. Senior Member Jasiono's Avatar
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    #25
    How asinine of them to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by MitM View Post
    lol, the job "typically" pays 40,000 more than what I was making, but due to my current salary, they'd only be able to offer 10,000 more at the most.

    By the way, this was all said before any type of interview started, so there was no gauge of my knowledge
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