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Discussing Compensation: A Poker Match?

How can employers navigate asking a candidate about compensation?

Compensation has always been a hot and sensitive topic of discussion for employers and candidates alike. Employers want to know the minimum it would take to land the desired candidates; candidates want to know the maximum they can get away with asking for. This leads to a sort of a poker match, to see who will fold first.

Add to that the increasing legislation throughout the United States protecting candidates and forbidding employers from asking what a candidate is currently making.

As an employer, the question “What is your current compensation?” is now replaced by “What are you looking for?”

Fortunately for employers, most candidates in answering this question will self-report, stating “Well, I’m currently earning X, and to make a move, I will need Y”.

With tougher negotiators who insist on knowing the range, we suggest stating the low end of the range, and adding that there is flexibility for the right candidate.

This way, a candidate below the range will be satisfied and a candidate above the range will open up and say “That’s too low, I would need at least X to consider it”. The employer then has the data needed to make a decision.

For more guidance on compensation, or if you have any key executive search needs, Call David Kant at DSC.