What ‘competitive salary’ really means in job postings, according to recruiters

Salary transparency law is is increasing nationwidebut a similar proportion of companies use the vague phrase “competitive salary” to describe what they will pay.

The job site told CNBC Make It that as of May, the phrase appeared in 3% of U.S. Indeed job postings, up from 2.5% of postings this time last year.

According to Indeed, this is a small but notable increase, reflecting thousands of job postings with unclear salaries.

Companies mention “competitive salaries” in job postings because they mistakenly believe it will entice candidates or, more often, to maintain interest, says Jeff Hyman, an executive recruiter. Flexibility in offering different salaries based on the qualities of a particular candidate. is 28 years.

However, for job seekers, “it’s a useless, throwaway line,” Hyman tells CNBC Make It.

Jennifer Herrity, career expert at Indeed, said: “In theory, the term ‘competitive salary’ is supposed to mean that the salary paid for the position is on par with similar roles, within similar industries and in similar locations”. “But without further details in the job posting, this phrase puts the onus on job seekers to know how competitive salaries might be.”

If you’re applying for jobs that don’t have a clear salary range, here are some ways to discuss salary during the hiring process.

Know your worth

The first thing to do is figure out your value in the marketplace to confidently and realistically support your desired salary, Hyman says.

Doing so is easier than ever thanks to publicly available data. Sites like Glassdoor, and Payscale can provide benchmark salaries for your position and industry or even for a specific company, says Bonnie Dilber, recruiting lead at software company Zapier. .

Hyman suggests that if you know a lot of people who work in similar roles to the job you’re applying for, you can gauge your likely salary by asking them about their salaries. Depending on the area where you’re looking for work, you may also want to factor in a cost-of-living adjustment, which can also be estimated using online data, he adds.

Don’t ask until the second interview

According to Hyman, it’s important to ask about pay early in the hiring process to avoid wasting your time, but it’s equally important not to ask too early.

“I usually don’t recommend doing that in the first conversation,” he says. Instead, wait until the second interview or, at the latest, the third interview — that’s when the hiring manager is more invested in your candidacy and is “struggling.”

At that point, consider following this scenario: “‘I’m curious…now that we know each other a little, based on my experience and the value I’ve explained I can contribution to the organization, how do you see it as compensation from the market? [this position]?'” Hyman said. “Then shut up and listen.”

It’s generally best to have this conversation verbally rather than via email. “People get a little confused when writing the numbers,” he said.

Hyman recommends that you discuss this salary issue with the hiring manager — the person you’ll be working with — and not with a company intermediary like human resources or a recruiter. The reason is simple: Hiring managers “are buyers” who feel the “pain of having a vacancy” on their team, he said.

As a result, they will likely be “a little richer” with the compensation offer, he added.

‘Playing stupid’

Some employers may ask candidates about their salary history – an illegal practice in some states and cities – and what they expect in their new role. But don’t be so quick to share that information. The reason: Whoever speaks first in a negotiation loses, Hyman says.

“As soon as you come up with a number, negotiating 101 says that number becomes the backbone of the discussion,” he said. “You could have come up with a number that is 20, 30, 40% lower than what the company thought they might have to pay, and so you could really be shooting yourself in the foot.”

Instead of answering that line of questioning, Hyman says, “respectfully return” to the company and “play dumb.” If asked how much you expect to earn, he suggests: “‘I’m not really sure. You’ve been doing this job for a while, you’ve met other candidates – you’ve noticed things like this. What is the market for this role? ‘”

“Answering with what I call a no-response,” Hyman said.

However, if the hiring team insists on a specific answer, come up with your own range, he advises. The low-end number you offer should be the “lowest absolute compensation” you are willing to accept, while the high-end number can be 50% to 100% higher than your low-end number. That broader range may apply best to applicants negotiating salaries that include more than the base salary.

“But again, you should only do it if you’re really pushed repeatedly,” Hyman says. “It is always a better strategy for the company to get the first crack at the numbers.”

Do you want to become a successful and confident communicator? Take CNBC’s new online course Become an effective communicator: Master public speaking skills. We’ll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for a 30% introductory discount until July 10, 2024.

More, Sign up for the CNBC Make It newsletter to get tips and tricks for success in work, money and life.

We bought a beach house for $212K in Laguna Beach, CA

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *