Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What’s the salary range for this position?

Question:  “What’s the salary range for this position? You won't tell me the top amount they're willing to offer?”

I've been doing this for a very long time, here is the reality of the scenario.  Some companies have very specific ranges. Some companies have a rough idea. Some companies simply let the market tell them what they should be paying for a job. Some companies ask me to help them arrive at a fair range. Some companies will flex to a degree on what they are targeting for the hire. So as you can see there are numerous scenarios. No two situations are exactly the same.

It always depends on a person’s experience and how directly applicable it is to a company’s needs. Is the person more junior in experience? Is the person more senior in experience? How does the person’s experience compare to other people already on staff?  And how is internal equity kept in line?

So there is never a real easy answer as there are so many variables. In the many years of doing this, my opinion of the best approach is to be certain that a company’s ideal number for the hire and a candidate’s ideal number on what they’d expect are in line. Do they have to be spot on? No. Sometimes there is flexibility on the company’s end, sometimes there is flexibility on the candidate’s end. Sometimes if the company feels the candidate is the person they want and the candidate feels that this is the opportunity for them there are creative ways of bridging possible gaps as well.

Last but not least, it is human tendency to always gravitate towards the top of a stated salary range. It never fails. The moment a range is thrown out in conversation the candidate will gravitate towards the top number. Right or wrong, consciously or unconsciously, I've seen it happen time and time again where a recruiter will tell a candidate a range, $65,000 to $80,000 for example, and when the offer comes and it is at $70,000 the candidate protests, “Hey Mr. Recruiter, you told me the job paid $80,000!”

The best way to avoid this, just be certain the candidate’s expectations and the company’s expectations fall within the “okay place.”

The bottom line:  If I do my job correctly and all parties are forthcoming with information, then the hiring manager has an idea where they want to hire in, and the candidate has an expectation of where they need to be.  Based on what I know from the candidate and from the hiring manager, if the situation were to move in a positive direction the candidate’s expectation will be met.

Scot Dickerson, CPC

Monday, October 14, 2013

Should a Recruiter “Sell” an Opportunity to a Candidate

Should a recruiter “sell” an opportunity to a candidate? The other day a candidate criticized me for not “selling” an opportunity to them. I've never favored “selling” a candidate. I've always believed that a recruiter’s job is to provide accurate information and be a resource for discussion. But a recruiter should not “sell” a candidate on a job. In this situation I had contacted the individual whom I've known for a number of years. This person had told me at various times over the years that they wanted to stay in a certain region of the country. When I called with the opportunity they again said that while it sounded like an excellent opportunity and something they would otherwise be interested in, they wanted to stay in the region where they were at and their family would not be interested in moving to that area. I followed up a few weeks later only to find out that they had interviewed for the position. I contacted the candidate and they told me that I had not done a good job selling them.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “sell” as: 
to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something

As a recruiter am I to persuade or influence the candidate into interviewing? Okay perhaps it is a fine line, but I still like to think of my job as providing information about an opportunity. Provide information as to why the opportunity could be something that would be a logical career move based on their interests and expectations. If I have to convince someone to explore an opportunity that to me is selling them. And if you have to sell someone on a job, my belief is that the odds are it won’t work out. More importantly perhaps, if you have to sell the candidate and their family on moving to an area of the country they have never been interested in previously, my experience is that in the long run it typically does not work out.

Now a discussion about the benefits of exploring an opportunity based on fact seems perfectly fine. But, if I have to influence someone, that in my opinion is selling them on the job or a location.

What are your thoughts?

Scot Dickerson, CPC
Capstone Search