Monday, March 7, 2011

Job postings: Show us the money

I’m starting to look at job ads again as there’s some uncertainty at work and I would also like to increase my salary eventually. (FYI, if my employer did read this, they wouldn’t be surprised: I’ve shown myself to be a dedicated employee, but we all know the situation in my area isn’t optimal and may not be for some time.)

So, is it just me, or are fewer companies including salary ranges in job postings these days?

I think it has the potential to waste time on both sides of the hiring process.

If I have no idea of the compensation being offered, and it turns out that salary is much lower than my target and I have to turn down an offer of employment, won’t I have wasted the employer’s time as well?

Why not be up front as to roughly how much money you’re willing to pay someone? Is there something I’m missing here?

I had a particularly frustrating experience prior to finding my current job, which I'd rather not repeat: I went through three pretty gruelling interviews before being offered a job at a publishing house. Salary was never so much as discussed and everyone I talked to told me *not* to ask. Finally, they made me an offer – a completely pathetic sum that was barely minimum wage (I could have made more in retail) while at the same time dropping the bomb that it was only a contract job, and I would have to work with a notoriously difficult author. And they wanted me to quit my current job immediately to start working for them - no notice.

I wanted to get my foot in the door of this particular publishing house very badly, but they gave me no choice: I had to turn down their offer. I felt it was an unethical way to treat a future employee. It was a difficult decision because I was miserable at my other job. But, my instincts were right; about six months later, they started eliminating jobs and have since folded completely.

Obviously, when it comes to salary, there needs to be room for negotiation on both sides of the table. Ultimately, I think everyone should just be above board and the whole process would be less painful and more efficient. And shouldn’t corporations be all about increasing efficiency?


  1. HILARIOUS photo.
    And yes, you're right. I was talking to a friend of mine who used to run interviews for his company, and he said that whoever first names a dollar amount, loses. I asked what to say when the inevitable, "What is your salary expectation?" arises. He said either say, "Would I be able to speak more about the position and reflect on fair compensation?" Or (my favourite) "What do you think is a fair range for a position like this in a company like yours?" Get the range, name your price. Otherwise, you may name a salary of $35k where the company would have been willing to start at $45k.

  2. I know, it's crazy, right? I got the same advice basically. But of course, both parties lose if their expectations are totally divergent!