There are some headhunters – including Manpower and TempGirl that require information on your past salaries. Some ask for the latest drawn salary, some ask for the salaries for all jobs you have held. JobsDB is even worse – there’s a compulsory column for Latest Salary for all work experiences. JobStreet has this column too but it’s optional.
JobsDB – resume – latest salary
As a jobseeker, why should I disclose this PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL information if I don’t want to?
Unless the interviewer discloses the company’s current/past employee’s salary for the job, I
would should keep mum about the exact figure of past salaries.
I do believe that some employers (few in between) do think it’s just to know more about the salary and benefits at your old/current job and it doesn’t affect the package that they will give you. They just want to know how much you are getting.
According to a staff at TempGirl, “The companies that hire want to know your previous salary so that they can evaluate.”
Evaluate your value to them (current companies that are hiring) or the previous employer? Interviewers see all other employers of a candidate in 1 group – employers, which is where interviewers are. So they are more likely to think from your employers point of view unless they are open to possibilities and understand that each of us are different.
“What if the company is a really stingy company and the employee is really good?” I asked. Or what if the employee sucks but the company pays a lot?
“Then it depends on the hiring company to judge during the interview. You have to include expected salary too. You can put a range. Then they can expect.”
What I did
Pressured, I disclosed my past salaries in a range. No more next time!
Now I’m going to send an email to JobsDB about this. If there’s no change in the option for Latest salary for each employment, I’ll cancel my account there.
Start low, end low
Employers ask for past salaries because they want the upper hand. Say you were paid RM2K for your previous job. So they maybe willing to give you only 10% increase even if they have more budget because they thought you are worth that much just because the previous company paid you that. Some companies actually have this policy of not giving more than 10%-15% higher than your previous salary. It is a bullshit policy!
Imagine the disadvantage you’ll have if your previous employer took advantage of your naivety when you were worth so much more – like when you had to do several people’s job, help out with other colleagues, productivity and capability much higher than your essential tasks.
It’s like a domino effect. Once a company pay you low, you’ll get lower increment every year internally. If you jump (to another company) and if this new company also have this constricted thinking to judge you on your previous work & salary, then you’ll get a lower new salary too. And so on for the next jobs..
It’s a never ending effect until you find a company that appreciates you and has the right budget to hire you for your skills that match the position.
Of course not all companies and HR practice this (mis)judgement on your worth based on your past salaries.
A responsible, well-managed business shouldn’t care what you’ve been earning. What will matter to that company is whether and to what extent it needs your abilities; how much it can afford to pay you; and how much profit it projects you will bring to its bottom line. Such a judgment requires that the company evaluate you carefully and in terms that are relevant to its business, not in terms that are important to someone else.
There are inappropriate questions that tend to focus on non-ability factors, such as race, sex, age, marital status, religion, etc.
Over here, employee’s form definately has race, sex, religion, marital status, # of children and names of your family column.
So what can you do?
If you don’t want to disclose ‘sensitive’ information, just don’t disclose it but reply in a polite way. Ignore the column in the form. Explain when asked by employer/headhunter. You could risk being perceived as “do not follow instructions well” or “not co-operative” though.
Or you can establish your expected salary range – mention the specific Lowest that you are ok with – Highest if you are applying for several jobs in 1 go.
Ask the company what range of salary they are willing to pay first before you disclose yours!
If you are brave enough, ask “What is the salary for the staff doing this job?” and see if they would be willing to disclose this.
If the headhunter still insists on past salaries, you can reply, “My past salaries are confidential to my past and current employers.” Check your offer letter – there should be a clause for not disclosing salary to anyone.
Is there any official guide from the Malaysia’s government about ethical hiring process?