how do employers verify your previous salary?

A reader writes:

How does a company go about verifying your self-reported salary history for a background check?

I have a first round interview with a large, well-known firm, and they sent me forms to consent to their background check. On it, there is a large portion dedicated to salary history. I have already resigned myself to volunteering this information (I did in the HR phone screen), but the fact that they will verify it has raised some questions for me.

On the form, where it asks for salary history, it also asks if they can contact the employer. I will be checking “no” for my current employer as I do not want them to know I’m looking for a new job. So how exactly are they going to verify my salary then? I intend to be completely honest but I don’t understand how they’ll confirm it if I tell them not to contact my employer. (Basically I’m afraid they’re going to contact my employer to verify it even if I tell them not to.)

My second problem is, I actually don’t remember exact salary information for my past positions. Do they expect me to call old employers to get this information? If it’s being verified I probably shouldn’t estimate it, but I feel like I could only guess at this point. Would it look shady if I wrote “approximately $50k”? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

Salary verification usually happens at the very end of the hiring process, if it happens at all. Usually the only salary verified is your most recent one, but it’s not inconceivable that they’d verify earlier ones too (just really stupid, for reasons we’ll get to in a minute).

As for how they verify, the reference-checker might call the employer or fax a request for information to them, or they might simply ask casually in a reference check. If you’ve asked them not to contact your current employer, they should respect that, but they might make you an offer contingent on being able to talk with them once they’ve made you an offer … or they might do the salary verification (without a reference check) once you’ve accepted the new job. (Inexplicably, many employers finish this stuff after an offer has been extended and accepted — which of course leaves room for you to resign your job and then have the offer pulled if they run into a problem in that post-offer check.)

Or, they might ask you to produce W2s to verify the numbers you reported. And yes, this last one is a huge invasion of privacy, but it happens.

It is indeed perfectly reasonable to write “approximately $50k” if you don’t remember the exact number. You can sometimes get the number by looking at old tax forms, but if you don’t have access it, put down your best guess and note that it’s approximate. You should not have to go calling all over town to track down old salary information that isn’t even relevant in the first place.

And while I realize that you’ve already resigned yourself to playing along, for the record, the process is unnecessary and an invasion of privacy. Your salary history is no one’s business, and employers are perfectly capable of figuring out what you’d bring to the job and what that work is worth to them without needing to know what you’ve been paid previously. They ask this question because they can, not because they need to. So boo to them and boo to this practice.

{ 170 comments… read them below }

  1. WWWONKA

    Some prospective employers want to verify your salary to see if you fit into their salary range. This process to me is not necessary if they stop the game playing and state what range they are willing to pay. If it acceptable you move forward. If not you move on.

    1. Marmite

      It’s also a stupid way to tell if you fit into their salary range because you may be willing to take a drop in salary for a shorter commute, a job in a new field, to work for a particular company, or whatever. Up front about the salary range makes way more sense.

    2. Carrie in SF

      Total agreement. If I’m willing to work for what you are planning to pay, that’s all that should matter. Being coy about salary makes employers look like cheapskates. That old saying about “you get what you pay for” applies here.

    3. Jessa

      Except that should not matter. They decide what the job is worth, and they pay that amount. They may go in with a slightly lower offer in order to negotiate, but what the person made yesterday has NO bearing whatsoever on what the job is worth. Or what they’re willing to pay for it. Whether it’s more money by a huge margin or half what the person made last week, it really makes no difference. It’s absolutely unreasonable to base what you’re willing to pay on what someone made yesterday.

      What if that job had other perks you don’t know about. What if it was the only job available or a government job where rises were frozen? There are a zillion reasons a person might take a job that pays less than they or the job is worth. That has nothing to do with the new job however.

      I hate the idea that it should, with a passion.

    1. Meg

      Because people feel forced to, because it’s an awful job market and job seekers need to put food on the table. It’s not an equally balanced relationship, and it doesn’t make it right.

      1. anon

        I was forced to put in salary history just today by HR. I refused twice before already. I asked them why they wanted it: “It varies by company to company…” Of course my next question was “Why do you want it?” Background checks.

        It’s bad enough this feels like an invasion of privacy, but it’s a whole other level altogether that turns it into a gotcha on an application.

    2. Jazzy Red

      I filled out an online application last year that demanded every job I’ve ever had and the salary for each one. That list goes back more than 35 years! After the most recent, I just made up numbers, because I couldn’t remember. And because I didn’t see how my salary that I had 10 years ago would be relevant in any way now.

      Yeah, when you’re really desperate, you do these things.

  2. Stells

    My former employer would ask for salary verification during the background check, but if it wasn’t given then it wasn’t a problem. If it didn’t match exactly, but was reasonably close, then we’d let it slide. We’d only flag it if, say, you said you were making $50k, but they reported that you were making $30k (and even then you got a chance to explain the discrepancy in case it was something as simple as they only reported salary and not any bonuses or commissions).

    We did require the most recent W2 or pay stub for employers that we couldn’t or who wouldn’t verify employment at all. Usually these were places that were out of business or small shops that wouldn’t return phone calls. We would also ask the candidate to black out any private information (like the SSN). Luckily it was rare.

    1. Mike C.

      Why did your employer feel the need to ask for salary information in the first place?

  3. Joey

    There can be very good reasons for asking. For example if I’m recruiting engineers it helps me immensely to determine the market rate if I know what other engineering firms are paying and how much more it takes for their employees to leave. You sometimes can get this info by buying a salary survey, but frequently the info you get is very limited. Although I agree that employers don’t always intend to only use it this way.

    1. Yup

      Yes and no, though. You’ll get usable data if the applicants are at similar career levels, held jobs similar the one you’re posting, and worked in the same geographic area. Otherwise you’re going to get a mix of histories that just muddy the waters.

      1. Joey

        Not really. As long as the job duties are significantly similar there are ways to account for differences in experience levels.

        1. Joey

          And certain geographic locations. For example, I use data from other locations around the country with similar statistics to mine. Or I may factor in an accepted cost of living difference. But yes, you have to be fairly choosy about the data you’re collecting.

          1. Jessa

            And does that data also show bonuses and perks and other things that people consider compensation like what kind of insurance they have? Someone could have a 40k salary with perks and bonuses and overtime that make it closer to double that. Unless you have the full slate of benefits in front of you, you’re still comparing apples to oranges.

              1. TonyC

                Let’s cut through the nonsense. What Joey says makes no sense at all and his explanations are of no relevance to the prospective employee considering the offer. Getting the person’s salary helps the new employer learn about the going market salaries for other employees? How does that help the prospective employee? It doesn’t. I read these kinds of arguments all the time, and, like the “emperor has no clothes” concept, people just blindly follow and do what a Joey or someone else say, but everyone’s afraid to speak up. Bottom line: there is absolutely no reason to give away your bargaining position, and it can only hurt you. If you’re making way less than the target salary, they think you’re not up to the job; if you’re making way more they think you’re undervaluing yourself or will not be there when a better opportunity comes along. The other bottom line: an employer need only ask herself what is my budget and what am I willing to pay for the job?
                Once this is determined, pay it. Or, share this info with the prospective employee.

    2. Greg

      I get what you’re saying, but it’s basically asking candidates to negotiate against themselves for the sake of your market research.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Yeah, that’s my problem with that line of argument. I understand the interest in it, but it doesn’t warrant putting candidates in that position.

      2. Joey

        Not necessarily. If I know what the market rate is and where you fall in relation to it I’ll be able to determine what you’re worth to me based on what you bring. If you’re underpaid and the market is tight I know i have a good shot of retaining you when I give you a sizable increase that pays you competitively compared to market.

        But of course you have to be careful as there are people who don’t know what they’re doing with salary offers.

        1. VintageLydia

          You’re basically confirming Greg’s point, though. You’re letting what the candidate currently makes color how you value them.

          1. Jessa

            This. Why not just value the JOB then decide how the interviewee stacks up to the job you want, and pay them accordingly. IE $+y for a masters, $+z for 10 years experience, whatever.

            1. Joey

              Because a significant part of the value of the job is the market. Sometimes it works in your favor and other times it doesn’t.

              1. Rana

                But if you’re asking for salary histories, it will always work in your favor at the expense of the candidates’. That’s the point.

                If they’re making more than you’re willing to pay, you won’t hire them. If they’re making less than you’re willing to pay, they lose out, because you’re unlikely to pay them your maximum if you can get them for less.

                If you don’t know what they’re making, on the other hand, then you and they are on an equal footing in negotiations over salary, because you both have to talk about what your expectations and needs and limits are, and come to a mutual agreement over it.

                Another thing to consider: you may yourself be a completely honest, generous, up-front guy who will indeed make offers that aren’t all about the bottom line. But to the candidates? When you ask about their salary history, you look just like the guy who is a cheap-ass and wants to pay them as little as possible.

                1. Joey

                  Nope. If that’s the case they self select out when they see my range posted on the job. People are frequently paid high relative, but depending on their skills they may be worth it. And I really do pay all over my range depending on a number of factors. Its candidates who are less forthcoming. They hesitate to be forthcoming with current salary (understandable), but if they do its going to make things go quicker and they’ll see that they won’t have to rely as much on trying to negotiate. I just hate hate companies that pay good negotiators more for the same job. I don’t believe in lowballing. I believe in paying people what the market and their skills command while keeping some semblance of parity with current employees. I understand if people don’t initially believe that. That’s why I won’t hold it against them if they won’t tell. But I’ll still ask for it.

                2. Jazzy Red

                  AHAH!!! You post a salary range on your job ad! So candidates do know ahead of time if the salary will be acceptable or not.

                  I take back everything I was thinking about your argument. Although I still don’t know why you want previous salaries. You could just check with professional associations to see what their members typically earn.

                3. Frieda

                  Joey, I really respect that you do post salary ranges in your job ads.

                  I also respect that you don’t think the best way to determine appropriate salaries is through negotiation, but I think it’s naive to approach the process as if that isn’t the status quo. Even though you, honorably, do not, most places that ask for salary history are using it to lowball their salary offers. Job candidates know this, but are also in a lower position of power because of the saturated job market and so may not feel that they have the ability to say “no” to a request for salary info. Ignoring this context and it’s relevance for the candidates can inadvertently sour the relationship, even if you wish the situation were different.

              2. Amy

                Joey, do you disclose to job candidates how much everyone else at your company is paid, and how much you paid the last person in the position they’re interviewing for, so that they get a sense of the value of the job in the market that you used to recruit and retain your other employees?

                If so, then I think asking candidates to provide salary histories might be fair. If not, then you’re not talking about creating an informed market situation so that everyone involved can make good decisions about the value of the job; you’re just talking about exploiting your power over job candidates.

                1. Joey

                  It’s gone both ways depending on whether my employer viewed salaries as a trade secret. But even when we did I’d tell them key data points like market, col modifier, midpoint, and median. And if people still thought they were worth more they could try to justify to me why.

        2. Daria

          I’m sorry, Joey, but I have to disagree. You have a budget for the position, that probably has some flex in it, but a firm upper limit. What’s the point of posting the job and going all the way through the interview process and have it collapse at the offer stage because you’re 10k apart and neither of you can move? Retention is great, but nobody can bank on the market improving, or that salary bumps will be a priority when it does. Much better to let people self-select out of the process if they know they can’t live on what you can pay.

        3. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

          Joey,
          Can’t you network with people at other companies in your region to get an overview of going rates/benefits? Why put your prospective workers in an antagonistic position for “market research”? Don’t you think if they knew that a lot of people would resent being used as unpaid lab rats?

            1. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

              I mean networking–a non-aggressive form of socializing often touted to job-hunters as a way of finding out the going rate for their desired positions. If they can find it out that way, why not you?

    3. BCW

      I believe that YOU may use this information for those valid reasons that you mention, but I honestly think you are in the vast minority. MOST companies use this information as a benchmark on how little they can pay you based on what a “fair” salary bump would be.

    4. Mike C.

      Why not ask after the offer has been made? You can still collect your information and you better respect your new staff.

      I trust from our conversations here that you’re being intellectually honest but if I heard that from a random hiring manager my bullshit alarms would be screaming.

      1. Joey

        2 reasons:
        The increase in pay helps me determine the likelihood of retention
        If you’re taking a decrease or same pay I want to know why before I offer

            1. Alf

              Joey, I completely get where you’re coming from and we use a similar recruiting/compensation strategy. Also, it should be pointed out that no one is FORCING the candidate to apply to the position or provide their salary history.

        1. Rana

          But that’s the thing. Salary alone isn’t going to guarantee retention. It’s one factor, yes, but there are so, so many variables involved, from the work environment, to changes in the employees’ personal lives, to shifts in the larger market after you’ve hired someone, and so on. Maybe you think adding X% to someone’s salary will get them to stay when adding Y% won’t, but that’s not your determination to make – it’s the candidate’s.

          And salary is, as people have pointed out, such a blunt tool for assessing what makes people want to stay in a job. Me, personally, for example, would rather have a lower-paying job with a minimal commute, flexible hours, and the option to work from home than a higher-paying one that required me to put in 60-hour weeks and commute for an hour. Your salary trick wouldn’t work on me, at all, and I’d end up resenting the attempt on top of it.

          1. Lora

            Exactly. I got a 50% raise going to my current job from my previous one, and I started looking again 6 months later. A million bucks a minute is not enough to put up with my jerk of a manager. You think I plan to say that in a job interview though?

  4. Just a Reader

    I had to provide 7 years of W2s during the background check process for my current job. They had my salary down to the penny.

  5. Brton3

    They ask because the answer can help enable them to underpay you. This is a totally rational action, albeit stupid and unfair. If they think you and your work will be work $75K/year to them, but then they find out your last job paid you $55K, they can offer you $60K and save themselves 15 grand.

    1. Joey

      That’s not really how it goes. Most places ask so they can see how much the market is commanding for someone with your skill set. Where they screw up is they’re only getting one or two data points. They need to get way more data to determine what the market is paying. Otherwise its skewed. But, they definitely don’t usually go in saying “let’s see how much we can screw this guy.” They usually really believe the salary is fair enough to keep you around for a while.

      1. BCW

        I don’t really buy that. Mainly because I’ve seen places explicitly list their salary range, yet also ask for salary verification. If I was open to that range, then obviously I’m not expecting more than the max amount. So if I basically said I was willing to work in your 10k range that you listed, why do you need to know how much I make now, except to know how little you can reasonable offer me so I’d still take it, but save them moneyu as well.

        1. Joey

          I do both because salary ranges can be very wide and when you tell me your salary I’ll be able to make a better hiring decision if I know whether you’re currently under/overpaid in relation to market.

          Of course this only works with like jobs. For different jobs I could care less what you previously made.

          1. class factotum

            I’ll be able to make a better hiring decision if I know whether you’re currently under/overpaid in relation to market.

            In other words, you want to be able to pay someone less if you think you can get away with it.

            1. Joey

              Potato potahto. I’m not going to throw money away, but I’ll make an offer that’s fair in relation to market, your skills and my other employees that I think will retain you.

      2. HR Gorilla

        Hiring managers have made the following statements to me, during the negotiation phase with their final-choice candidate: “he’s been out of work for 9 months, we can definitely get him in here for less” and “she owns horses? she doesn’t need the money, she’ll take a lower base rate” and “he’s going through a divorce–he needs the money, negotiate lower.” and the very common “find out what they made at their last job and offer $2k above that”–even though that offer will still be $5k below the bottom of our range.

        It happens.

        1. Joey

          Some of those may be relevant data points though. If the market is saturated with candidates shouldn’t the market rate and your salary offers go down?

          But yes, there are certainly managers out there who will try to stiff people.

          1. Mike C.

            At this point you aren’t dealing with the market place at large, you’re dealing with a single candidate who you’ve already chosen to take the job.

        2. anon-2

          Certainly — I used to work at a place where they would ALWAYS make a low-ball offer on the first go-round.

          In my case, I flat out refused their offer because it was exactly what I was making — I reminded the HR rep – who then went into a sales pitch about “we are great, we are great, we are the cat’s a$$, we are wonderful, we love ourselves” –I cut her off–

          a) Those were NOT the figures we discussed. And we’re not going to get anywhere unless we get back to the figures we discussed.

          b) I have another iron the fire (another prospective job) and we are talking more money that what you’re offering.

          c) Can the commercial, lady.

          Then she replied, “uh, uh, uh, if we were to offer you more money, would you reconsider?”

          (and as they said in the movie Inglorious Basterds, “that’s a bingo”)

          I said “YES – I will give you ONE MORE SHOT to get there. But otherwise, please do not waste any more of my time.”

          I called my wife, said what had happened and it looked like we were going to be taking the other slot – which involved moving.

          Fifteen minutes later they call back with an offer very close to what I had asked for and I accepted it. This was not a “red flag” but a caution light — to get a promotion, or substantial increase, you had to use a power play but you would probably win it if you did.

          It’s the computer industry. It’s not the way it should be, but it’s the way it is. Problem is, with a low-ball offer, you may think “ah, duh, we got him for less! WE WIN! WE WIN!” but all you’re doing is providing the new hire with a parking place from which he will pursue his next opportunity.

        3. Andy Lester

          “he’s going through a divorce–he needs the money, negotiate lower.”

          Those are fantastic examples of why the smart candidate doesn’t talk about non-work topics.

        4. Jazzy Red

          I had a newer car when I interviewed at one of my former workplaces. One of the women I would be working with saw my car and told the boss that I drive an expensive car and don’t really need this job. Her husband owned a used luxury-car lot, and so she “knew” cars.

          I had an Eagle Summit.

          1. Elle-em-en-oh-pee

            I had a similar misunderstanding with my landlady, a few years after the crash. My husband was beginning a new job in a new city and we barely had enough money for the first month’s rent. Though a deposit was required the landlady kindly agreed to an installment plan…

            Until the day we moved in and drove up in our 9 year old but well-maintained sports car. Over the months we lived there, she could not shake the idea that we’d lied to her somehow. She watched my husband and I like a hawk for evidences of our vast concealed wealth, because broke people wouldn’t have such a car. (We heard her say the last part to the neighbor one day).

            Of course she wasn’t nearly as bad as the potential land lady who didn’t let us out of the car at all: “Sorry but this isn’t going to work out, thank you for stopping by, please leave now.” After speaking with someone who knew her, we found out she prefered “refined, older” tenants …
            “kids” with sports cars need not apply.

            Unfortunately what I learned from the renting situation, I found applied to the job market as well: at some job interviews I discovered it was in my best interest to hide my car as it actually turned people off from hiring me (I can afford THAT car so I must not NEED this job). At other interviews, acquaintances would advise me to hide my bus pass (we’re still a one car family), as they felt a bus pass would hurt my chances at those companies.

            Much to the chagrin of many, I’ve yet to see the wisdom of selling a reliable and fuel – efficient car, (my family’s only car, and a car owned outright) at a loss to buy a car that looks fuel efficient, probably costs more, but isn’t a sports car. I really don’t understand how doing all of that for the sake of image, would in any way demonstrate responsibility or free me from the so called “poverty trap.”

            Ultimately a person may never know why people drive the cars they do, why they live where they live, choose to take the bus or not. Folks would do well to remember to offer the salary based on the skills that candidate brings to the table, not the wheels they used to get there.

            1. Jessa

              Not to mention, when I was young, my parents were not that well off (yet.) Every 3 years like clockwork they got a 3 year old luxury car from my maternal grandfather because he was one of those guys who WAS wealthy and bought a new car when the warranty ran out. Once we replaced the brakes (he left footed the break because for years he drove a car with a clutch and could NOT get out of that habit,) we had a darned expensive car for broke people starting out in life. It was paid for. It was pretty much all we ever got from him (he was a miser who thought you should make it on your own.)

              I’m with Elle. Just because someone has “fill in the high class or expensive x thing,” does not mean they’re well off. Someone could have given it to them. It could be a knock off (if it’s clothing or leather goods,) or it could be something they paid for when times were better. It’s almost NEVER worth it to sell something you own to replace it with something cheaper. Most things depreciate too much to make it worthwhile. And in this day and age a working paid for car is a HUGE big deal.

              People are stupid about things sometimes.

      3. Ask a Manager Post author

        Every organization that I’ve worked with that asked candidates for salary then used that to figure out what they could offer them. It’s very hard not to, once you know what they’ll accept and what they’d probably consider a good increase.

        1. Joey

          But if people expect an increase how can you possibly make a realistic offer without knowing what they make. Most people don’t keep up with the market enough to know what the going pay rates are. They rely on what people are currently making. If they’re short sighted that’s all they rely on. But, it is a relevant factor if people expect a raise.

            1. Joey

              I do. But I also want to know what they make. Its going to send up a flag if they want same or less. And my chances of retention go up if my offer is an increase.

              1. College Career Counselor

                Yeah, but maybe they want the same or less because their work environment is toxic. Maybe your health benefits are better. Or the commute is shorter where you are. Or their kid goes to school down the street and they want to drive her there.

                There are a ton of reasons why people might take less that aren’t necessarily red flags for retention, performance or anything else.

                I think employers like having that information because it gives them a certain amount of leverage over the candidate (as discussed elsewhere, how could it not)? At least in my industry and level, most of the ranges are pretty well set. You can negotiate within that range, but not wildly, as it’s really rarely more than 5-10k depending on your level. And for public institutions, it’s even more rigid.

              2. VintageLydia

                Why would that send up a red flag? What if the commute is better? Or the hours? Or the benefits? What if their moving from a toxic workplace or bad cultural fit? There are too many legitimate reasons for someone to take same or lower salary.

                1. Joey

                  ToNs of reasons why it could be a red flag or not. But I want them to articulate it( doesn’t have to be details) to determine if I’m comfortable with it.

          1. Rana

            That’s why you give them a range. Presumably a candidate is capable of determining for themselves if they’re willing to take the job for a salary in that range.

            There is also those useful concepts called “counteroffer” and “negotiation” in the event the initial salary you offer isn’t adequate.

          2. Mike C.

            You publish a realistic range and the folks who apply are assumed to be ok with that range. You don’t have to do any further work!

            1. Joey

              But that’s not realistic for a lot of people. Lots of people want a raise or won’t consider the lower part of my range. And I’m not looking for okay with my pay. I’m looking to give people what they want so they’ll stay. Hopefully that number is what they’re really worth.

        2. Elizabeth West

          Depends on what they’re offering, whether or not I would accept it, or even waste my time applying. Not because I think I’m the cat’s a$$ (anon-2, I am SO stealing that! :D), but my question is, can I live on it? Can I eat? Pay my bills? Feed my kitty? I’m not in a salary range where whatever they offer me is a living wage.

          That is why I appreciate it so much when companies actually post a range. I look at the lowest number and if I can live on it, then let’s talk.

      4. Jessa

        Except that the market IS NOT FAIR if you’re female or a minority or for any number of other reasons. So if you’re looking at the salary history of a woman engineer, you’re going to continue to underpay her compared the the guy in the next cubicle because you’re not deciding the payscale on the JOB but on what the person already makes. And if that person is already vastly underpaid because of circumstances beyond their control – IE they keep getting “little bump” offers on a pay that was not fair in the first place (thank you Lilly Ledbetter.)

        Way to continue the discriminatory pay scale business.

        1. annie

          Yep. I am in this situation relative to a colleague, with the only difference between us being gender. That’s obviously something that I’m not going to be able to point out to a new employer when they ask for my salary history, so how do you deal with candidates who have experienced this problem?

          1. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

            Oh Annie,
            Knowing something is out of whack and not knowing how to fix it like this drives me nuts. Have you/are you working on a proposal for a raise illustrating the fact that your job and pay are out of sync? Hope you see light at the end of the tunnel.

        2. sdk

          Usually I just read these comments; I have never submitted a comment. But after reading this comment from Jessa; I had to comment to agree with her 1000%. I know there are so many of us out here who feel exactly the same way but are unable to articulate it during a salary negotiation or just plain afraid of being perceived as being negative or someone who would be hard to manage. I am a minority female with an Associate’s degree, BS in Business Administration, and Master’s in Public Administration. But because of being stuck in a significantly underpaid position; I keep getting salary typecast by lowball salary offers that I know are based on my current salary rather than my over 25 years experience and three degrees. Thanks Jessa for daring to mention the white elephant in the room.

    2. Joey

      One other point. If you ask companies why they do it most have no clue that theyre essentially trying to determine a market rate. They usually have no clue whether youre working for the lowest paid company in your area. Most just know what’s presented to them. If you’re making x the only way to hire you is to pay you x + a few more dollars.

      1. ThursdaysGeek

        Unless you’re unemployed, then it is x minus a lot more dollars. And it’s not like you can turn them down, because then you risk losing the unemployment in its place. And they know that too.

      2. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

        If they don’t know “that they’re…trying to determine a market rate,” then they are not using it to determine a market rate.

        You sound really smart and knowledgeable, so I wonder if you aren’t over-thinking the issue. Is your main goal to do the best hiring or to be best informed about market rates? You can combine passive data collection from applicants and active collection aside from them and still be quite well informed. How many man-hours and ink cartridges are being used to hunt and collate this info?

        1. Joey

          Essentially trying to determine market.

          Both. The only way to do the best hiring is to know what the market has paid, is paying, and will pay.

          1. anon

            The employer would have given you something like that to determine relative market rate. If you solely rely on applicant’s answer, you have no clue what the market rate for that position is. Why not stop foolishly believe that your stance is anything but more negatives than positives?

  6. EA

    Some employers use a salary verification service, such as TheWorkNumber or VerifySystems. Their employees can, when requested, give a verifier (either a prospective employer, or a bank for a loan/mortgage app, etc) a phone # or website, plus the company code, and a unique “employee” code, and the service will provide salary verification.

    1. HR Gorilla

      I’m not familiar with VerifySystems, but I’ve been pitched by the Work Number and the whole thing seemed very skeezy to me. Most of their clients (employers) get a take of the fee charged to verify employment. For example, if our current employee is applying for a mortgage and the lender needs to verify wages/employment, if we were using The WorkNumber, the lender would have to pay a $23 fee to verify employment, and a portion of that fee would go to my company, even though we didn’t touch the verification paperwork. Color me naive but that rubs me the wrong way.

      1. HR Consultant

        It can take tons of time for a staff member to complete all the income verification forms that come in to large employers’ HR or Payroll departments. They are all uniquely designed, ask for different information, and some require multiple years’ data. Try responding to a mortgage verification request for a non-exempt, commissioned employee… And yes, there is a cost to the company to use TheWorkNumber – someone has to develop and maintain the database they work from to verify income information (and it’s usually an employee whose time could be better spent). And at the time my former employer used them, we paid a fee per employee in the system (not the other way around).

        1. HR Gorilla

          Totally agree re: the time it takes to respond to VOEs–I do them every day! I’ve researched outsourcing the function because yep, they’re really annoying and the ones requesting 3 years’ worth of income data are a big pain to do. The majority of our associates have base pay, commissions, *and* bonuses, and we recently changed payroll/HRIS companies, so I’m having to access two completely different systems for the data and then marry it all up. I get the urge to outsource, and I’ve looked into a few options…I was just a bit grossed out that the WorkNumber kicks back some of their fee to their client employers. To my understanding when we vetted them, employers can outsource VOEs to them and actually make money doing so.

  7. De Minimis

    As a federal employee, my salary is already public info….you can type employee’s names into a search engine and find out what they made over the past few years.

    Of course, it’s not such a big deal usually since most feds tend to stay within the government.

    1. Jessa

      And anyone in private industry knows very well that in all but the rarest cases federal pay is lower than industry standard. Because usually the benefits are way better and it’s one of the few employers that have long term employees. You can actually retire out of federal service in the same agency you started in if you want to.

    2. Mike C.

      If it were up to me, all salaries would be public info. Many countries have public tax returns as well.

    3. fposte

      I’m state, and same here. And while I agree with Mike that that’s a good thing overall, the public figures are often a little misleading, and I certainly wouldn’t accept a job that made an offer based on what’s publicly listed as my salary.

  8. Ruffingit

    Thank you Alison! I’ve always thought the salary verification thing was ridiculous. I have had jobs with wildly ranging salaries simply because I’ve been employed by others and self-employed. In some cases with the self-employment, some years were better than others. It’s just the way it goes with SW – feast, famine, and usually something in-between. Therefore, getting an accurate general salary from my self-employment job wasn’t going to happen.

    And, it just looked weird sometimes because I had times where I was employed by others, self-employed, and then employed by others again. So, the salary range was all over the place.

    Seems to me that the company needs to figure out what they’re willing to pay for a particular job and then pay it. End of story. What the candidates have previously been making shouldn’t enter into it. Be upfront with what the salary is, leave some room for negotiating it, and move on.

    1. Joey

      Seems legit, but if you were a business owner wouldn’t you want to know what everyone else wass paying for the same job instead of taking a guess? Because it doesn’t really matter what the job is worth to an employer if no one will work for that price. It all depends on the competition. And if everyone else is paying more suddenly that jobs worth goes up.

      1. VintageLydia

        Unless you’re asking for the value of the entire benefits package (health care, PTO, salary, bonuses, commission, pensions/retirement funds, etc) I don’t see how just asking for salary will give you anything close to true market value of a position.
        You also have to keep in mind the size of the company, cost of living, stability of the industry in that market, the small but important differences in job requirements and duties, company culture (companies may up the salary or benefits package, for instance, to retain employees under an effective but difficult boss) and countless other variables.

        1. Joey

          Other comp comes up when my good offer isn’t enough. But I generally know how my other comp compares. That data is more stable.

          And yes, you have to be fairly choosy in the data you collect as I said upthread

          1. annie

            I think this is intrusive too. Why should I have to justify to you my feelings about certain benefits, some of which I wouldn’t want you to know or would not say in a negotiation, i.e. the medical plan covers a certain therapy I need, or your company just isn’t as exciting as my current company, but I’m willing to work for you because I want to move up in my career, or I stayed loyal to my current company for the last two years even though I knew I was underpaid because they were so supportive when my family member was dying, or whatever. I think it’s very subjective.

        2. Ruffingit

          Agreed with this. There are other ways to get a fair market value assessment than asking potential employees what they are making and what they’ve been making for their entire careers. There are too many variables with any one individual in my experience.

          1. Joey

            Sure there are. But it becomes a game if you expect a pay increase. Because I can’t make an offer that results in an increase without having a very good idea of what you’re currently making.

            1. VintageLydia

              It’s not a game, it’s a negotiation and a perfectly normal part of the process.

              1. Joey

                But it is a game if you are going to make me guess whether or not you’re currently under/overpaid. If you don’t necessarily have to have a pay increase the I would agree with you.

                1. TL

                  But if they know your salary range from the very beginning, they can self-select out and save everybody the trouble of “playing a game.” And then they won’t worry about being slighted by the company later.

                2. Frieda

                  “But it becomes a game if you expect a pay increase.”

                  How would this not be solved by stating your salary range at the outset? Then candidates for whom that range is too low would select themselves out of the pool.

                  “But it is a game if you are going to make me guess whether or not you’re currently under/overpaid.”

                  And how is this different than what Alison points out above, which is that a candidate who reveals their salary history enables the employer to base the offered salary on what they currently make, not on what the employer thinks is a fair wage for that job. Yes, it makes sense for the employer to want this information, but you might also want information regarding whether the candidate has frequent medical problems that might cause them to miss work more often than other. The point is that it’s not fair to the candidate to ask for it, and it exploits the power differential in the situation.

                  And if you are afraid of pricing yourself too low to get good candidates for the market, you advertise the job in the range you want and see who applies. If not enough good candidates apply, you raise the advertised salary range. That is how you use “market forces” to determine market rate for a job.

                3. VintageLydia

                  Instead of asking for their current salary, why not ask them for their desired range? That way you know what they’re looking for without letting their current/past salaries color your opinion on their value. Just so long as you understand it might change once they know more about the position and benefits, you should be good.

                4. Joey

                  I do ask for desired salary, but I also ask for current salary. They both help me determine if we’re wasting our time or not.

                5. VintageLydia

                  The desired salary range plus your posted salary range should already tell you whether or not you’re wasting your/their time. Current salary adds nothing to that aspect of the negotiation.

            2. TL

              You could just make an offer of what you think they’re worth and wait to see what they say. That’s not a game, that’s just playing it straight. If they decide the salary needs to be more, they’ll negotiate or leave. (And if you’re upfront with the salary range from the very beginning, people who don’t agree with the range will self-select out.)

              1. Joey

                That’s not very efficient. We could be tens of thousands apart. The thing is I can’t tell you exactly what you’re worth without going through all of the interview process. But you can almost always tell me you minimum from the get go. If you’ll realistically consider anything within the range this doesn’t apply. But if you won’t consider the lowest part of it it does.

                1. Frieda

                  “But you can almost always tell me you minimum from the get go.”

                  But this is exactly the point. Of course it benefits you to know the minimum that someone would accept. But that’s to the detriment of the candidate, who of course has a minimum but would like to be offered above that if possible.

                  Imagine that you are a Chocolate Teapot salesperson and your first question upon talking with a potential new client is “how much are up paying your current teapot supplier?” I doubt any good business would answer that question–there is a reason that the rates different clients pay (or the rates clients pay to different vendors) is usual kept as confidential information. No one wants to be paying $10 a teapot and switch to a competitor whom they pay $9 a teapot, only to learn that the new supplier would have been willing to supply them for $6 each.

                  At my last job when I created POs for projects it was completely forbidden to leave our books of pricing scales out where anyone could get them–because giving that info out hurts your negotiating position.

                2. Joey

                  I do. I know its intrusive, but its relevant. And if you don’t want to tell me you don’t have to.

                3. Rana

                  you don’t want to tell me you don’t have to.

                  Actually, the candidate does, if you’re requiring salary histories.

                4. Joey

                  Rana,
                  I ask for only current and desired salaries, but I don’t require them. What’s interesting is lots of people seemingly only use their current salary to determine desired salary.

              2. Jessa

                Exactly. There is no benefit to the candidate to have their salary information out there, there is only negative outcomes – either the company can afford to provide the number they currently want or they can’t. But allowing the company to start with a number means they can pay you far less than the person next over. Everyone doing the same job with the relatively same situation should be making the same money.

                The job should have a pay scale. Changing or altering that scale based on another companies policies is wrong.

            3. ThursdaysGeek

              Don’t you know what you were paying the person you were replacing? Isn’t that at least in the ball park of what the job is worth? And if not, why not?

              1. Lora

                Or turnover and exit interview responses. If you have high turnover and people are saying they leave for money, you’re below market.

  9. pickapie

    Do hiring managers disregard your application if you don’t supply salary history (or put in dummy figures)? What should one do if asked about salary point-blank in an interview?

    1. Andy Lester

      Some hiring managers may disregard your application, and some may not care at all because they’re just going off of a hiring process handed down to them.

      What to say when asked how much you make? “I’m sorry, but I keep that confidential.”

    2. Joey

      I don’t disregard. But its going to make the offer part more of a game if I need to be above your current salary.

      1. Albert

        Why does it have to be a game? Set an expected salary range for the position! What is it worth to you? If every one of your qualified candidates turns you down, then you need to reevaluate. JFC, stop the insanity!

        1. Rana

          I am now picturing landlords engaged in a similar “game” with apartment rents. “What have you paid in previous rents? Oh, you won’t tell me? How will I ever decide what is a reasonable rate to charge? Oh no! Now it’s complicated!”

          Yeesh. One should use one’s costs, one’s benefits, and the available budget and perks to come up with a figure. If no one bites, or there’s a lot of push-back, change it. Otherwise, one is basically asking one’s clients to do one’s homework for one – only they have none of the insight into your business that one does.

          1. Joey

            The difference is landlords require contracts and don’t really care about much beyond minimum expectations.

            1. Rana

              No, that’s irrelevant. One sets the price one’s willing to pay – or accept – based on what you think the product is worth and what the other person is willing to accept. Either the transaction happens, or a negotiation occurs. Trying to figure out what the other person is willing to accept before revealing your own cards is cagey, and there’s no getting around that.

              You, I assume, already know what you’re willing to pay people, and what you need from them to accomplish the job. If you’re not afraid of “overpaying” someone, why the heck do you need to know what some other people paid them to do some other job?

              I remain unconvinced that this is about anything other than trying to hire employees for the lowest rate possible.

              1. Joey

                Sure that’s part of it. What company wants to pay more than whats necessary. But at the same time if you want to retain the salary goes up.

        2. Frieda

          I think that when you say “game” what you mean is “negotiation.” Negotiating is perfectly acceptable in a business situation, which hiring is. Is it always easy or efficient to negotiate back and forth for salary? No. But is it worth alienating candidates–and possibly driving the best ones with the most options away–just to save yourself a little hassle in negotiating?

          1. Joey

            I wouldn’t do it if I thought it compromised the quality of candidates. On the contrary, I think candidates appreciate seeing offers that are frequently more than a menial increase. And knowing the size of the increase makes me more confident they’ll stay.

            1. Frieda

              Don’t you think that if good candidates weren’t happy with your initial offer, they’d try to negotiate–especially the good candidates, who one assumes know their worth?

              I think that your heart is in the right place, but maybe you are trying to solve something that is not entirely quantitative–see all of the comments above about the relative merit of non-monetary factors in a job decision.

            2. Candidate

              I’m struggling to see why a recruiter would ask for current salary. I cant see it being in a candidates interest to disclose current salary whether they are seeking an increase or decrease relative to their current contractual terms (and job role, working environment, carrear prospects) which may have a large number of differences to the post being applied for. The Interview process should determine value of the candidate, and the company should offer based on that perceived value to the new role and budget available. The candidate should decide what they are prepared to accept for the new role. Once negotiatied, and accepted, doesn’t the new employer find out the employees prior salary anyway and thus your perception of retention over the new employee and what the prior employer (perhaps competitor) paid them for their last role.

              I would question any assumption that the previous employers pay was market rate – its simply what the employer paid that employee in the context of their contract with successive years of remuneration policy applied vs others in their team, based on what the employer thought they could get away with given the employees perceived loyalty and job satisfaction. (The real value the current employer attributes to an employee is what incentive they are willing to offer in light of an external offer – possibly for a different role within the existing company).

              Personally, I find it distasteful for a potential employer to insist on disclosing current salary as part of the recruitment process or employment screening – it is not pertinent. I know my current employer has to ask my permission before disclosing salary (based on their stated policy for references), and I would mark this confidential on any screening form having confirmed this with my current employer.

    3. Greg

      I once had an HR phone screen where we discussed salary expectations, and determined we were both in the same range. Then he asked for my most recent salary. I resisted on general principle (in fact, my most recent salary was only slightly below, and the job represented a perfectly normal bump), until he effectively threatened that he wouldn’t move my candidacy forward if I didn’t tell him. So I did, but I could see it still bothered him (he said no one had ever raised taken issue with that before). I ended up not getting the interview, though I have no idea if that was why. I decided it was ultimately a futile gesture on my part, and if faced with a similar situation in the future I’ll probably just give it to them and then judge them silently.

      1. Sophia

        This happened to me as well. I still refused to tell my salary history and I didn’t move on in the process. I don’t understand why this is acceptable behavior. If I hire a contractor to do work on my bathroom, I don’t ask him for details on what he charged for the last 3 jobs. It is a sign of a cheap company and a lazy HR department.

  10. WWWONKA

    I have seen jobs in the same industry ranging from $18 an hour all the way to $35. If the talent you are recruiting is of great value then yes you want to know their salary so you might make a valued offer. However, most jobs have a range and in most cases you will be in that range. Make me an offer and we’ll see where it goes. DO NOT base your offer on my salary.

    1. VintageLydia

      THIS! You should already have a range, and the entire interview process, if you do it right, should give you an idea what an individual candidate is worth to you based on their experience and your needs. Their current and previous salaries are immaterial.

      1. College Career Counselor

        Agreed! Many years ago, I applied for an advising position with a local university. I got a call from the HR rep who started off with, “I just want to tell you, this job pays $X–is that acceptable, or should we end the conversation?”

        Well, $X was about a 20-25% paycut from what I was making at the time, so it wasn’t. And, while at the time, I thought the approach was brusque, the more I was on the job market dancing around these questions, the more I grew to appreciate her candor. Although, they could have just listed the salary range in the advertisement and saved even more time that way. But, organizations are trying to get experienced, capable high-performing employees for as little as they can (in the higher ed world, the phrase is “compensation is commensurate with education and experience”). I understand the impulse, but often they’re also wasting time and money interviewing people when both sides are too far apart to begin with.

        1. V

          This happened to me once. Also, a job at a University… They had an internal candidate and already knew who they were hiring, but were required to still go through a search process, so were weeding people out left and right.

        2. Elizabeth West

          This. I dislike going through the entire interview process only to find out that the salary isn’t even livable. For the types of jobs I’ve had in the past, I can usually guess the range.

  11. Canuck

    This salary history request must be a US-based thing, or just not common in my industry (healthcare). I’ve never been asked for a salary history nor verification, only what range I would be expecting for a job.

    I can see from a business owner’s perspective why they would want to know – and while I agree that Joey has some other valid reasons as to why, I have to believe the main reason is to be able to offer the lowest salary possible, while still retaining that candidates services.

    From a financial perspective, this is smart; but in terms of attracting and retaining the best employees, probably not the best approach.

    1. Chinook

      I have been asked for salary in Canada but only in some industries. Healthcare has the advantage of being government paid (sort of) and usually unionized, so there is rarely a negotiation of wages (though I did negotiate where I was in the scale for a job in the healthcare field). But, if they want to confirm it with the employer, they are required to have me sign a form releasing that information to them.

  12. Interviewer

    Another data point for candidates to consider – as the HR person normally getting these kind of calls, I don’t ever give out salary information over the phone when potential employers or background check folks call to confirm salary history. The only time I’ll give salary info it is with a signed authorization from the former ee, paired with a written request from a lender or a rental company. I confirm dates of employment & a job title over the phone, but I tell the callers that they need to send their request for anything else in writing with the signed authorization. They rarely do it.

    So maybe your HR departments are helping out all these candidates anyway, by being the good gatekeepers of that info. Just a thought.

  13. Andy Lester

    What’s most galling to me about this topic: How do employers get around the fact that it’s none of their damn business what my salary is? Why in the world do you feel like you are entitled to that information? I don’t tell my own mother what I make, so why do you think I should tell you?

    “Because I want to know” is not a reason.

    1. Pussyfooter, aka. OneoftheMichelles

      I kind of like that: “I don’t tell my own mother what I make”!
      I wonder if there’s some way to turn this into a polite response to nosy askers :)

  14. Runon

    I have to say after reading comments here, especially from Joey, I’m weirdly glad for my public sector job. While I can’t get a raise for being a good employee. I won’t be punished because I am not going to be a super aggressive negotiator or have taken other lower paying jobs for personal reasons in the past. I hate negotiating, it is about the most vulgar thing I can think of (and yes I think I’ve likely been socialized to believe that) and I avoid it in every situation I can.

    Why on earth can I just do a great job and get paid a decent amount? Why do I have to badger people into respecting and paying me?

    1. Mike C.

      Yeah, I feel you there. The whole MBA culture of having to fight for every last thing and if you can’t you get screwed goes to some silly extremes.

  15. AB

    I kind of see the point Joey is making:

    “If I know how much my top candidate earns, I can make sure my offer is good enough that the candidate will not want to leave quickly for a better paying job (or I can give up the candidate if I can’t offer a substantial increase, to avoid the risk of a short stay).”

    The problem with this reasoning is that the underlying assumptions are often wrong.

    I left one job once for another that paid less (but offered much better opportunities for growth), and stayed there for 5 years, only leaving when relocating.

    I’ve also left a job for the exact same salary (as it was at the top of the range for my level of experience), and also stayed for many years with that company.

    A candidate could take an offer that is significantly higher than his current salary, only to decide a few months later to use the new salary to negotiate even more with another company, and leave.

    If you don’t know how to evaluate the candidate’s motivation for a job regardless of how much it pays compared to their previous job, I don’t think using current salary as the main reference will solve the problem either.

      1. KellyK

        First off, why would you assume that they’re lying about the reasons without seeing salary history, when you know that disclosing salary history puts the interviewee at a disadvantage. (Even if it really truly doesn’t in your case, they know it does in general.)

        Secondly, the reasons may get into personal information that the interviewee isn’t willing to divulge (or shouldn’t have to because, again, it may hurt them). Reasons like, “My current employer is pretty religious, and when they found out I’m gay, the relationship soured, so I really don’t need a pay bump to make leaving worthwhile” or “I was willing to take a lower salary because I was going through major health problems and they had a lot of flexibility and offered good insurance” or “I hate changing jobs, so I had to be underpaid by a lot in order to finally leave.”

        1. Joey

          I’m good at reading between the lines. I don’t expect people to get into details for stuff like that. I don’t know if they’re lying or not, but the more I verify the better guess I can make.

  16. Brett

    My public sector employer required on the initial application (not the background check) disclosing start pay and ending pay for every position for the last ten years (so, for example, if you were promoted twice then you had to list start and end pay for all three positions).

    And then you were required to disclose all of your current sources of household income, and all household debts. And then you had to sign over a 4506-T for the last four years.

    Turns out none of it had anything to do with setting salaries. It had everything to do with finding out if a candidate would lie on any part of their application or had any current or previous financial problems (or if accepting the job would result in financial hardship).

  17. dowen

    I am so frustrated about this question. I have started answering this question by filling in the blank by writing PRIVATE. I have not had any feedback on this answer as of yet. I also do not put my social security number. Instead I put UP-ON HIRE. I think in today’s world its a safer way to go.

  18. Audrey

    Many years ago, when I lived in the USA, I moved from a small town on one coast to a major urban area on the other coast. My new job paid 60% more than my old job! But my rent increased 70%. The big numbers stayed fairly constant – rent went from 24% of my gross income to 25.7%. Anyway I was glad the the new employer didn’t ask how much I had been earning because there is not a snowflake’s chance that I could have survived on my old income plus a “bump”.

  19. Philly Gene

    I was asked for my previous pay checks on my most recent job so they could use as leverage on the salary discussion (moved into the city where standard of living was increased). I calmly said I would oblige and noted “I would like to see the most recent pay stubs of employees at the same job position to get an idea of your intended range….obvoulsy you should blank out their name and personal information”…..her response was one of shock stating…there is no way we can share that…this is confidential company business. What she did not know was that the same firms they use to do the background check on you (verify address and salary) can also be used by you. I knew the names of two employees and were able to get their salary history through the private firms. Costs about $50 bucks, but when you apply for credit cards,,,everything comes out. My final statement before this segment of the interview ended was “I am looking for somthing between 64786.32 and 86798.45 which I believe is your salary for several current employees”. I received the final interview (and subsequent offer), but I think it was more of identifiying to her how lazy her HR department was rather than anything else.

    1. Late to the party

      That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard. I love it when you can turn it and show them what they’re doing to their applicants and prove it to. Hey, give you a hand.

  20. Marketing Guru

    I love how there are so many people on here attacking Joe.. Well done mate for taking the time to continuously state your points, and enlighten us as to how you conduct your business. I am a Marketing Executive that recently hired a new assistant. I am almost certain that this person has SEVERELY exaggerated their previous salary due to the work ethic, skills and performance shown on the job so far. I went $30K+ over my budget for the position as I needed someone on my team who I could accelerate a promotion into a Management position. So…. I am now about to going back post hire to obtain this information from their previous employer, to confirm my suspicions. I think in my case I am more than entitled to seek this information. This new employee is negatively effecting my department, and I don’t feel that I should overpay — or live with overpaying just because we decided to take a leap of faith in an employee. It works both ways….

    1. Late to the party

      Great to hear the other side of the discussion. Hope you ironed out the flaws and have a better assistant now!

  21. DonQuixote

    This is one of the ways that the spineless HR system tries to impose its will and “power”. They’ve been throw out of the corner room or the roundtable. So, they try to assert their importance in the name of protecting their employer or assuring their employer that they can get the rights hires or cut costs, etc. Their influence in the organization having reduced and mostly left to do clerical (such as benefits admin) work, the HR profession is low down in its value or hierarchy. That’s why you get rubbish joining HR orgs, mediocre at best. Recruiters are even lower within an HR org and I can’t understand how companies leave the hiring of their most valuable resources to these resume scanners.

  22. Late to the party

    I agree that it’s best to hold your hand close to guard negotiating power. Though, what do you do when the company will not let you move on in the electronic application without supplying that info?

    Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll answer their forced litany of unfair questions, tell them how VALUABLE my EXPERIENCE and SKILLS are and then be just as polite in telling the potential employer that they cannot afford me and why would I leave my easy underpaying cheapskates I have now in favor of a place that wants me to do more for basically the same pay.

    My issue is if you had to work for a cheapskate in this economy, and would like to make what you’re worth, stating the sh$t pay just pigeon holes you. I feel infuriated by the question, especially when I somehow walk into a new workplace and find out that my co-worker who has no experience is making $2 more per hour because she’s friends with the boss or some other sh$t like that.

  23. mrjap1

    The Bottom line is this folks… No one NEEDS to VERIFY your salary in order for you
    to get a NEW JOB regardless of the Present ECONOMIC conditions, your personal
    reason(s) and/or whether you LIE or NOT about it.

    All BS aside. As far as the EMPLOYER is concerned, the REAL question that NEEDS
    a crystal clear ANSWER is ” DO YOU HAVE A NEED to FILL at THIS TIME… YES or NO? ”

    Now as an EMPLOYER allegedly seeking talent, DO YOU BELIEVE that I the
    PROSPECTIVE employee that’s being INTERVIEWED, am QUALIFIED to do the
    JOB… YES or NO? Do I, the PROSPECTIVE employee that’s being INTERVIEWED,
    FIT into the companies intended BUDGET… YES or NO?

    Look, as a PROSPECTIVE employee trying to get a NEW job in ANY MARKET has
    ONLY one question that NEEDS top be answered by the EMPLOYER… I am NOT
    agreeing to the ” salary verification “, So ARE YOU STILL HIRING ME… YES or NO?

    In my experience any NEW PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER requesting a SALARY
    VERIFICATION is offering a FUTURE DEAD END JOB of which YOU WILL LEAVE
    EVENTUALLY, probably SOONER that LATER due to the LACK of an increase in
    compensation. WHY? THEY ARE CHEAP BASTARDS to begin with.

    They where trying to nickle and dime you BEFORE an offer of EMPLOYMENT was
    made. Also USING your SALARY HISTORY / SALARY VERIFICATION to simply
    JUSTIFY their CHEAPNESS… Good LUCK when asking for and GETTING a raise in
    the future.

    My ADVICE folks, SKIP those STUPID JOBS and work for someone that HONESTLY desires to hire
    you and ARE MORE THAN WILLING to pay you what you DESIRE minus the BS!!.

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