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For The Last Time Stop Asking About Previous Salary

· Compensation,Job Hunt,strategy

Dear People Ops,

I'm in the final stage of interviewing for an awesome company. I'm really excited for this opportunity as it will allow to move into an industry I'm passion about. The hiring manager e-mailed me today and asked my previous salary. I've heard I'm not suppose to share that information. Why are companies still asking?

Ok. Everyone, everywhere, listen up. Stop. Just stop.

Companies, stop asking candidates their previous salary. And candidates, stop answering questions about your previous salary.



You look like followers, not leaders. Don't base your compensation strategy off what your competitor pay! Do your research, and know the value proposition you can offer candidates. What makes your company unique? It isn't just salary. Is it your incredible vacation leave? Your mission and values? Your wine fridge?

I get it, you want to make sure you can afford a candidate before falling in love. But do you really want to invite other companies' policies (good or bad) into your company? Instead, ask candidates to base their worth to your company on research by asking the range they're seeking.


Imagine a world where every shirt in every store costs $20. Sounds nuts, right? That’s because we know each shirt’s value is calculated by more than just the name “shirt” and includes factors like style, fabric, designer, and even retail location.

Think of yourself like a shirt. Multiple factors go into your “cost” beyond your job title—your education level, the industry you work in, where you live, and your skill set just to name a few.

Change any of those factors and your compensation should change. You wouldn’t walk into Prada and expect them to sell a classic white T-shirt at the same price as H&M. So why would you expect a private sector job to pay you based off of what you were making in a nonprofit role?

Ok? We good? Good.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by Dear People Ops and the Campaign to Bring Sanity Back to Hiring.

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