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Ten Reasons Why You SHOULD Tell Your Recruiter Your Current Salary

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by Mark Smith

over 2 years ago

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I stumbled upon an article today on the Forbes website titled 'Your Salary History is Nobody’s Business.' Normally Forbes is a great source of content, and I often tweet their stories. Unfortunately, on this occasion, I would have to totally disagree with the author, and, as she says in the article, I am 'hissing' my objections to her advice. So here are ten reasons why you should share your current salary with your agency recruiter.

1. Your recruiter is your advocate and wants to get you a new role.

Just like in the movie Jerry Maguire, your recruiter is wanting to work with you. To secure your new role, it is best to understand your current situation, including your current salary.

2. Your salary is a package and not just cash.

Your recruiter discusses salaries every day. They have access to tools such as people2people's salarysiite to understand the market. Although you can do some research on the internet, understanding the market is difficult. Remember that your salary package is more than just cash. Many people are exposed to benefits without understanding what those benefits really entail. A good example of this is parking. Working outside a CBD, parking may be provided, yet in a CBD, it's definitely a benefit. Do you know what your current salary package is really worth?

3. You may be extremely well paid in your current role and not know it.

When considering a move, you should also consider how good you actually have it. I know that in the past I have actually given advice to candidates that they should stay with the current employer based on their salary package and career prospects, as the market at that time would not be able to match or even improve on those benefits.

4. You may be extremely underpaid in your current role and not know it.

Your expectations for a new role may be too low! Hard to believe, but, once again, without using your recruiter's market knowledge, how would you know?

5. Your recruiter is an expert and discusses salaries every day.

Ten Reasons Why You SHOULD Tell Your Recruiter Your Current SalaryReading the Forbes article, you would think that doing a little research online is enough to understand the market. Sure, you should do some research, but your recruiter discusses and negotiates salaries every working day. You should tap into this knowledge. Knowing how your current salary stacks up in this market is a very important part of securing a new role, whether it's with your recruiter or through other sources.

6. Recruitment is a free service for candidates.

Remember that the recruiter has no obligation to assist with your job search. Not sharing key information may lead the recruiter to decide not to work with you.

7. Trust

Your career is important. Working with a recruiter to assist with your next career move means having confidence and trust in your recruiter. Trust is reciprocal, so withholding  information doesn't lend itself to building a mutually beneficial and strong relationship.

8. The recruiter doesn't control the market for salaries.

The premise of the Forbes article is that withholding your current salary package details is part of negotiating your next salary package. I disagree with this. The recruiter needs full sight of your current circumstances to advise you correctly. The recruiter does not control how much the market will pay. They are normally briefed on a salary range and then should discuss with you the salary for which you would like to be represented for the role.

9. Your salary is not your worth as a person but a reflection of the tasks you undertake.

It seems logical, but all of us at one point have thought, 'I am worth more than that,' when thinking about our salary package. The reality is that your salary reflects the role you are undertaking. If you are a neurosurgeon accepting a data entry role, then you will be paid for undertaking the data entry role. So when considering your current salary, it should be considered alongside a conversation about the role you are currently undertaking. Your recruiter obtains details about roles every day, not just looking at a job title which you may find on sites such as PayScale. Use this knowledge. Share your current salary details and then benchmark.

10. What advantage is there in keeping your current salary a secret?

Finally, I am still struggling to understand what advantage there is in keeping your current salary a secret. It may very well be your business, but what exact advantage do you gain by keeping quiet on the details? I can't see any.

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