As job seekers, there are countless things that we consider when applying for a new role, such as whether we possess the right skill set to carry out the role, whether the company is a good fit for us, whether the role is in line with our career aspirations etc. Quite understandably, one of the most important factors in our job search can therefore be the salary that is being offered, as this can sometimes turn out to be quite pivotal in our decision to actually begin the application. So how frustrating is it when we finally find a role that is of interest, but the recruiter has advertised it as paying a competitive salary.
For recruiters, we completely understand that this is a great way to attract candidates to the role and entice them with the job description and company benefits, but recruiters must also understand that this is just another obstacle that stands in the way of us actually clicking on that all important ‘Apply’ button.
For the majority of us as job seekers, it’s likely that prior to arriving at this particular posting, we have already browsed through countless job boards which advertise thousands of jobs every day, so by this stage we have already endured quite a mind-numbing process. To then be left figuring out if the company will be happy to pay our desired salary, or if the advertised ‘competitive’ salary is not as competitive as we had initially hoped is simply another task in itself.
Whilst I can understand that recruiters are keen to find the ideal candidate for the role and not just an individual that is attracted by the salary, I firmly believe that a well structured interview process will serve this exact same purpose without wasting valuable time for both job seekers and recruiters. In the long run, it is only a matter of time before either party discovers that their salary expectations don’t align so well should this be the case.
My main motivation for writing on this topic actually came from one of my most recent experiences whilst applying for a new role. In this instance, I had taken the time to create a tailored cover letter for the role, conducted additional research on the company, and even considered the feasibility of my commute to the location should I be offered the job. Just a couple of hours after submitting the application, I was contacted by the company’s Human Resources team to confirm my salary expectations for the role which eventually turned out to be considerably more than what was actually on offer.
Now in this instance and many others alike, the recruiter could have saved time by providing a simple salary range on the job posting, which would have effectively eradicated the need for them to contact me asking for confirmation of my salary expectations, and could have saved me the best part of two hours in actually completing a cover letter and all of the extra bits in between before submitting my application.
Therefore, with a job application already being a time consuming task for all parties involved, I simply ask that recruiters and companies are as mindful as possible in withholding the salary that they are willing to pay, because what seems like a clever and economical move for the company may actually come at the price of a good candidate. Moving forwards, I will most certainly prioritise companies that are transparent with the salary of their roles, and take the extra precaution of contacting companies directly to enquire about the salary that they have in mind, even if it does risk the job closing before they have responded.
After all, it is the make or break of what could possibly be a new working relationship, so surely there is no harm in both parties being transparent in regards to salary from the very beginning. If things do continue in this fashion, job seekers like myself may have to start being equally evasive on our application forms by substituting our educational achievements with phrases like “An acceptable grade,” as I am sure recruiters will understand. On that thought, perhaps we should just work together on this one.