February 18th, 2015 / Insight posted in

Does it matter what a candidate earns right now?

By Richard Cummings I’ve not only helped Clients recruit, I’ve recruited myself and I’ve also been a candidate. I am still genuinely flabbergasted when employers reduce the salary which has been allocated to the role on the basis that the candidate applying for the job earns considerably less at their current Company. Especially when you consider if they earn considerably more, employers are unlikely to increase the amount on offer. The advice I always give, which does meet quite a lot of resistance, is this: At the point of recruiting, you pay for the role not the person. If they are successful in the role and go above and beyond what is expected then it’s only right they are financially rewarded accordingly. If they only meet expectations, then increases are less and infrequent. Just because a candidate currently earns less does not mean they are not worth more, and there can be many contributing factors as to why they currently earn a lower salary than you were planning to offer. Employers should consider not seeking to find out how much a candidate earns currently as this may cloud judgment leading to assumptions of skill levels. The amount of times I have heard employers seriously considering the rejection of a good candidate because their current remuneration is much less than they are offering is staggering. Especially when they are clearly the best person for the role! Employers could consider offering a lower amount and a guaranteed increase on successful completion of their probation period if they do have their doubts. Remember, employees who feel they are being paid less than they deserve, don’t necessarily tell you about it, they seek alternative employment. However, at the interview and offer stage, they might be inclined to go for, and accept, the role which is offering them market rate and not benchmarking against current packages. This could mean employers are losing out on a great employee, who now works for the competition.