Watch out for these five gambits used by recruiters trying to lure candidates into accepting an inferior pay package.
1. They ask what you are currently earning
When you are selling your house and call an estate agent for a valuation, you do not expect them to ask you how much you think it is worth; however, it is apparent that many recruiters have no idea about the going rate for a set of skills or how much a candidate can expect to be paid. If a recruiter asks a candidate what they are currently earning, the candidate immediately fears that the recruiter will not consider them for higher-paying jobs.
The recruiter is looking to place an experienced individual in a new job at their current rate and pick up a fee on the way. What could be easier? There is no need to persuade the new company to pay above the market rate and it will also be spared the expense of training.
2. Promises, promises – but it is always jam tomorrow
There are recruiters who do very well for themselves simply by pushing candidates sideways into new posts; however, to persuade the employee to change job for the same salary, they must talk up the fantastic potential for salary increases in the future.
Not right now, you understand, but sometime in the future when the new employer somehow miraculously ceases to be the skinflint it clearly currently is and magically morphs into a benevolent provider of increased salaries and promotion opportunities. Advice to candidates: do not hold your breath.
3. They talk up non-salary benefits
If the recruiter is selling the job on a shorter commute, a great crowd of people and a lovely view from the office window, you can bet that the salary is a joke.
4. They try the ‘stepping stone’ gambit
If the recruiter is truly desperate, they will try the ‘stepping stone’ ploy. They agree the salary is not at the top of the range – actually, it barely makes it past living wage – but this particular company is a place that will really get your career going, look wonderful on your CV, and open a world of opportunities once you leave.
While this may hold true in the sewing rooms of Paris couture houses or kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants, it is unlikely to be the case for an average software development firm or retailer. If you look at the examples quoted, very few people ever work in these places. Thousands work for more ordinary businesses; therefore, you do not have the same rarity value.
In any case, what kind of recruitment agent effectively tells you a job will be like banging your head against the wall – hell at the time, but great when you do not work there anymore?
5. They quote market rates
The firm implies that it is paying the going rate for the job by quoting ‘market rates’ as the salary information. You can be certain that this means ‘market rates that applied five years ago’.
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