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Headhunter: What are your salary expections?

 
#1 Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
15/06/2010 09:17

Big 4er

When asked by a headhunter or company you're applying for - what would you reply to salary expectations?

Say you're content with your current salary and that money is not the reason why you're looking for something else. Would you nevertheless add 10-20% as a switching top-up to your base salary?

I know this is individual and case-by-case but I'm looking for any rules of thumb here?

Thanks,

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#2 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
15/06/2010 09:48

Village Idiot to Big 4er (#1)

This isn't really rocket science. When a headhunter asks you what your salary expectations are, you should probably reply by telling him what kind of salary you'd expect.

He's trying to avoid wasting your time as well as his. He'll have a salary range for the position and want to make sure that you're in the same ballpark.

If you would move for the same money, you can indicate that. If you want 20% more to encourage you to move, you can indicate that, too.

When I'm asked this question, I usually reply with "what's the salary range for this position?" and most headhunters are willing to answer. Then I can confirm that they're in the right range without committing to a specific number.

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#3 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
15/06/2010 10:03

Anon to Village Idiot (#2)

I once interviewed with PWC and they asked "What do you currently earn?"

A little voice in my head was bursting to reply to the interviewer at that point "I'll tell you if you tell me what colour your underwear is". Talk about personal. I was not impressed.

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#4 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
15/06/2010 10:40

jj to Anon (#3)

Bear in mind that this is a question on which you could get filtered out but not in. So worth stating a range rather than a single figure.

IMO it is a nonsense question without considering the logistics if it involves a relocation or long commute. Purely on financials 50K in Plymouth 5 miles from your house is more valuable than 70K in London.

It is also nonsense without considering benefits (pension, bonus etc..). 50K plus 30% bonus might be worth more than 70K with no bonus. I am amazed that most recruiters who ask this question do not even know what the benefits package includes.

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#5 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
15/06/2010 10:40

jj to Anon (#3)

Bear in mind that this is a question on which you could get filtered out but not in. So worth stating a range rather than a single figure.

IMO it is a nonsense question without considering the logistics if it involves a relocation or long commute. Purely on financials 50K in Plymouth 5 miles from your house is more valuable than 70K in London.

It is also nonsense without considering benefits (pension, bonus etc..). 50K plus 30% bonus might be worth more than 70K with no bonus. I am amazed that most recruiters who ask this question do not even know what the benefits package includes.

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#6 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
15/06/2010 11:01

Mars A Day to Big 4er (#1)

A good way to approach this point is first align yourself laterally to the client, so you will know where you would be if you made a lateral move, as most consulting firm grades dont line up precisely. Now explain what uplift you would beed to maintain progression + element for risk of moving, assuming bens package is at least equal to what you have now. Qualify by stating that you would therefore want x - y range, placing you at A-B grade, assuming that the bens package is at least equal in value to where you are.

HH dont have a problem with you wanting x amount more, what we take issue with is the arbitrary figure increase without rationale, not because we think you are not worth it, but because we need to be able to present the case to our clients. Help us and we can help you.

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#7 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
15/06/2010 11:27

Mars Bar to Mars A Day (#6)

Dear Mr Mars Bar a Day, please tell us more negotiating tactics. Thanking you kindly.

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#8 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
17/06/2010 13:36

recruiter too to Big 4er (#1)

Anon should wake up and smell the coffee: it’s bad enough coming across as a stroppy troublemaker with a recruiter but to do so with a potential employer is just barking.

Re Mars Bar: negotiating is overrated. Employers are remarkably happy in many cases to lose a candidate rather than pay a few grand more and despite popular myth that they will always pay more if they really want you often work to fixed scales so are constrained in what they can offer. They are generally happy to ensure you are a bit better off by joining them so if you find that their offer hasn’t taken account of, for example, a recent or imminent pay rise, differences in travel allowances, benefits details etc and you actually end up at par, or worse off, then you have a pretty compelling case for asking for more.

Agree with MAD: to add that candidates who are unrealistic in their aspirations are generally low on our priority lists.

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#9 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
17/06/2010 13:54

rc to recruiter too (#8)

good point. knowing the internal employer process does help to set expectations a bit more too. in these tight times typically a practice head doesnt have carte blanche but will get approval, based on a business case, to hire say two bodies at a specified grade, and as pointed out that grade has a comp band. if a candidate comes out negotiating over the edge of that band, the practice head would have to go back to their boss and explain why they got the parameters wrong, represent justification (which equates to 'I said I wanted a Renault but now I've seen a BMW I understand what I really need, so can I have some more money') etc.. frankly it's not usually worth the hassle and loss of face, and there are plenty of interchangeable candidates out there..

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#10 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
18/06/2010 13:37

Brenda to rc (#9)

It's clear to me that the posters on this thread each have a different understanding of what "negotiation" means.

When I'm intervieing for a new role, I'm conscious that I have to justify what I want from the company against what they will get from me. Set against this is the fact that the company will attempt to pay me as little as they can, within reason.

To ask for many additional thousands of pounds is unlikely to be a successful tactic BUT to work out where the boundaries lie and push the company towards the upper end of these - in terms of salary and package - makes perfect sense.

For me, negotiation is about give and take, both sides sounding out the other to discover what they will accept.

To say "negotiating is overrated" makes no sense to my understanding. Even if you finally agree to a package close to the initial offer, you are likely to be pleased that you posed the questions.

In answer to the op, as a rule of thumb I would always try to maximise my package with any company but I wouldn't price myself out of a job which would otherwise be a great fit. Research is always the answer and the headhunter is a great person to start this with.

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#11 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
25/06/2010 21:26

Anon66 to Brenda (#10)

I know it is an unconstructive point that has been touched on, but:

'50K plus 30% bonus might be worth more than 70K with no bonus.'

Really?!

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#12 RE: Headhunter: What are your salary expections?
26/06/2010 10:13

jj to Anon66 (#11)

I think actually it illustrates the point quite well. Omission of items does not mean they are not included.

I was personally made a verbal offer once with "car allowance" and no mention of pension. The final offer had a generous pension and large car allowance plus free fuel. At least £15K on top of the verbal offer!

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