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QUESTION = Why does a company need to know my current salary?

A = Any potential employer will need to know if you will fit within their current salary matrix.  In addition, they need to know how your potential new salary will compare to the salaries of their current employees.  This is known as the Internal Equity factor and is quite important.  If you think about this, it would be a de-motivational factor to have a new person with equal experience come in and suddenly be far above the range of the loyal existing employees who may have paid their dues and earned their place on the salary matrix.  Bringing in a new person at a higher rate could lead to present employees being disgruntled and even leaving the company.
Some candidates will be afraid that if their current salary is too low, it may be used as a lower benchmark to make a slight increase over when a potential; offer is contemplated.  Such is generally not the case and, in fact, a low current salary will often be a major justification for a candidate wanting to make a career change.  When presenting a candidate, we at Quality Search, will also give a salary range that is expected and mention how soon an expected annual raise and revue might be coming.  In summary, it is necessary to tell a prospective employer what you have been earning, when a next raise is anticipated and for how much as well as any bottom line minimum expectation that a candidate has.  However, we prefer to not be specific on a bottom line and would rather give a range that is within the comfort zone , provided the job, company and location are all acceptable.  As your recruiter, representing and working on your behalf, we will help guide an employer as to what is realistic and acceptable for you and your uniqueness.  

As to the Actual Salary and the bigger picture surrounding it, please note the following:  Employees, or potential employees, ofte look at the Base Salary as the main incentive and measurement of income value provided to them by a hiring company.  During these challenging economic times when salary increases are low or nonexistent, understanding the true compensation can be a benefit to any employee or potential employee.  Generally, "Total Compensation" ranges from 30 to 50 percent above base compensation for an organization and most employees are not usually thinking of the nature and cost of these additional benefits to a company and the benefit.  As mentioned, compensation is far more than simply the 
Base Compensation, Bonus and Commissions.  It also includes many other items such as Government Mandated Benefits, Voluntary Benefits, Nonmonetary Benefits, Stock Options/Plans, Cost of Workers' Compensation, 401(k) Actual Match, Paid Time Off for Family Emergencies, Tuition Reimbursement, Vacations, Paid Holidays,  Insurance and various related Benefits and Co-Pays that are included as well as various Performance Bonuses etc. to name a few.  As mentioned, the up-charge for these additional benefits can easily equal another 30-50% of the base salary in hidden benefit cost that a company is paying in your behalf.  Bottom line you need to weigh many factors in your decision about, and reaction to, any salary offer.


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