The New Pay Talk “What Is Your Salary Requirement?”

There are a few parts of the job search that jobseekers hate to think about more than the salary history question. But, in recent years, this once ubiquitous part of the job hiring process has begun to give way as many states over the past five years have introduced bans barring employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history. In its place, a new method of salary negotiation has begun to take its place with a new question that job seekers need to be prepared to answer. What is your salary requirement?

No More Salary History

Bans on salary history have arisen all over the country in the last five years as part of an effort to close the salary gap between women and men across the country. States and localities across the country have banned the question, including New York and California, and as recently as last year Rhode Island and Nevada passed bans that also required employers to provide salary ranges for positions to applicants.

These bans are still so new in most regions that it is hard to say what kind of effect they have had. In some regions, it has appeared to lead to an increase in wages; however, other studies have shown little change.

However, what has changed is the culture surrounding salary negotiations. With the edge job seekers have had in the recent labor market and the growing recognition of the importance of salary negotiation combined with these bans, job seekers are no longer being asked what they used to make. Now job seekers are being asked what they want to make.

What Is Your Salary Requirement?

Employers across the country have moved to ask this question which leads to a back and forth dialogue. However, for many job seekers, this may still be a difficult discussion leading to strong feelings of shame despite the fact that employers are having a great deal of difficulty filling positions and applicants have more power than ever to demand higher wages.

In many cases, applicants may also resist revealing their own number out of fear that they will ask too low and miss out on money they could have earned. But, many recruiters will not move on until they receive a number. A good way to handle this is to flip the question around and ask the recruiter themselves what the range being offered for the role is, and in certain states, they will be required to inform you.

However, it is also best to go into an interview with an honest idea of what your skills are worth. Try doing some research online and ask anyone in your network what they are earning. From this, know what the minimum you are willing to accept is and try aiming high when giving your number. If the offer you receive is less than the minimum, you should decide to be ready to walk away.

Final Thoughts

Though traditionally, employers would ask what an applicant is currently earning and base their own offer on this with a possible slight bump up, this is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, applicants will be expected to discuss what they are looking to make. This is a big change and an opportunity for many job seekers to show why they deserve to be paid a higher wage. Remember not to sell yourself short but be willing to negotiate for the wage you want.

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