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Five Tips for When Responding to Job Posts That Don’t List Salary
For Professionals

Five Tips for When Responding to Job Posts That Don’t List Salary

By Braulio Giron, Jr. on September 6, 2019

For one reason or another, some job posts don’t list compensation, but that does not always mean you should pass up an opportunity just because an employer seems like they’ll only offer you below average pay

So you log-on to Kalibrr, and after updating your professional information, you come across a job vacancy that fits your qualifications to a tee. It feels like you just won the lottery. Or it should have, but then you have no idea how much you can possibly make in the role because the job posting didn’t include the salary. 

This type of scenario is unfortunately a lot more common than any of us would like, as a lot of employers post jobs sans salary information. But, why do they do it?

Some believe that not listing a salary range will encourage more applicants, even if it can be argued that a smaller pool of better-informed applicants can actually save time and effort in recruitment, or that when the salary is competitive, making it public is actually what gets them more applicants.

Others, for their part, believe that disclosing salary information makes them more vulnerable to their competition and be easily outbid for talent. Then, there’s also the concern that present employees may feel slighted when they see job posts hiring for roles similar to theirs, with salary offers that are more than what they currently make.

Typically however, employers don’t list salaries to maintain their negotiating power, and save some money in the event they find the hires they want at a salary that is significantly below the maximum that they can over. That, or the company or industry they are in simply have strict confidentiality guidelines.

Whichever the case, some employers simply don’t include a salary or a salary range in their job posts. And, while it would be much easier to know if a role is worth applying to when we know how much the compensation is right from the start, for the meantime, we’ll have to take it upon ourselves to find the salary information we need. Here are five ways how.

 

Apply

Yup. There’s really no way around finding out what a job pays than by applying for it. But really, what’s one more application, especially when you are currently in between jobs? The key here is that when someone eventually reaches out to you regarding the job, don’t be afraid to ask about the salary range upfront.

If you’re worried about coming across as someone who is only interested in the pay, you can avoid this by forming your question to first emphasis your interest in the role, and that you only ask to make sure you and the employer don’t end up wasting each other’s time:

“I appreciate your taking the time to reach out about my application. The opportunity to fill this role with your company sounds very interesting. May I ask what its salary is? I’d really prefer not to further take up your time if we’re not within the same range compensation wise.”

 

Keep YOUR Salary Confidential

If you don’t feel bold enough to ask about the salary when you receive the initial call from a recruiter, or you were invited via email, you’ll likely have to wait for the actual job interview to be able to ask about the salary. Conversely, you’ll likely also be asked the following:

“How much did your earn previously?” or “How much are you earning in your current role?”

These are the questions that can derail your interviews, especially when what you previously or presently earn is significantly lower than what you want at the job you are interviewing for. The instant you reveal what your prior jobs’ pay,  you’ve more less have more difficult for yourself to negotiate anything much better than that.

A good way to respond is to redirect the question so that you only not give up your salary information, but are able to ask about the exact range the employer can offer. 

“Honestly, I don’t feel that what I earned in my last role is relevant with regard to this opportunity. This job’s responsibilities are a little more extensive (because you’re likely applying for a better position than the one you had), not to mention my previous employer is totally different company with its own set of budgets and salary guidelines. More importantly, I am looking for a job that can make good use of my skills and experience while being compensated fairly for it.”

 

Do your research

While it’s great to be confident in your capabilities, it only works when you are also prepared with related information. So before going to an interview it’s always a good idea to do some research and determine how much other people have made doing the job you’re applying for, and to make sure your expectations are in line with your reality. 

Remember, your education, expertise, experience, the size of the company you’re interviewing with, and even your geography can affect your potential compensation. There are various websites out there that can provide general info which you can use as a basis for your negotiations, but it’s important to take note that these also often lack the specificity needed for different regions, levels of experience, etc. So you'll really eventually still have to ask.

Another ideal source of information would be from local recruiters, job-search consultants, and even peers, who either possess familiarity with the company you are applying to, or at least have an understanding of the pay range/s in the industry you are applying in or  the role you are applying for.

 

Have the compensation broken down

When the employer or recruiter eventually answers your salary questions, keep in mind that the value or range they provide you may be the overall compensation for the job. In this case, you should ask if it indeed is the gross amount you’ll earn, and when they confirm that it is, follow up by how the salary is broken down.

Granted, the answer you’ll get may depend on how far along in the interview process you are. If at the initial stage, the recruiter you are speaking with may not be privy to the details of your compensation, and may only have a general figure, if any at all. However, if already speaking with say, a Hiring Manager, you’ll likely be able to get a more comprehensive answer given you are at a deeper stage of the process.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get what you’re hoping for in base salary, in addition to substantial benefits. However in other cases, benefits will be included in the overall compensation package. Also, some starting salaries are higher to compensate for poor benefits, or lower because benefits are plentiful, making it paramount to ask for a breakdown so you can also better assess the job based on your priorities.

 

Be reasonable

While you should always try to receive as much value as you can for the experience and expertise that you have to offer, it is also helpful to be flexible and be open to negotiations and compromise. 

You surely have a minimum salary amount that you require to maintain your lifestyle, but also be mindful of the possible financial limits your potential employer may have to work with. So never sell yourself short, but be willing to work with your recruiters to reach a compromise. 

Remember, compensation has many other working parts— job title, growth opportunities, and the previously mentioned benefits, among others—and discussing these in detail and making needed adjustments can help satisfy both you and the employer if you happen to be a good fit for the role they offer.

 

Ready to find that dream job with your ideal salary? Sign up at Kalibrr and be connected to thousands of employers, today!


Kalibrr is a technology company that aims to transform how candidates find jobs and how companies hire talent. Placing the candidate experience at the center of everything it does, the company continues to attract the best talent from all over, with over 2.3 million professionals and counting. Kalibrr ultimately connects these talents to companies in search of their next generation of leaders.

The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.

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