16Dec 2018

One Question Employers Shouldn’t Be Able To Ask

Posted by : H. Adeniyi Taiwo

During the hiring process, the stakes are high for both employer sand employees. A bad hire can cost an employer a lot of time and money. For employees, accepting the wrong job can stunt one’s career and lead to job unhappiness. Despite the risks for both sides, employers often seem to have the upper hand in negotiating. However, the truth is that when employers decide to hire someone, they have to take a break from their business and devote resources to reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. They are often very eager to fill their open position as soon as possible so that they can get back to business. Unfortunately, prospective employees are often so thrilled at having been made an offer that they don’t think about negotiating the terms of their employment. Ironically, they end up forfeiting the strongest advantage they will likely ever get over an employer.

However, even the savvy job candidate that knows to negotiate has been at a disadvantage in the past because employers routinely ask for your salary history at some point in the interview process. Obviously,this gives the upper hand back to the employer because it’s more difficult to justify a desired salary if the employer knows it’s $10,000 more than what you’recurrently making. Thankfully, many jurisdictions are giving power back to employees be prohibiting employers from asking about salary history. Just last year NYC Mayer Bill de Blasio signed a bill that made that the law of the land.Many other cities have joined suit, such as San Francisco, Philadelphia,Delaware and Massachusetts. The main motivation behind such laws has been to help women, as many believe that the power imbalance between employer and employee when it comes to negotiating salaries has contributed to the gender pay gap. However, this change in law can benefit employees as a whole.

Experts have said that the failure to negotiate one’s salary up front can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in lost earnings over the course of a career when compared to those that do. While taking the initiative to ask for more money is a start, it will often be in vain if employers continue to be able to ask about past compensation. In order to level the playing field, prohibiting this practice must become a nationwide practice, rather than being limited to a handful of cities. 

Tags : job interviews

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