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Asking for a Salary Range: How to Start the Conversation

Posted on June 2023

Asking for the Salary Range

Navigating the terrain of salary discussions can feel like treading through a minefield. However, it's a critical aspect of job searching that cannot be avoided. This article aims to provide you with an insight into how to start the conversation about salary range, when to do it, and why it is important.

When to Ask About Salary Range

The timing of the salary conversation is an essential element of the job interview process. It's generally recommended to discuss salary after receiving a job offer or when you've reached the later stages of the interview process. At this point, the employer has demonstrated a high level of interest in your skills and qualifications, allowing the salary negotiation to happen on a more balanced ground.

However, it's not uncommon for employers to bring up the salary conversation during the initial stages of the interview process. They may do this to ensure that there's no significant disconnect between their budget and your expectations. If this happens, be prepared to discuss your salary expectations, but also try to keep the conversation focused on understanding the role, the company's culture, and how you can contribute to their success.

How to Research Relevant Salary Ranges

Understanding the market rate for your role in your specific industry and location is a crucial step before entering into salary negotiations. Many websites provide a wealth of data on salary averages, such as Glassdoor, Payscale, and LinkedIn Salary Insights. These platforms usually offer a range based on factors like experience, education, and location.

In addition, factors like the size of the company and the cost of living in the job's location can significantly affect salary. For instance, a large corporation in a metropolitan city will likely offer a higher salary compared to a small start-up in a rural area.

Finally, it's crucial to evaluate your unique skillset and accomplishments. Specialized skills or an impressive track record can command a higher salary, even above the market average.

Also explore the top 10 management skills you need for progression.

How to Ask for a Salary Range

When it comes to asking for a salary range, preparation and confidence are key. Providing a salary range, rather than a single figure, gives you room for negotiation. The lower end of your range should be a figure that you'd be content with, while the upper end can be more aspirational.

When expressing your salary range, you could say something like: "Given my research on the industry, the location, and the scope of the responsibilities involved, I believe a salary range of X to Y would be appropriate."

This approach demonstrates that you've done your due diligence and that you understand the value that you bring. If the employer can't meet your range, but you're still interested in the role, you can also discuss other compensation elements like benefits and flexible working hours. For more insight into how to negotiate your salary click here.

Why Employers Ask About Your Salary Expectations

When employers ask about your salary expectations, it helps them gauge if your requirements align with their budget. A significant mismatch could be a reason to end the hiring process if the gap is too wide to bridge.

Also, your salary expectations give employers an indication of how you value your skills and experience. A candidate who has a realistic understanding of their market value can be seen as more professional and serious about their career.

You can find more insights about the importance of higher salaries vs career progression for financial professionals here.

Legal Changes in Salary Range Discussions in Some USA States

Another important factor to consider when discussing salary ranges is the legal changes that have occurred in some U.S. states regarding salary history inquiries. In recent years, several states and cities have passed laws prohibiting employers from asking about an applicant's past salaries during the hiring process. This move aims to break the cycle of wage inequality that can persist when future salaries are based on past ones.

These "salary history ban" laws can significantly influence the negotiation process. Instead of relying on past salary data, employers in these jurisdictions are required to base their offer on the job's responsibilities and market rates, and on the value that the candidate brings to the role.

For professionals looking for their next role, this shift reinforces the importance of conducting thorough research on the market rates for the role and industry, and being prepared to articulate your worth effectively.

Why work with Selby Jennings

As a leading talent partner, we at Selby Jennings understand the importance of aligning talent with the right opportunities. Our wealth of banking and financial services industry knowledge, and deep-rooted connections, make us an ideal partner in your job search or hiring process.

When you choose to work with us, we provide you with personalized advice tailored to your specific career needs. We understand that salary negotiations can often seem daunting, and we are committed to assisting you through this process. Our experienced recruiters have the insights and data needed to help you understand your market value, empowering you to engage in informed and confident salary discussions.

Moreover, we pride ourselves on our proactive approach; we believe that the right opportunity can significantly impact a professional's career trajectory, which is why we actively encourage candidates to apply for relevant roles or submit their resumes.

By doing this, we aim to ensure a diverse pool of high-quality candidates for potential employers, while also providing professionals with a broad array of opportunities to find a role that fits your career aspirations perfectly.