How much are you currently earning? Interview question

Job Interviewer: “Alex, what is your current and expected salary”?

Alex: Sir, my current salary is XXXXXX.XXX INR per month. As for the expected CTC, I have nothing in mind. You can offer me for this role according to your budget.

Interviewer: “But you must have a character in mind, right”?

Alex: no sir

Well, this scenario begs a question: do you hire employees and offer them a salary based on their current or last salary, or do you offer them a salary based on your budget for the role? If you offer them a salary based on their last salary I am sorry to say but your HR and management team is not doing a good job. There is what is known as human resources planning, which receives input from the annual human resources budget and the annual compensation plan. I’m not sure how someone can hire without a manpower plan. That’s suicidal. By offering salaries based on candidates’ most recently earned salaries instead of the salary budget for the position, you create an internal equity imbalance, thereby cutting off disengaged and dissatisfied employees.

Each job description must consist of the following elements:

  1. role description
  2. List of required skills and competencies
  3. Details of required experience and education
  4. Reporting hierarchy/growth path [Placement in Organizational Structure]
  5. Whether or not this role is suitable for the removal assistant
  6. Compensation budget range and performance entitlement for the role
  7. place of work

A job description that omits any of these elements is considered incomplete.

Let’s remember. If your organization is a brand that the candidate wants to identify with, or if the role is highly challenging and offers the candidate the opportunity to push their boundaries and be creative, a candidate will not mind a Accept an organization’s offer, even if it is. The compensation offered is 10-15% less than his current package.

On the contrary, if the candidate has the required education, experience, skills and competence and has passed all rounds of interviews and if his psychometric assessment report confirms his candidacy for the position and he has a positive reference check report, then why should he not double his current or most recent salary being offered if that is your salary budget for the role?

Posting details of compensation and benefits with the job description is good recruiting practice. It simplifies the hiring process and makes it lean. It attracts the right talent. Hiding compensation and benefit details from the job description reflects badly on the organization. It shows inefficiency and inadequacy of the HR function. It will attract multiple irrelevant profiles and unnecessarily complicate the hiring process.

Alex, who works as a Customer Service Manager, has 12 years of customer service experience. His current (fixed) annual base salary is 1.2 million Indian rupees. He applied for TWO jobs – Job-A and Job-B looking for experiences similar to Alex’s. None of these positions have disclosed their compensation budget for their positions. His profile was not shortlisted by any of these organizations. While Organization-A felt his current salary is much higher than the maximum salary they can offer for the role; Organization-B thought the other way around. Had they published the compensation budget along with the job description, don’t you think it would have saved time for both the candidate and the recruiter concerned? Candidates often apply for a job based on role description, experience and qualifications; while the recruiters’ shortlisted profiles based on hidden information – The compensation budget.

Can you explain and share why compensation and benefits details cannot be published with a job description? What is the purpose and agenda of creating ambiguity and complexity?

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