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Ask HN: Wouldn't a “Who is hiring” thread requiring a salary range be nice?
79 points by beeboop on Dec 2, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
I think this lack of disclosure is often a frustrating aspect of job ads, and I think a lot of the HN community recognizes this. I have wasted too much of my life on job interviews only to later find out they have a ridiculously low salary range. Can we try to make HN a change for good and have separate monthly threads for those who want to post salary ranges with their job openings?

The only people who won't post salaries are those who are scared it will be so low it will scare people away. They all think "oh, you will like working here so much you won't even mind when we low ball you!" 99% of jobs have a budget. Just post your budget...

This seems like you're not anchoring at the beginning of the interview process. If you're being lowballed constantly, why not start the interview with something like "I appreciate the opportunity here, but I'm looking for at least $X in salary."

Because you lose a tremendous amount of leverage in negotiating that way. 99% of the time, no matter how much you emphasize "at least", we salary talks start the HR person's first line is that they're offering you what your minimum was. You will counter with something higher and I promise you the response will be "Oh but we understood you would be okay with this amount I offered." You are starting out at the bare minimum. It's a terrible idea.

I imagine it's the same thinking on the other side. HRs thinking that they lose that leverage if they give you a range. As in, they could have hired you cheaper?

That's exactly it. One side has to give, but if you're a good developer and you're to the point of salary negotiation, you have a lot of leverage in this circumstance. In my opinion it makes more sense for an employer to give you an offer versus asking you how much you want. I say this diplomatically.

It depends on your situation. For example, I just switched jobs and I was fine with simply receiving the standard 10-15% pay increase that most recruiters know they have to offer to get you to move, so I simply told them my current salary. If I was looking to make a huge jump then I wouldn't have done that, but I really liked the company and was excited about the work. It's all about what the move represents.

Then you're anchoring much too low. For example, if all of your offers are low, then go in asking what you'd like to make +10%. If they throw you out then you're not worth what you think you are, but if they're willing to negotiate then you might end up where you'd like.

You're angry at the HR person because they're anchoring too low, but you're afraid to anchor at all and you're upset with them.

You're still needlessly leaving money on the table with your plan. What if (made up numbers) I am currently making 50k. To move to a new job, I would want 60k. The job budget is actually 70-80k. I tell them 60k, they say "Great!" and accept. I just potentially lost $20,000 per year.

So you have two options: ask for a range up front and get people that turn you down because of it, or waste your time with interview processes with people who wind up low balling you. I choose the former. Or the third option, you presented, give them a minimum up front and leave tens of thousands on the table, save time, and also potentially wind up working for a company that is shitty in its hiring practices and attracts employees accordingly.

Negotiation isn't a matter of how much you would be happy with, it's a matter of how much you can get.

Negotiation is a matter of finding an outcome that works for both sides. Perhaps one side gains a bit more than the other, but working to squeeze money out of one party is sure to eventually backfire.

The issue that you're trying to solve here is that you're wasting time. The solution to that is simple: go in with a salary that would make you happy/delighted. Sure, is it possible that you might be leaving money on the table? Yes. But, that's not the problem we're trying to solve here. This is an expectations problem where the two sides expect severely different outcomes. Those need to be aligned before negotiations can really even take place.

If the issue was that you thought you were constantly leaving money on the table, then yes, perhaps a different approach would be necessary.

1. If the job market and economy were better, then salary would be less of an issue, and the strength of the candidate would be more of an issue.

2.If salary offers are ridiculously low side, this usually indicates that there are problems with money in the company, or that company is offering something which will substitute for the low salary (really cool tech, everyone wants to work there, remote work, perks, etc.) Recently, it is mostly been the former.

3. Worldwide talent availability and competition from multinational corporations has made the engineering job market less lucrative in the US for engineers.

From the Sept 2015 thread, someone posted some JS that will let you search all of the comments. They give an example using wildcards that makes it easier to search for numbers.


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