Red flags that suggest a job posting doesn’t offer a ‘competitive salary’ as it claims, recruiters say


As job postings increasingly tout "competitive salaries" without specifics, job seekers face the challenge of uncovering actual compensation details. While salary ranges often emerge during initial conversations, it's crucial to identify potential red flags early to avoid wasting time on offers that don't meet your expectations.

Red Flags in Salary Discussions:

  1. Avoidance of Salary Talk Bonnie Dilber, a recruiting leader at Zapier, warns that recruiters unwilling to discuss compensation is a clear red flag. Be wary of hiring managers who claim salary discussions might influence candidate interest or those who ask for your expectations without revealing their range.
  2. Persistent Postponement Jeff Hyman, an experienced executive recruiter, notes that while some initial delay in salary discussions may be justified, continued evasion after multiple interviews is concerning. This could indicate the company hasn't determined its budget or is attempting to leverage candidate desperation.

Hyman advises: "By the end of the third conversation, you should have a clear understanding of compensation." If discussions stall, consider a tactful push:

"We've had great conversations, and I'm confident in the value I can add. However, to respect both our time, it's important to ensure our compensation expectations align. Perhaps you could take some time to establish the compensation level and then circle back?"

  1. Overemphasis on Non-Monetary Perks While perks like office atmosphere, free snacks, and generous time-off policies can be valuable, an excessive focus on these benefits may signal subpar salary offerings. Hyman cautions, "If you keep hearing about things other than money, it's at least a yellow flag if not a red flag."

In conclusion, while salary transparency shouldn't be the sole factor in evaluating potential employers, it's crucial to remain vigilant about these warning signs. Open and timely compensation discussions are key to ensuring both parties' expectations align, saving time and avoiding frustration in the hiring process.

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