Companies That Refuse to Divulge Their Pay Range

I had a very interesting exchange this afternoon with a recruiter for an L&D role at a very popular high street optometrist.

Job sounded great - fantastic opportunity to design materials and learning. However, when we got to the end of the call they asked "What are you currently earning?" and "How much do you want to earn?"

I responded with "What is the range for the role in the PD?". To which, they responded…. "Can't tell you that, it's HR policy to assess skills before discussing money".

I told them to get lost and that I find it offensive to refuse to offer that information.

What do you do or would you do?


                          • +5

                            @jv: That is total deaths, there is no specific breakdown of aged care deaths.

                            Again, no real data backing up your wild claims that the majority of aged care deaths were in Vic, and that someone should be put in jail.

                            Keep reading those headlines, you're doing great.

                      • +4

                        @jv: Quarantine is a Commonwealth responsibility. The states stepped in and hobbled together hotel quarantine in a matter of days when they realised the Commonwealth government wasn't going to do anything. It should have only been a temporary solution but we've got a Commonwealth government that abhors responsibility so two years into a pandemic there are still no purpose built facilities.

                        • -1


                          are still no purpose built facilities.

                          and that's thanks to the delays from the state government.

                          • +1

                            @jv: Which state government? There are six of them, and two territory governments. How have the state(s) been causing delays and, further, why should it matter if they have given that quarantine is a Commonwealth responsibility? The Commonwealth government has ample facilities and resources it could have called upon to fulfil the quarantining responsibility it is constitutionally obliged to. Instead of shouldering their responsibility the Commonwealth government passed the buck the the States who used hotels, resulting in unsurprising outcomes given that hotels are not health facilities.

                  • +4

                    @jv: Help us. These are all verbatim Sky News talking points.

              • +2

                @jv: Robodebt under the dirty Libs have killed thousands.
                Now, what were you saying about pink batts again?

              • +2

                @jv: so by introducing a government rebate scheme for energy-saving installations of ceiling insulation to save millions of Australians money in heating and cooling their homes, you think Rudd killed 4 workers who failed to follow basic safety rules under time pressure from their dodgy hurry-up money-grubbing sub-contractors (I met one of them - a 19yo dodgy young guy who told me he had 100 workers installing pink batts) ?

                by that logic, Morrison killed hundreds of people in aged care homes,plus for that matter hundreds his government let off the cruise boat at the start of COVID - yeah ?

                ARREST THAT CRIMINAL !

          • +9

            @jv: Oh JV
            But mind you you own your own business so it would make sense that you'd prefer the ball to be in the employer's court.

          • @jv: I can tell you for a fact that my wages in healthcare decreased during that time.

            penalty rate for evening work removed, it used to start from 6pm, now it starts from 7pm (worth 25%)

            Penalty rate for working Sunday, cut from 200% to 150%.

            I have now left the industry since it's hell bent on keeping me in poverty

      • +1



      • +4

        I don’t understand how you’re not banned yet.

        • +5

          I have never seen JV so thoroughly destroyed in all my years here, and I love it!

          • -2


            I have never seen JV so thoroughly destroyed in all my years here

            LOL… You must be new here

            11 -ve votes out of 1250 views… You are as delusional as Dan…

            • +2

              @jv: JV i love you, standing up for the big boys, i love sucking dick too, i like dicks, dicks dicks :)

              nah but srs, which city are you in? I can hook you up

            • @jv: jv - you are soul - a classic troll

        • I don’t understand

          Go back to school then…

          • @jv: no u

            • @Techie4066: ain't gonna happen.

              • @jv: ಠ_ಠ

                You're talking nonsense. Taxes were lower for the 99% under Gillard/Rudd, real wages were much higher. Suit yourself, but the stats most certainly don't suit your narrative. It's not the smartest to be eating up all the IPA/The Australian/Sky News bullcrap which only suits the elite at the top of the "LiB gUd EcOnOmIc MaNaGeMeNt" propoganda machine.

                • @Techie4066:

                  Taxes were lower for the 99% under Gillard/Rudd


                  propoganda machine.

                  Seems like you've been hypnotised by Dan…

                  • @jv: Do you understand the concepts of "wage stagnation" and "inflation"? What do they comprise?

                    Idgaf about Dan. I'm more of a Chris Minns kinda guy.

                    • @Techie4066: Nice deflection. Are you sure you're not really Dan ?

                      • @jv: Dan dan dan. That's all you know. Rent-free!!
                        You know the ALP exists beyond the Victorian branch? And noting statistical evidence + the dismal state of the LNP under worse-than-Tony-Abbott Scummo doesn't even constitute support of the Labor Party????

                        • @Techie4066:

                          Dan dan dan. That's all you know. Rent-free!!


                          • +1

                            @jv: jv, the abysmal troll. 13 years and you haven't mastered the art.

                          • @jv: Kev07 the handball master 😍
                            And Julia the one and only prime ministerial queen 👑

                            • @Techie4066: With a "cup of tea and an iced Vovo"

                              • @jv: You got any dirt on the main man Albo??

                                • @Techie4066: He is dirt…

                                  • +1

                                    @jv: And you must eat it too, given how long your tightarse spends on here.

                                    • @Techie4066: TA does not belong to me.

                                      • @jv: You're right, instead the dirt mountain you've consumed has reached your head and morphed your brain into mush over your 13 years of assuming the role of OzB's Head Tight-Ass Troll.

  • I told them to get lost…
    What do you do or would you do?

    I'd tell them I earned 50% more than I really do and ask for only 10% more than that, to not seem greedy…

    After that, I'd say "plus super"…

  • +2

    Don't tell them your current wage… tell them it is against your principles.

    Ask them to provide an offer based on the expertise you offer the company. Tell them your offer will reflect how much you value what I have to offer, and what your believe I benefit your company.

    Tell them you have a number of prospective employer offers to consider, and hope they will offer a serious package conducive to your qualifications, work skill-set and benefits to company.

  • +1

    I have been annoyed by this for years. There needs to be a LAW to require companies to reveal the pay range.

    For example:
    - The ad needs to show the exact pay, eg. 80k
    - If it's a pay range, the range can not exceed 5k increments. For example, the ad needs to state 55k-60k. If a salary is over 100k, 10k increments.
    - The ad needs to be wage or salary PLUS super, none of this including super BS to trick applicants
    - If the salary changes upon interview, it cannot be less than the advertised amount

    The government wants people to look for jobs but ironically these click bait ads are just turning away people. I don't apply for jobs if they don't state a pay figure.

    • +3

      Good luck with that law. We can’t even stop wage theft and when its found out the perpetrators get slapped with wet lettuce

      • +2

        I know it's a dream.

        Like the new E-scooter trial in Melbourne, you can't use a private scooter, you have to rent one from the 2 companies. I think that's so ironically, contradicting to even ban personal e-scooters but yet legalise private companies for hire. So if the government makes money, it's allowed. Go figure.

  • +1

    I had a similar conversation end of last year, I told that HR guy that i wont disclose my current pay as its against my principle and asked them to make me their best offer and i would let them know if its acceptable. Never heard back from them after that unfortunately.
    Disclosure- i was interviewing with few other companies at the same time and already had a good offer which i ended up accepting

  • +1

    I've never had a recruiter find me any roles other than the exact bottom of my 'range' anyway.

    So forget any kind of range, just tell them exactly what you want and be done with it. They will either have something for you or they wont.

  • +1

    Drop the recruiter and go direct and ask for the range.

  • +3

    You should at least do some research into your field and what the pay range is for your role and then the pay range for the company you are applying for.

    I make it a rule to never tell the recruiter how much I'm earning at the moment, that's irrelevant. I find that they just usually add on 10% or so as a premium to lure you over. That's been my experience when I used to tell them earlier in my career. I have stopped that now and was able to get way bigger pay rises. I changed jobs recently and got a 40% pay rise.

    For example, I work in the financial sector, so I know how much analysts, senior analysts, manager, senior manager and directors earn at various companies. This is obtained through publicly available sources, such as forums, websites such as glassdoor, research compiled by recruiters (they usually release an annual report on the salaries at various levels for various sectors they cover) and personal relationship via friends at various companies who are close enough to me to tell me their salary.

    You should know your worth, don't let other people tell you how much it is.

  • +1

    Play the game, if they do this, have a figure you want, and direct your answers to that if they wont give you a pay range.



  • +1

    Been on both sides of this - the reason why they will ask questions such as "how much do you want to earn?" is because it allows them to extract the surplus from you. If they give you a figure, you might have been willing to work for less. If you give them a figure, they might have been willing to pay you more. Therefore, from their perspective, they want you to show your hand. From your perspective, you want them to show their hand.

    This is all an issue that can easily be mitigated with regulations that mandate an employer list the pay ranges with any job advertisement. This is already the case in various places around the world.

    FWIW, I wouldn't take it personally, it's in their interest that you get paid as little as possible and it's in your interest to get paid as much as possible. Generally speaking, if someone reaches out to me, I would expect them to share the salary range. If I am applying for a job, I'm generally happy to wait until the end of the process to see what they offer to make my decision. If anyone asks me for my salary, I will generally tell them it's against my company policy to disclose. If anyone asks me how much I expect, I would say something higher than what I really would expect, or I will refuse to answer.

    Has always served me well.

    • That's just bad business and bad culture. Why not just pay correctly for what role is worth?

      • There's no such thing as culture anymore IMO - corporate world today is just about competition and the pay. Everyone I know makes their decision based on how much they're paid and how many hours they have to work. I have never seen anyone accept lower pay for "better culture", better work-life balance (i.e. better hours and less stress), yes, but not culture.

        At the end of the day, pay is a negotiation process. When you go to a car dealership, you also do not "pay what the car is worth", you want the lowest price possible, the dealer wants the highest price possible. It's the same with your salary. There's no loyalty either way, you should always make decisions in your best interest because you can be sure that your employer will never hesitate to pay you less, or let you go if you're no longer needed.

  • +1

    Work in IT as contractor, will always start my conversation with pay first.

    • +1

      Contractor life is not for everyone. I've always been a permanent employee my entire career. I don't think the contractor premium is enough to compensate for the loss in job security, sick pay (although I don't usually take sickies), holiday pay, annual leave and maternity/paternity leave.

      • +1

        Agree, it's subjective

      • -2

        I don't think the contractor premium is enough to compensate for the loss in job security,

        job security… LOL….

        • Whilst I've never had to worry about job security, others like the fact that its harder to fire permanent employees (compared to contractors and casuals) and there is redundancy pay, while contractors don't have that.

  • FYI It CAN be part of recruiters KPI's to come in "under budget". I've heard people who are friends of friends that were job recruiters at the time brag about how far under budget they were for the year.

    For those who don't get what I mean, the job will tell them the salary budget for a listing and the recruiter is incentivised to headhunt people for less than that amount.

    The worst I recall hearing about was software developer role hired for 60k for a potential budget of 140k. The dude just asked his old salary plus an extra small balance on top.

    Shoot for the moon. Just throw out a huge figure and let them negotiate it down.

    • did that 60k candidate leave in 3 months?

      Surely it was a matter of time before that person found out how much their peers were making.

      • I've no idea to be honest, you'd assume after a few months it'd come up but really how often do people talk about their salaries?

  • If I am approached I ask for an indication of salary before progressing at all. Got tired of saying “Gosh I remember when I used to make that kind of money”.

    At the end of they day companies are trying to control wage growth which is perfectly reasonable. A job is more than just $ and I have taken a significant cut to get into a desirable role because I knew it was a better growth path.

    If you’re not happy with your remuneration it is a discussion with your manager. If you can’t come to an agreement you need to decide if is enough to make you look elsewhere.

  • -1

    (Disclaimer: Being head-hunted is slightly different here). In general (can only comment on so-called "white-collar" employment), they will interview the best candidates they can find from the applicants and work out what they think the best candidate would be worth relative to the role's salary range. As an applicant YOU should be aware of what the role is worth and how much of a margin you think your particular set of skills is worth on top of that (or below if you know you are the kind of person to "take it a little bit easy"). If you are realistic, the figure they offer and your expectations should be fairly in line with each other. If not you are either applying for the wrong roles or need to adjust your expectations. There is a huge amount of work that goes into defining salary bands. Input is taken from many large organisations world-wide and then distilled down into ranges - there are companies whose reason for existence is to help corporates define these salary bands and most large corporates specifically design these bands to be similar to each other. The result is that salary ranges for similar roles should be similar from one large company to the next. There will be some variation, but not by much.

    Also remember that from a company's perspective, they don't know how well you will actually perform in the role. If the company tells the applicant the exact salary range, the applicant automatically assumes they should be getting something near the top of that range - it's just human nature. The reality is that until the company knows how you actually perform in role, they can't just assume you will be the stand out performer and offer you the top of the range. If you are a dud (and there are plenty out there who think they are awesome while being useless) they are then stuck significantly overpaying someone which means others have to miss out as all budgets are finite. The salary range is there to help distinguish between high and low performers. Any offer is usually going to mid-way or below which gives them flexibility once they see how you actually perform. Outstanding candidates, or roles that may be in particularly high demand at the time, may be offered higher than mid-way but it would be extremely rare to offer a candidate anything at the top end of the range.

    Also, going in at the top of the salary range will mean your pay rises will be capped until the salary range (usually reviewed annually) moves significantly or you manage to move to a higher-banded role within the company. This has knock-on consequences a year or two down the line where the applicant (now an employee) starts feeling unloved and under-valued and looks to jump ship which (if you are a half-decent performer) EVERY company would prefer to avoid.

    Despite what most people think, the vast majority of corporate employers (I'm not talking about small business here), are not out to "get you" and purposefully underpay you. There are generally very strict guidelines in place. They are simply looking for the best bang for their buck.

    Ironically, the candidates I've seen who whinge the most about how unfair the salary discussion is, are usually the ones who have a completely warped and incorrect view of their own abilities. If they don't get everything they want then it's always the company's fault, never the fact that they are simply not good enough to command the salary they are expecting. Over-inflated egos are a problem.

    If you want that salary-range certainty you need to find a government or university type role where all ranges are publicised, but where your increases are also pre-defined with no real way of rewarding outstanding performance.

    I work for a large tech company and we never ask current salary (should be irrelevant) or even your expectations (you should have a rough idea of what the role you are applying for should pay). If you progress to offer stage, we will generally offer the best we can working within the guidelines and it will be based on how you performed in the interviews, what we hear back from your references and how well we hope you might perform once in role. There is always the opportunity to negotiate but be realistic - if you are offered $100k, don't be surprised if they laugh at you when you go back and demand $150K.

    • +3

      The last paragraph hit a nerve. Your company is a waste of time just like the jibberish you wrote in your post.

      Salary range should be addressed in the first conversation, not last like your company. I feel bad for candidates that go through 3-4 recruitment stages and only to find out that the salary offered is below what they are currently on. What an insult!

      • -1

        The word is actually "gibberish" which gives me some clue as to why you feel the way you do. You seem to be in that group of people who think they are amazing while struggling to even spell correctly. If the offer is substantially below what they are on then either they are being overpaid in their current role or they are applying for the wrong roles. If you don't know what a given role in a given industry is paying, you need to do some homework first so you avoid interviewing for roles that are clearly paying below what you will accept. There are plenty of websites (free and paid) that will give you guidance on this.

        How can you discuss salary in the first interview before the company has had the chance to gauge how well you might perform in their organisation or before they have had the chance to check with your referees how you performed at previous roles? Imagine you wanted to hire a cleaner and the first question they ask you is "How much will you pay me?" Your budget is $20-$30 per hour but you have absolutely no idea how well this person cleans, if they are trustworthy or if they are even able to do the job. Do you immediately tell them your range? Assume you tell them and they then tell you "well, I will only accept $30/hour as a minimum" and you then agree, shake hands and set up a time for them to work. Afterwards you call one of their references only to be told that this person was not very good and is only worth $20/hour. What do you do then? Fire them? Companies can't do that due to strict labour laws.

        If you are told a salary range, human nature dictates you will automatically assume you should be paid at the top of that range which is hardly ever the case.

        • +3

          oh dear, heres a tip. You're meant to call the reference BEFORE offering a job the candidate, not afterwards.

        • yeh no come back on that fudge that's what I thought! 👍

        • Sorry, but have you ever actually gone through a recruitment process? I'm sure all of that rubbish you typed out sounded right in your head, but damn did it miss the mark.

  • Its amazing that close to minimum wage jobs don’t advertise pay either. At the very least they should say ‘award rates’ or as the little doer said “tell ‘em the price, son”

  • +3

    If they can't advise the salary or budget available for the role, they're playing games.

    • +3

      I dont get why companies want to play games like that. If their goal is to get the best candidate for the cheapest price (below market rate). That candidate will just leave for a better job in a few months time and the company will be back to square one. A good company will pay their people their true value if they want to retain them

  • This thread reminds me of this

    Bottom line: If a company isn't transparent about the pay from the get go, they are not worth working for.

  • -1

    Jeese, why don't you just tell them what salary you want straight up. What's the problem.

  • +1

    It’s a two way street. You could make up any number when asked about your current salary. Make up a number that you are comfortable with joining, and then add 10% to that. This provided you know your market rate and you applied for the right seniority role.

    Then you can ask the recruiter if you are within the range. If they say their budget is below, and you want the job, you can still say you would be still interested if the fit works. That demonstrated you ain’t all about chasing the $$$.

    But if they clam up in your situation, probably not a good start to the process and move on

  • +2

    "I'm interested in the role with you, and would be happy to bring my skills to the benefit of your company. As your offer will be based on the skills assessment…Once you've had the opportunity to assess my skillset against your remuneration criteria please feel free to come to me with a market competitive offer. Thank you."

    If they don't know the market they shouldn't be recruiting to that market. It's simply to low ball candidates which tells me the company doesn't invest in quality staff.

    • if they dont know the market rate then wouldn't they have the same chance as offering a higher market rate as opposed to a lower one?

      Just a thought

  • -1

    What are you currently earning

    This question is illegal.

    Also i think its mandatory to advertise a salary on the job adv. but not 100% sure of this.

  • Another poster used a real estate analogy - I hate sending a price query for a property, and REA comes back and says they don’t have one but then asks what my budget is. I just don’t bother corresponding any further with agents like that.

    This is kind of the same thing except an REA selling property always needs to be on your good side and not the other way around, whilst in recruitment you shouldn’t underestimate how small the world can be depending on the industry. There’s nothing to be gained by unnecessarily burning bridges. It may have been better to deflect what you’re earning now and tell them the high end of what market salaries are for expected salary, and let the discussion develop from there.

  • I'd ask for 250k

    They can either afford it; or
    You can call them a "peasant".

  • No need to tell recruiter how much you earn right now as it helps you nothing.

    "Isn't it our intention to discuss the opportunity of me working with your client?"
    "As a HR specialist, you must agree it is sensitive to talk about the package of the current employer"

    "My expected salary is between XXX-YYY, and I am looking forward to perform and excel myself in the future position to earn XXX+20K - YYY+20K (for example) in 2-3 years."

    Or just give them wrong info as they will have no way to find out.

  • Right now is likely to be some of the best employment conditions you see in your entire career.

    My first piece of advice is don't bother with recruiters.

    My second piece of advice is for you to initiate the wage conversation and be on the front foot if they dont very quickly (I'm talking conversation point #1-3).

    e.g. from last year for me, moving as a medium term staffer (6 yrs) to another company intending to be a medium-long term staffer (8+ yrs):
    I was at employer X, it was time to move on, had 1 other really good offer on the table but liked the idea of working at company Y (their perks, ease of commute etc), comment 2 in interview with company Y from me straight off the bat was - I'd like to discuss remuneration because it's a competitive job market and I want to make sure that we're on the same page. HR person jumped straight in we don't discuss that right now blabla. I just said look I appreciate the policy, but I'm trying to make sure that we're on the same page with the value of what I'm offering to bring to the team. Disclosure - I do have multiple offers on the table, but this is a preferred employer.

    I gave them the range and the HR person said we couldn't get close but they'd get back to me after the interview. Once on that topic it's a really good point to talk development - from yourself, how you will perform/what you will deliver and your wage expectations as you grow more senior at the organisation.

    The third point to be careful of - some companies (of all sizes) are ignoring/haven't adapted to the current environment and are trying to employ like it's still 2013. Colleagues in my industry (infrastructure engineering/design) can't even get a good resume let alone a good employee due to company HR being unwilling to pay market rates. Being direct about wage lets you filter out these employees as it's a waste of everybody's time - the more 5 minute interviews they have with prospective employees who just aren't going to work for peanuts, the faster they'll align with market rates.

  • The company I'm in asked me "what is your expected salary" as one of the application questions - by this point, I knew what I needed to make so, I threw down a 50% increase in the previous salary (it's that high because old work was criminal in underpayments for junior staff) and laughed.

    A single day later, the internal recruiter gave me a call to say that they couldn't do 50%, but 40% was an option. The rest is history and I laugh every time I get paid.

    Basically, find out what you're supposed to be making and throw down a figure +10% of that. Heck, even 20%. The worst thing they can say is no. And if they're really keen, they will work at it with you.

    Never give them the power that their budget is the only hard line in recruitment - at the end of the day, people are measured up by what they make so, go out and own that figure.

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