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I know that there are lots of questions about salary disclosure, but my question isn't the why but the how.

It's in the employer's best interest to receive salary information so they can save money, if possible, so HR is usually very proactive about trying to push their applicants into disclosing their salary histories.

  • How does one get around online applications where the salary field is required, what are some general ideas?
  • What are some good ways to negotiate between a HR member asking you directly for omitted information?
  • "This information is required" - is it, really? Are there any general situations where it really is required, say, for a government funded job?
  • Can one be declined for not providing salary history?

closed as too broad by gnat, Chris E, Jim G., yochannah, Jan Doggen Dec 20 '14 at 15:50

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Aren't most of the questions handled by the other questions on this topic? – KatieK Dec 19 '14 at 18:09
  • If anyone asked my my salary history, I'd have to say "I honestly don't know offhand, and I don't think you really want a list of every raise I've gotten over the past several decades. What are you really asking?" – keshlam Dec 19 '14 at 23:51
  • I've never had anyone ask me to disclose my current salary - and if they did, they would all get "that's none of you business, but you can ask me what my desired salary is" – HorusKol Dec 21 '14 at 22:36
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How does one get around online applications where the salary field is required, what are some general ideas?

Often, the forms are pretty dumb. You can sometimes put $0 or $1 in the required salary fields.

What are some good ways to negotiate between a HR member asking you directly for omitted information?

You could say "I'd rather not provide that information" and hope for the best.

"This information is required" - is it, really? Are there any general situations where it really is required, say, for a government funded job?

"Required" is an attribute of an employer. If the employer decides that it is "required" (for any reason), then it is.

Can one be declined for not providing salary history?

Yes, one can be declined for not providing any required information.

Remember, outside of legal requirements, the employer makes the rules regarding what information you must provide, and what you can decline to provide.

If an employer says "You must provide your salary history" and you choose not to do so, you can (and often will) be bypassed.

The employer has the job you are seeking, the employer makes the rules for obtaining that job. You can choose not to follow the rules, but most of the time that means you won't get the job.

You as the applicant have the rules for gaining your services. If you make it a condition that you be permitted to omit required fields in an application, then you are choosing to narrow the field of potential employers down. That's your choice to make.

  • I have the skilled worker, I make the rules. The real question is if you can stand to walk away from the job offer better than or equal to the one offering. Whomever is in the better position to walk away sets the rules, and while that often is the employer, if you are in a strong position, you can push back on this rule. You may risk losing the offer, but you may end up with a singificantly higher offer than had you given your current salary. Only you can decide what the appropriate risk level is for your current situation. – Lawtonfogle Dec 19 '14 at 21:58
  • If you are not willing to provide salary history and the company insists it must have it, likely you are not going to be happy there anyway because they are likely to have lots of petty bureaucratic processes that you will hate. So if you say no and they turn you down, you have probably dodged a bullet. – HLGEM Feb 23 '16 at 16:22
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Unless the employer is asking for information they can't legally ask, you must realize that failure to answer a question, or answering it in a vague way, can get you eliminated even before the interview

Imagine this scenario:

  • Employer has a salary range they can pay.
  • 100 people apply for the position;
  • They plan on interviewing a minimum of 5 people.
  • 20 people meet the general requirements and could be called in for an interview.
  • If 4 of the 20 state a minimum salary above the amount they want to pay, those 4 will be at the end of the list.
  • If you don't answer the salary question why would you expect to be among the first 5 called?

They don't care if you are perfect for the job, and that you would be willing to negotiate a salary in their range. They would prefer to interview those who they know are viable.

If you want to skip the question most systems will allow you to enter a small string or number.

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    I think you're addressing "desired salary" , not "salary history." While some people see them as related, they can and should be considered independently. One should not be disqualified for a position if they're currently making $100K but would accept $50K for a change in industry, line of work, or location (or a combination of factors). – alroc Dec 19 '14 at 18:54

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