I work in a scientific field, and my position required a PhD degree with job experience. So, I was hired as an experienced scientist. To be precise, I came to the organization with a PhD degree and 6 years of work experience.
Few months after I joined the team, we hired a new employee, and I also happened to be in the hiring committee. So, the new hire and I work in the same team. My colleague was hired fresh off the grad school, so has a PhD degree and no job experience. However, we both have PhD in the same discipline. Beyond doubt, all team members know that I have skills which I acquired over 5+ years of my post PhD job experiences, and my colleague is starting in our team with only a graduate research experience. Further, I also happen to be helping my new colleague to learn skill sets that are necessary in our team.
Perhaps no one in my team would expect this new hire to have higher salary than me. I would expect my colleague to have salary that is lesser or similar to mine. However, I came across a document (a mortgage application) that shows my colleague's salary is 18% higher than mine. Based on casual conversation with coworkers (mostly during happy hours), I have come to learn that salary differentials in our company can be very large, and sometimes hard to explain. I have been with this company for just over a year and getting to know my employer better over time.
I am confident that if i were to find a job elsewhere I could have a salary 30 K higher than what I am paid. So, I am believing that my employer is simply paying me less, and I am considering to apply for jobs elsewhere.
Could there be any specific reason that the new hire without job experience be paid higher, and could I make any effort to get it addressed to my manager or HR?