I'm seeking new employment in East Asia; specifically, China and Hong Kong (though relevant answers about other, not-too-culturally-distant markets will be helpful), and in the software industry. It's a matter of course here for companies to ask about your current salary and even request to see pay stubs before hiring someone.
Many recruiters and HR departments ask for this information up front, and often insistently so, though it's not relevant (aside from rejecting applicants with too extreme requested salaries) or usually discussed until the offer stage. I prefer to wait until actually hashing out an offer to discuss salary, but perhaps my reasoning for wanting to do so is misguided. In the US or EU, not immediately discussing money (and not mentioning present salary, though that's not an option here) will generally give an applicant better (or rather, not preemptively destroy) negotiating leverage. I've assumed the following would apply here, and for similar reasons.
If it's not obvious, I'm not a native here. The positions I'm applying for are general ones in the open market. That is to say, the employers aren't particularly or exclusively trying to recruit foreign talent. It's welcome, but not expressly sought out. This is to say that it's definitely my responsibility to adapt to the local professional culture, and I shouldn't expect to be able to flout or ignore normal hiring processes. Indeed, being able to handle things in the same way as a local applicant would be a mark in my favor. At the same time, I have to be extra careful for a lot of the same reasons, particularly when negotiating salaries, lest I end up in a really unfavorable position. So I'm wondering if this is a rule that can be bent (as is very often the case here) or not.
- Is not immediately listing my current and requested salaries in my CV or cover letter likely to get my application rejected out of hand, whether or not the listing asks for them?
- Does the common western-market-oriented advice about when to negotiate pay by and large apply in East Asia?