This question is similar but deals with startups. This is a established mid-sized company.

Today I received my first ping from a company on StackOverflow Careers. A tech company recruiter near to me (central/western Europe) asked if they could call me up and tell me about what opportunities they had open. Since this is the first time this has happened, I'm a bit tempted to pick up the offer and see where it goes (I have no clue what to expect).

I realise that this is very much looking ahead, but I'm wondering if it is appropriate to ask for a rough salary figure (e.g. per hour) at such an early stage. As it stands, it is not very formal or official and I realise that the actual experience factors will factor in very much. Their own website does not mention any figures.

I'm stuck between:

  • Coming across as greedy and corresponding negative connotations, especially with my very limited experience.

  • Trying to get a feeling if it's a serious offer and job and compensated accordingly.

  • Another answer give the advice I followed: Ask Early
    – Konerak
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 12:07
  • If you work in IT you will be probably contacted by recruiters quite often. It's hard to take part in each recruiting process, so information about salary is a useful information to filter out offers which wouldn't be interesting for you.
    – user34102
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 14:15
  • 1
    salary per hour???
    – Pepone
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 23:26

3 Answers 3


Note: I'm talking from a UK perspective. You might want to include continent to give an idea of the local culture.

In the UK and I believe the US it's normal to ask recruiters for the salary range they'd expect to find for people with your qualifications and experience. Particularly if the jobs are in a location you're not used to. If you have hard requirements they'll need to know about those as well.

Remember: People don't work for free, it's not greedy to expect to be paid or to ask for ballpark figures. The entire transaction of working for a paycheck is you selling your labor for cash. Indeed if it's a recruiter they'll be trying to slot you into job openings and they get a commission based on your salary. Normally it's in their interest to get you into something in a reasonable salary range.

  • I did include the continent: Europe, Benelux more specifically :)
    – Antonio
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 17:44
  • 4
    Yes, salary/pay is quite often one of the first things discussed here in the US. If the pay isnt what you want, there is no point in discussing the position.
    – Keltari
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 2:58
  • @Keltari wish it was the same everywhere. In some countries you only find out the amount by the end of the interview, which is hugely frustrating.
    – ya23
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 10:10
  • As a contractor, it's the first thing I ask. The recruiter will appreciate not having their time wasted.
    – Justin
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 9:21

Giving a salary range (even a broad one) helps everyone not to waste time. If you want x, but employer can only offer 0.5x, you wouldn't apply. Also, if the ad said 10x, you wouldn't apply.

It is better to find out the ballpark as early as possible in the process. The company might not give you the answer, but that won't be seen as inappropriate (and if it was - bullet dodged!).


The recruiter doesn't know. They can give figures, but such values will be no better than what you can infer from internet sources.

A company will offer differ amounts depending on the person and their experience, and different companies will offer widely different amounts based on various factors, including how flush the company is. In some companies there will be a pay scale which is fixed because if they pay different people different amounts for the same type of position it will cause problems. Such companies will generally state the standard amount for the position type. You will not find out what that is exactly until they make the offer.

  • 1
    "The recruiter doesn't know" may or may not be true. It would be very rare for a recruiter not to have a ballpark figure, though. That's not to say they know if this is a true range, but it should be enough to gauge if a candidate is roughly suitable.
    – Jon Story
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 15:17

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