I work as a Jr. Software Developer and get paid $67k/yr. I got a new offer this week (for a Sr. Developer), they're offering me 110k/yr excluding other perks.

I'm currently in the background verification process. I haven't told them (new workplace) about my current salary, and we only have a verbal agreement. I'm not sure if they'll find out about my salary during the background check, but will this affect my final offer, that I'm expecting this week?

When I inquired with the HR today, they told me that the final offer needs to be "approved" by management and would take some time.

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I haven't told them (new workplace) about my current salary, and we only have a verbal agreement. I'm not sure if they'll find out about my salary during the background check, but will this affect my final offer, that I'm expecting this week?

A background check will likely turn up your current salary if the company wants it to.

But you already have a salary offer. That means that they value the position at around $110k, that it fits within their budget, and that they believe you are worth what they are offering. Your previous salary shouldn't change that belief.

And once you reach the background check stage, salary negotiation isn't really the point. Typically, they are just looking for red flags that would cause them to pull the offer. Your prior salary wouldn't likely raise such a flag, unless you lied about it.

Anything is possible. But I wouldn't expect the company to try to renegotiate your offer in this case. You'll find out eventually.

Just in case, think about it and decide ahead of time what salary it would take to keep you from walking away. Try not to anchor completely on their original offer (although of course you want at least that much).

  • 1
    "Try not to anchor completely on their original offer" - This seems counterintuitive. They already offered and valued you at $X. It is too late for them to change it without trashing their trustworthiness. – Brandin Sep 20 '17 at 11:52
  • I'd be very hesitant to accept anything less now. If they suddenly decide you are worth less then it suggests that their method of determining your worth is flawed and doesn't bode well for future negotiations over raises etc. It also indicates that they punish people for loyalty and sticking with a good company/interesting work even if the salary isn't great. – user Sep 20 '17 at 13:18
  • Joe are you sure that "civilian" background checks can get access to that sort of data? legally – Neuromancer Sep 20 '17 at 17:06
  • I finally received the official offer letter. Tldr is that my current salary did not affect my offer. This was one of the larger tech companies – Tesla88 Sep 28 '17 at 19:14

It is hard to tell if this will surely afect you in this case; we would be guessing if we said yes or no to that question.

However, it is not rare that recruiters check your last salary as part of the recruiting process, so they get a better idea of how much to offer you. In a way (recruiter's point of view), so they can give you a better offer than your last job and at the same time so they don't go too far and offer you way much than you earned before. This way they are maximising the cost/benefit of hiring you.

Now, given that you mention they offered that ammount (and not something you requested) it seems to suggest that they are indeed willing and able to pay you that ammount (maybe giving you a good salary so you are tempted to take the job).

It would be unprofessional from their part to take back their word and give you a lower counter-offer; if this happens I suggest you rethink if it is worth working in a company that does not keep their word when they can obtain profit from it.

However, there is also nothing preventing them from "politely" saying you were not selected for the job, when they really just found someone who does the job for less money (here I am speculating, but is one of the possibilities).

For this, I am afraid, there is few things you could do. Only time will tell you for sure if you were selected or not. Hope this words help you out, good luck with your job search.

  • That's why it's best to bypass recruiters and contact companies directly. They don't have your best interests in mind, they have their own and the employer's. – user Sep 20 '17 at 13:19

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