Can Prospective Employer Ask Past Employer about Your Salary? - The Career Doctor Blog

Angela writes:

I recently went on a job interview where the person conducting the interview asked me how much I made in both my current and previous job. I told the interviewer who then called my past employer and asked him how much I made as well. I was appalled that they did this and don’t really even think it’s legal.

Is it okay for a company I am applying with to contact my past employer and ask him or her how much I was making while employed there? This past employer was not a reference of mine and in my opinion should not have been contacted and asked how much did so and so make when they worked for you.

The Career Doctor responds:

You have to remember that in job-hunting, knowledge is power. That’s why early in the process, it is critical for job-seekers to research prospective employers. But employers always want the upper hand, and in salary negotiation, having your previous salary information means the employer can possibly offer you a lower salary.

I have had job-seekers tell me that some prospective employers demand to see pay stubs as proof of compensation. Never offer salary information until requested to do so.

I understand the value of information, but I detest the idea that a job-seeker’s worth is dependent on the amount of money s/he is currently earning. I believe employers should pay not only what the job is worth, but what the job-seeker’s potential is worth.

So, the lesson here is not to lie or inflate your former compensation just to try and obtain a higher salary. Instead, be aware of your strengths and achievements — and demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the employer.

Employers typically do not divulge much information for fear of lawsuits, but they do provide starting and ending dates, and some will verify salary information, as well as the circumstances under which you left.

Posted via web from AndyWergedal