A Reader Writes
Recently, I was rejected by an employer even when I was one of their top candidates just because my current salary was much higher than what they were offering.
I revealed my current salary in a phone interview, after which I went for an in-person interview, which went quite well. They mentioned that my salary is too high and that was the only concern that came in the way of hiring me right away. I was okay with the salary and I emailed thank-you notes to let them know that I am interested in the position.
After a few days, the HR manager informed me that the company was really impressed with me. And then there was no response from their side, so I sent a follow-up email. Later, I was told that the company has hired another candidate for this position, but they also mentioned that I was the perfect candidate for the job and that the company tried to work something out. And somehow I feel that they tried to increase the salary, but it didn’t work out.
I am not sure why this happened. I was okay with a lower pay as the company was providing many other perks along the pay, such as flexible work hours, travel, and an option to work from home. What can be the reason that the company didn’t even bother to offer me the job? Is it just because they thought the pay they offered was comparatively low? They could have offered me the job, and could have moved to the next candidate if I declined the offer. Why did they skip directly to the next candidate? Should I have been clear that I was ready to accept a lower pay? I didn’t do that because I wanted to take my chances and didn’t want to “shut in” that salary if there was a room for negotiation.
Would it be better if I explicitly told them that I was ready to take a pay cut? What can I do better if such situation arises again?
WHAT TO DO IF THE EMPLOYER REJECTED ME BECAUSE MY CURRENT SALARY IS REALLY HIGH?
Such situation arises to many of the job seekers and this is the reason why job seekers hate to discuss salary matters. Many job seekers miss the chance of getting hired just by giving a high number for their expected salary and end up seeming overpriced. Even if they are willing to take a pay cut, they do not mention it beforehand, as they do not want to miss the chance to negotiate.
In your case, the employers would have thought that you earn much more than what they are offering so even if offered the job, you would reject it. You didn’t clarify that you are ready to work for a lower pay, assuming that they would get the hint from your thank-you notes and follow-up emails. However, many candidates do that in the hope of negotiating the salary, once the job is offered. Probably the employers should have offered you the job if you were their first choice. But why would you rely on employers to decide if the salary would be enough to keep you satisfied? It can be tricky for employers too, as they don’t want to hire a candidate who is not happy with the salary and keeps looking for other opportunities even after joining the company.
It is really fiddly to handle such situation because on one hand you need to make sure that they know that you are willing to take a pay cut while on the other hand, you don’t want to leave any money on the table if they would increase the pay if you negotiate.
This is the reason why job seekers find salary discussions as nerve-wracking and confusing.