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Common practice to lie about current salary to potential employers?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Is this common? I ask since everyone I talk to seem to "round up" quite a bit. I personally haven't done it and won't do it due to ethical beliefs. I will round up to the nearest whole amount since your salary can look funky when you get a 3.51 percent raise or another obscure amount, but won't be adding $10k or so.

The ones who did it said they have no regrets and they got a nice bump in pay at the start of the new job and call me a fool for being ethical.

Have you gents done this or have you been on the other end who was hiring and found out about your candidates lying?
post #2 of 23

I personally don't see the need to lie, your credentials and negotiating should get you the salary or pay you feel your worth depending what your field your in of course. I do however will round up just myself.

post #3 of 23
I have not lied about my salary BUT I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over doing it. Salary negotiation is a game IMO. Employers are always trying to turn the odds in their favor. Why shouldn't job seekers? Hell a majority of jobs do not even post a range anymore. I have had a couple interviews that start with a call from an HR person and about the 5th question is the salary I am looking for. I don't even have a full understanding of what the position entails yet, nor do I know other benefits that may make taking a lesser salary still attractive.

I bet the number of companies that would have paid a person more than what they accepted is staggering.

Perhaps I am jaded from recent job searches. I just think salary negotiation favors employers. People are willing to work for less than risk pricing themselves out of a job all together. With the unemployment rate recently it is an employers market. You have to what you can to turn the odds in your favor IMO.
post #4 of 23
As roles get more senior/serious/high-paid, the risk of background checks and verifications increases. If you get caught you could get fired.
post #5 of 23
^agree it's a risk.
post #6 of 23
I just had an interview, and they didn't even ask me what my current salary is. They simply asked me what salary I was asking for, and I told them, "based on my research I think $x is reasonable. I'm not going to come in here and ask for 2x or 1.5x to negotiate with you." They agreed that [my asking salary] seemed reasonable.

When I am asked though, I will round, but I won't add anything significant to my salary.

I did see an article on linkedin that recommended giving them the exact w2 number because it builds trust with the potential employer.

Edit: Added the content in brackets brackets
Edited by brokencycle - 7/18/14 at 11:14am
post #7 of 23

I'm not going to come in here and ask for 2x or 1.5x to negotiate with you." They agreed that seemed reasonable.

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post #8 of 23
In my case, I divulged current salary when asked - based on my research, I'm on the high end of the salary range for my role/title/experience. I felt that it made sense to disclose to ensure that we were on the same page going forward regarding expectations.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencycle View Post

I just had an interview, and they didn't even ask me what my current salary is. They simply asked me what salary I was asking for, and I told them, "based on my research I think $x is reasonable. I'm not going to come in here and ask for 2x or 1.5x to negotiate with you." They agreed that [my asking salary] seemed reasonable.

When I am asked though, I will round, but I won't add anything significant to my salary.

I did see an article on linkedin that recommended giving them the exact w2 number because it builds trust with the potential employer.

Edit: Added the content in brackets brackets
Same, more or less. There's about 5 friends I keep in touch with. Our resumes are nearly identical. We got the BS the same year, MS the same year, and nearly the same amount of experience in the same field. I use their incomes as a bargaining point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by archetypal_yuppie View Post

As roles get more senior/serious/high-paid, the risk of background checks and verifications increases. If you get caught you could get fired.
Exactly. Plus, I would feel pretty bad starting a new job on a bad foot with a lie. Others may be able to do it, but I don't think I can.
post #10 of 23
I wouldn't lie...but I wouldn't be afraid to talk in terms of "Total Compensation". Salary + Estimated Overtime (if applicable) + Bonus + 401k Match + Health Care + PTO + Other benefits. Don't lie and say that this sum is your "Salary", but say something like "Well, I can tell you that in terms of total compensation, I was around $#k". Benefits vary across jobs, and what good is an extra 5k salary if you are losing 10k worth of benefits?

That being said, I would fight to avoid stating my current compensation. Let them give you a number, otherwise they are just going to take your number, add a bit to the top, and call it a day. If that number comes in low, you can counter with your current pay (but only if you are really looking to switch jobs...because if they offer you that little, its probably not the job you want).

You can read a decent response to an article that suggested lying here:
http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/on-refusing-to-disclose-your-salary-in-a-job-interview/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
post #11 of 23
I always round up, but call it compensation (which isn't always taxable W2 line item)

Airline miles, credit card points, all towards compensation, but not W2
post #12 of 23
Thank Christ I work for myself, now.
post #13 of 23
If there is a line item on the registration form for current compensation I leave it blank. If they want to know how much I make, they can ask me to my face.

When asked to my face, have I said a number higher than the actual...for sure and would probably continue to do so. It is the company's job to higher you at the lowest cost, and it is your job to get the highest.

As a person fairly high up in a very large corporation I can tell you that most people answer honestly, and those people generally settle for less than I may have offered. I also can tell you, that our company (one of the largest in healthcare) does not do an income check.

Do you think anyone would call up HR and ask how much you paid an employee, and even if they did do you think they would get an answer?

Know your worth and ask for it.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTLION View Post

If there is a line item on the registration form for current compensation I leave it blank. If they want to know how much I make, they can ask me to my face.

When asked to my face, have I said a number higher than the actual...for sure and would probably continue to do so. It is the company's job to higher you at the lowest cost, and it is your job to get the highest.

As a person fairly high up in a very large corporation I can tell you that most people answer honestly, and those people generally settle for less than I may have offered. I also can tell you, that our company (one of the largest in healthcare) does not do an income check.

Do you think anyone would call up HR and ask how much you paid an employee, and even if they did do you think they would get an answer?

Know your worth and ask for it.
I know what I'm worth but ethics is also important with me. I start at the new company tomorrow and aside from running a check on my history to ensure the information I provided about my education and experience are correct, I'm not sure about the income portion.

However, the employer I just left did ask me for some kind of salary verification upon getting hired. This company is in clinical testing, one of the two largest players in the country. I would've been screwed had I lied.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by wj4 View Post

I know what I'm worth but ethics is also important with me. I start at the new company tomorrow and aside from running a check on my history to ensure the information I provided about my education and experience are correct, I'm not sure about the income portion.

However, the employer I just left did ask me for some kind of salary verification upon getting hired. This company is in clinical testing, one of the two largest players in the country. I would've been screwed had I lied.

I understand your dilemma but back in the day one's compensation was one's own business. I interview and hire people and I think the easier question is, "how much are you looking to make in salary?" I also worked with a large healthcare company that asked what was the lowest compensation you would accept.

All of these questions are favoring the employer.

Perhaps your answer is an answer of total compensation rather than a break down of salary + commissions or bonuses.

I could go into more detail but I won't. All I can tell you is that you should be very careful when answering these type of questions because you are likely negotiating against yourself. For that reason I either decline to answer or reverse the question.

If asked how much...I ask how much they are looking to pay? Once you put a number out there...that is the standard for which negoitating will be measured.
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