Is the age-old interviewing practice of asking a candidate about their current salary level or compensation history about to become illegal?
Several cities and states have already passed legislation that broadly prohibits companies in the private sector from asking questions about a candidate’s salary history. And, to no surprise, legislation already passed in various states vary widely in terms of restrictions and conditions, each with their own individual nuances companies must follow.
Employers clearly like the ability to ask this question, possibly allowing them to avoid investing time with candidates who turn out to be “too expensive”. If this information is so helpful, why pass legislation preventing this?
The simple answer is: An effort to eliminate the gender pay gap.
Are there unintended consequences that may hinder companies when it comes to identifying and interviewing qualified candidates? Perhaps. Clearly many companies will have to revisit how they go about legally narrowing the candidate pool when it comes to the “salary question”.
Advocates of this type of legislation take the position it forces a company to pay competitive wages, and reduces the opportunity to take advantage of underpaid candidates or discriminate based on gender.
Companies typically take the position that without prior compensation information, they lose a valuable piece of data (one of many important gauges) to help determine both affordability as well as a reasonable indicator of prior performance.
Like many controversial laws, strong opinions and arguments are made by both sides.
An article published in Law Journal Newsletters provides some insight on currently enacted legislation in various cities and states.
Now is the time to start reviewing your interview processes and approach in anticipation of future legislation. Until then, VAR Staffing always advises to look at the total compensation package and not just salary as a viable means to attract qualified candidates.
VAR Staffing’s sole focus is enabling the VAR / MSP community hire the right person for the right job. Increasing or upgrading your staff? We welcome the opportunity to discuss our talent acquisition services. Call us at 972-996-0966 or email Ashley at Awilliamson@VARstaffing.com