My Title page contents

To Share Or Not To Share

Oakstone International Executive Search to share or not to share

I’ve recently read a number of comments about what you should and shouldn’t divulge to recruiters – in particular details about your Salary and Benefits package.

My thoughts on the subject- If you are considering ‘Applying for a job’ you will expect to know what that job pays.

However agreeably this is managed, the relationship between employer and employee is simple: the employee agrees to exchange their time, skills and efforts in return for money and the employer agrees to pay that money.

There are of course endless subtleties between every type of employer and employee but that is the basic contract.

When you go looking for a job – you may be open minded about the way a remuneration package is structured, but again, the reality is that most people need to earn a minimum of X and most hope to earn more.

Recruiters have a contract with their client – that client expects a return on the investment they are making in working with that recruiter. Usually they expect a level of qualification that will include such basics as that the candidate introduced:

  • Is legally entitled to work in the Country

  • Has the skills required to do the job

  • Has previous experience of the area of expertise required

  • Can commute to the office (if required)

  • Doesn’t have too many criminal convictions

  • Has a relevant degree perhaps

  • And YES: is affordable and within budget they have for the position.


PACKAGE IS A BASIC QUALIFICATION CRITERIA and if the recruiter introduces 4 people for the role and one won’t divulge their package details.. yes, they will stand out from the crowd – in 99% of cases – for the wrong reason.  In most cases the recruiter won’t even introduce you

My question (and everyone else’s) will be why don’t you want to divulge your salary? If one in a hundred people – and it’s more like one in two hundred – won’t share their package you can be assured that 90% of those won’t because their package is lower than what they are looking for not higher.

Putting all this aside, if you don’t want to disclose your current package to your recruiter don’t – but be aware this has ramifications.

My experience is that the issue for most is not they won’t share their package details it’s that they won’t share it with people they don’t trust.

Don’t limit your career options by taking a narrow minded blanket approach to this simply because most recruiters are trying to mindlessly pigeon hole you. Check out whether the next recruiter who calls you is one of that rare breed who does have a brain and does give a damn. Then reach a conclusion to work with them or not – if you do then trust them.

In summary-  If a recruiter wants your package simply to qualify you out in a tick-box process, clearly that’s not helpful to you but if it’s part of building a fuller picture to maximise their ability to help you – it can be.

Good recruiters will not approach you unless they have a genuine role “opportunity” in mind.

If we have not spoken to a person before we may well ask for their package details at some point however this will come only after understanding a significant amount about their other circumstances and their career and personal goals. This will absolutely include what type of role, company, culture, commute and travel elements they are open to.

If you are not being invited to share this info by a recruiter, yes, I suggest you walk away.  Take a look at my blog on how to qualify recruiters

Remember; many firms and hiring managers will want to know what your package is or at least what your goals are in advanced of investing the time to meet you – without this information you subject your prospective employer to a potentially huge waste their time going through a process that leads nowhere when it gets to a salary negotiation. If via a recruiter, the recruiter will also get it in the neck for not qualifying package.

People on the other side of the table need to qualify too – this is where the trust and the relationship with your recruiter is key.

If we all trust each other a little more, politely qualify early on what’s important to each party and get to some of the more personal and sensitive questions later, all parties should get the most out of what should be a symbiotic and productive relationship.

Make sure you are working with the right recruiter. They can be your route to joining great companies that are the ideal next step in your career – good recruiters will care about this and help you. Sometimes to be productive, we all need to be a little more patient and understanding of what each party needs to achieve the desired result and to achieve the win-win-win.

I welcome and will respond to thoughts and comments….