Emma Delli-Bovi
Emma Delli-Bovi
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Should I lie about my salary?

I recently read an article on LinkedIn written by someone in America which out and out branded the personal questions that each job seeker is asked during the recruitment process, with a particular emphasis on current or previous salary, as “overly personal” and “ridiculous”.

Apparently an interviewer, or be it recruitment consultant, asking these questions and then a job seeker answering them is them ruining their own chances of getting higher salaries or better offers as their weak points are exposed too early in the process. Apparently it is believed by a job seeker within the hiring process that the employers have the upper hand and a job seeker is the person who gives them that. The author writes that this sort of personal information is of “no one’s business but your own…..”

This is ludicrous!

Firstly, the job search is a collaborative process and a two way street. You, your prospective employer and myself as your recruitment consultant, are working together to make this work, so why is it completely out of the question for them to get to know you and your personal circumstances.

This is something which I do every day. I ask the personal questions which I need to know in order to make this work. I am always asking about current salary and salary expectations, about living arrangements and childcare arrangements; one of the most frequent questions I ask, “so who else will be involved in the decision making process?”.

If you are thinking about not answering these questions or lying about the answers, stop for a second and think about what I actually might do with this information. Am I going to use it against you in some warped way to secure you an offer that you will never accept? Seems unlikely. Am I going to flog this information to a PPI or accident claims cold caller to harass you with annoying calls? My jobs not worth that! Or am I simply going to use it to ensure that I discuss with you only the roles which suit your requirements, which pay within the bracket you will be happy with and ultimately secure you the best possible deal for a job which you’ve told me you want.

Hmmm……

At BCL Legal, each consultant is an expert within their own markets. I consider myself to be an expert on all things East Midlands and East Anglia. I am here to provide 100% objective advice all of the time, but I am only as good as the information I am provided. If you are talking about salary ranges which are well outside of the bracket for the role or outside of market rates then I’m already working on the back foot. If however, I understand the salary and package you were on previously, and where your expectations lie and why, then I can use my market knowledge to make suggestions about opportunities which might fit. It’s in no ones best interests (and that’s mine, yours or my clients) for me to send you to an interview for a role which is absolutely never going to work, and I know that I would rather know that from the start – wouldn’t you?

Some people lie about salary because they think it puts them in a better position to negotiate at offer stage, some people feel they are underpaid and therefore think another employer will believe they are worth that low salary so inflate it on their CV, or some people simply do it because someone else told them too.

None of the above is true. Employers will pay you what they believe you are worth. That’s why you put your trust in someone like me to be able to guide you when it comes to salaries, and I am only as good as the information I am in possession of so I cannot negotiate well if I don’t know current salaries and expectations.

Everything comes out in the wash and do you really want an offer rescinded or revoked because it was made based on a misrepresentation from yourself? The reality is, if a current employer does not wish to make you an offer which reflects your skills, experience and talent then do you want to work there anyway, despite what you were paid before? I think not.

If you wish to have a confidential chat about salaries across the East Midlands or East Anglia then please do not hesitate to give me a call on 0121 230 1020 or email me at emmadelli-bovi@bcllegal.com.

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