Compensation Regulations

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Change is good, right?

So what’s with all the chatter on the new impending regulations around compensation?

NY is one of the first states to roll out a plan that would ban employers and third parties (agencies) from asking candidates for their current and historical salary information. The rules will likely be different from state-to-state and it will be interesting to see how employers, third parties and candidates will adjust.

The NY law goes into effect October of 2017 and part of the goal is to close the gender gap in compensation. We hope these changes benefit everyone, but they should benefit candidates entering the market the most.

Now that we’re approaching this crossroads, I want to explain how I used the topic of compensation as a measuring stick to gauge the mindset of my candidates.

I’ve been recruiting for almost 13 years, and I’ve never placed a candidate that guarded his compensation with me. Never. Literally, not once.

Failure to communicate this generally meant, at least in my book, that there was lack of transparency/trust issues with the candidate. In addition, I noticed a couple correlations:

  1. Nearly all of the candidates who guarded their compensation did not have a clear mission on their job search, other than a fatter paycheck.  
  2. Most of those candidates had higher turnover on their resumes, against the candidate pool willing to share their salary information.  

For me, it isn’t about finding out how much someone is making, but more a factor of – what is their level of transparency and do I believe they are genuine about their job search for the right reasons?

I’m not really looking for a number. I care more about how your respond to the question.

Why this shouldn’t be such a big deal

Lucky for me, Objective Paradigm has done a fantastic job aligning with some of the best clients in the market place. The firms we are working with don’t judge candidates by their current salaries.

The firms we work with have teams that know exactly what you should be paid and our clients don’t follow traditional salary ranges. There are countless examples where candidates are significantly underpaid in their roles and were hired by our clients for 2 to 3x’s their compensation.

Example: a PhD in a post doc role around 50-60K – when we work with these profiles and generate offers with our clients for more than 3x their original salary, we need to provide that to the client up front. In this case, it wouldn’t have mattered either way. We would have gotten the same result. The presented candidate was previously under-compensated and that is common.

Because of experiences like these, I’m not too worried about candidates providing misleading information about their salary expectations going forward. They want to make what they’re worth and do what they love, not move jobs or start a new career for more money alone.

When the rules change

Whether it be an agency recruiter or an internal recruiter, it’s your job to get to know the character of the person you’re working with. If there is trust, transparency, and a clear picture on what the candidates motivating factors are outside of the compensation package, then you won’t have to worry.

Historically, our clients are more likely to make a great offer and exceed expectations when they can the feel the love – that way they know that the candidate is genuine about working there and it’s worth their investment to bring on the hire.

For more on the new regulation in NY, check out The National Law Review.


Evan Pollock, Objective ParadigmEvan Pollock, Managing Partner and Recruiter at Objective Paradigm, helps all types of firms looking to hire the best technologists in the world. Evan’s hot spot is with rapidly growing tech-based organizations and Financial Technology firms, a large percentage of the candidates he places are relocated to different parts of the US and beyond. Stay tuned to the OP blog where he offers insight to both technologists and the hiring managers that need them. If you have questions around work authorization or compensation, connect directly with Evan at epollock@oprecruiting.com