The price is right

Like many people, I did virtually all of my Christmas shopping on-line. As is traditional, even for actual shops, the price displayed for the goods that you want to buy is advertised and that is the price that you pay for the goods. I don’t think I have ever been in a store and said to the shop assistant “I’d like to buy this product but I am not prepared to buy it at the price you quote” – if I did, I suggest I might be asked politely to leave and stop scaring the children.

The price on an advertisement is exactly what it says; it is what you will have to pay to acquire that product. So why do candidates applying for jobs online believe that the salary advertised is a starting point for negotiation? When applying for a role, there are a number of matters you would probably consider – job title, job content, location and salary. You wouldn’t apply for a job and then turn round and ask for the job to be based somewhere other than the company’s offices, or ask that it is called something else.

Titles, content and salary are all things that clients and recruitment consultants discuss in depth and agree on so that there is a good response to the advertisement to increase the chances of filling the role. If the salary states negotiable, then fine; if there is a monetary trade off for non-provided benefits, then fine. In exceptional circumstances, and only at the very end of the recruitment process, you may find that the salary package changes due to a change in scope of the role.

But to apply for a job at a stated salary and then immediately demand more money smacks of greed and a lack of understanding of how the recruitment market works. Decide what salary you need or want and apply for jobs at or above that salary; there are plenty of people out there who will work for the salary advertised, so please do us all a favour and stop wasting both yours and our time. That way, you will get the job you want at the salary you want and us recruitment consultants won’t have to stand screaming in darkened rooms.

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