Over the last few months, I have had some of the most concerning salary discussions with my candidates. Too many candidates do not have any idea how much of an increase is acceptable in this day and age.

I use the word concerning because some of the remuneration expectations that I have seen are just delusional and will prevent our candidate’s securing that vital first interview. Will you be able to justify the massive jump that you are looking for? Do you have a clear idea of what you need to Nett to live a comfortable life? Where are you willing to negotiate around your desired salary?

Yes, we all get to the point in our lives where we need to make the next career move because there is maybe a baby on the way and you need to account for the increase in bills etc. Maybe you have just gotten married and are still paying for the wedding bills and now you need to start saving for your first mortgage. How much of this should be your new employers’ responsibility?

If you have entered in to the job market, you have probably given it some thought as to what your desired remuneration must be.  However, maybe you need to think a little further as to whether that new figure will actually block you from your next job opportunity:

    • Other candidates who are equally skilled, or have better experience may be cheaper than you
    • A potential employee might think you are more money hungry than career driven and they will decline you on this principal
    • You could push yourself out of the market as your salary is too high for your skill set
    • When we submit your CV, we show your current and your desired salary. If you are looking for a massive jump, this may create a very poor first impression  

Before you enter into the market, with your delusional remuneration figures, take some time to think about these few things to help you get to you get to your final figure:

    • Is your desired salary market related?
    • What are your peers in the market being paid?
    • What is your geographical location? The earning potential is higher in Johannesburg versus Durban for example.
    • What benefits are being offered in the new role – this may encourage you to rethink what you wanting to earn.   

There are definitely a few candidates who have unfortunately been paid under the market value in their current roles. Or they have been in a situation where they have had to accept a role at a lower salary because of various reasons. They might be slowly trying to get back to what their skill set is worth, but again, how much of that responsibility should be placed on your new employer?

This is a difficult conversation that I am sure many recruiters go through. Candidates – your inflated salary requirements do not put you in a very good light and these exorbitant salary demands could lead to your downfall as you will not be shortlisted for any interviews.


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