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Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

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Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:16 pm

There's an interesting article on BuzzFeed that has picked up a ton of interest. A young woman applies for a job, evidently does well in her first interview, and is invited back for the second and final interview. Then, she decides (in a very polite manner) to ask about compensation before she goes into that second meeting. Immediately, she's dropped as a candidate because her "priorities don't align with the way we do business."

It's real easy to side with the job applicant on this one. The company totally blew it in the way they responded, and they have likely learned a very valuable lesson. But, as I read this, I was blown away by what appear to be hundreds of messages in favor of the candidate and not one (except mine) which points out the error this woman made. I'd love to have some opinion here . . . What do you think, is it wrong to talk about salary too early in the "conversation" between candidate and company? Yes, I think it's wrong. And I'm beginning to think that it's just one of those issues that falls into what we used to call a generation gap. Millennials want to get it out in the open, quickly.

I don't care how curious you are about the "money aspects" of the job you are applying for; the Golden Rule is that you wait until the company discusses compensation before you ask your questions. Otherwise, as in this case, you end up being labeled. As I said in my comment on that article, it's like you are on your first date and you enjoy being with the person you are having dinner with. Instead of getting to know whether the fit is right on important parameters, you leap in with the question "So, how many kids do you want to have?" Way, way too early . . . Same with asking about money before it is brought up by the employer.

Read http://www.goo.gl/2fDRVa

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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Dick Woodward » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:19 pm

Don't know if it is a generational thing, but here's my 2 cent's worth. The longer that you can go without getting into the compensation discussion, the more time you have to prove your value to the interviewer(s), and the more time that they have to say "this one's a keeper - we cannot let her get away - let's put her at the top of the range." You start asking about compensation early, they will start by quoting the lower end of their range.

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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby PG » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:09 pm

I agree with Dick that delaying the discussion about compensation as much as possible is likely to get you a better deal.

Also when we do interviews with employees about what they think is important either when working for our company or in exit interviews ie when they have decided to leave the company for another position, compensation usually comes in somewhere around 7th-10th place in importance. Items placing high are usually opportunity for personal development, possibility to do cutting edge science, Products that makes a difference in the world, good work conditions with a good work-life balance etc. Since this partially comes from exit interviews when the staff have no reason not to tell us what they really think this list of priorities is probably close to the truth. It also mathces various published studies around this topic. These are all things that we as a comopany can work with both on a short term and a long term basis.
If this is the order of priority it is reasonable to only get to a discussion about compensation when these other topics have been covered. If compensation is the first priority for someone it will most likely be difficult for us to compete and keep that person with the company for a longer time. We would then have to compete with for example various consultancy firms that do offer a better compensation than we do but also dont offer the same as us from other aspects.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Rich Lemert » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:57 pm

If this is a 'generational' thing, I can certainly see where it comes from.

Our generation (baby-boomers) were pretty much raised to follow "authority". We were taught to "follow the rules" regardless of whether or not they made sense, and that only after we were on "the inside" could we attempt to change those rules.

Today's young people are - I believe - much less likely to sit still for something like this. If a rule doesn't make sense to them, they are less inclined to "sit back and take it" and more inclined to say "wait a minute."

Like it or not, this generation is going to change how things work - just like we did in our prime. The successful institutions of the future are going to be those that adapt to those changes; those that cannot adapt will fail to survive.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Nate W. » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:55 pm

Isn't money a moot point until:

Candidate: this position has been offered to you

Employer: until you find the right fit in terms of skills, interest, and expertise

This includes knowing what my compensation is before you will consider my candidacy; however, while expecting me to reframe from asking about compensation. When you do this initially, you are projecting the image that you are a cheap skate and therefore, it will only invite premature questions from candidates about compensation.

If I don't get the position, why do you really need to know my compensation beforehand?
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Steven Z. » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:02 pm

I think like the candidate in the article, you really should make sure you are in the same solar system salary wise before getting too deep into the process. I once went to 3 interviews for a Chemist position before they finally dropped that they wanted to pay $15 an hour and flabbergasted me. I will not make that mistake again even if some HR person decides to trash my app for asking.

It would be really nice if companies would post a range like government jobs do instead of playing games and getting offended like the idiot company in the article.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Steven Z. » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:29 pm

Also as for the nonsense about because you are thinking about money you are not aligned with company values. Any company that deluded I would suggest a simple experiment. Stop paying your employees and see how long it takes for your employees to walk off the job and complain to the DOL.

This is about a clueless HR person off their leash behaving in a stupid, self-rightous, and obnoxious way causing a problem nightmare for a company.

I also think it is time we stop pretending that when we ask a candidate why they are seeking employment the true answer isn't almost always that they want more money or their boss is an @hole.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:11 pm

Steven Z. wrote:Also as for the nonsense about because you are thinking about money you are not aligned with company values. Any company that deluded I would suggest a simple experiment. Stop paying your employees and see how long it takes for your employees to walk off the job and complain to the DOL.

This is about a clueless HR person off their leash behaving in a stupid, self-rightous, and obnoxious way causing a problem nightmare for a company.

I also think it is time we stop pretending that when we ask a candidate why they are seeking employment the true answer isn't almost always that they want more money or their boss is an @hole.


Steven, I don't know what world you are living in, but it sure isn't the one represented by companies I've worked with over the years. In those companies, as someone (PG?) already said above, when you talk to people about what they like about their job, it's not compensation that shows up as #1. It's down the list somewhere. I do this every time I meet someone, I ask them what they like about their job and what they'd like to improve. Sure, sometimes a person feels that they have not been dealt with squarely in compensation. Nothing wrong with seeking a move as a result. But if that's the ONLY or the FIRST reason, I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole because that's going to be a problem placement. Being that we have a one-year guarantee, I would have to be drunk or looking the other way to let someone like that into a client search.

While it might be an ideal world to have companies print out their pay levels like the do in government jobs, I doubt we'll ever see that. Instead, they'll print out why it's a good role and why the company is a good place to work. Then, when both parties are interested, a fair deal can be struck.

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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Steven Z. » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:39 am

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/ ... -quit.aspx

summary: employees quit because of pay, advancement opportunities, and management. When companies are offering $15 an hour to college educated scientists and playing games with staffing agencies you had better believe pay is high up on people's radar. Of course every company claims they offer "competitive" pay and benefits competitive with who, McDonalds?

There is a point where workplace freedom and flexibility just don't pay the electric bill.

Pay and staffing agency games have been pretty much the only reason I have ever quit a job for another. I can adapt to workplace culture, I can deal with a boss unless they are complete sociopaths, I cannot and will not adapt to being paid like a garbage man.
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Re: Asking about money appears to be a generation gap hot button

Postby Dave Jensen » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:13 pm

Steven, that's not science specific. In the general population -- people who just go to work to earn a paycheck -- that would indeed be the #1 reason why people leave their jobs.

In the sciences and the arts, people don't leave for the same reasons.

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