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Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

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Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby Parker » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:13 am

So here is the deal... I am slowly starting to apply for jobs. And for various reasons (geography and otherwise), I don't actually know the fair market salary for the type of position that I am going for. I don't live in the city that I'm trying to find a job in and I don't know very many people there. I recently got a phone interview with a company but did not get the position in the end. Is it kosher to contact the hiring manager and ask him for advice in this situation? How do you find out this type of information if you don't have a network to go to (my network is not in the same geographic location and I have reason to believe that salaries here are unusually low but I don't have a good sense of what is normal in other places). We had a good rapport in all interactions and the conversations were always positive. I need an honest number range so I know what to expect in case I do get an offer.
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby Rich Lemert » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:08 am

I have contacted people I've interviewed with after-the-fact before, but I never thought to ask about salary ranges.

If you do call, you need to be careful in how you approach the conversation. You want to make sure that he/she knows you are looking for advice on how to improve your marketability going forward. The minute he/she thinks you're asking "why didn't you make me an offer" the call will probably be over.

With that in mind, I suppose you could say something like "Could you suggest what might be a reasonable expectation as to salary range for this type of job in your part of the country?"
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby Dave Walker » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:04 am

I definitely think you could call people in that geographical area to get salary advice -- but I don't think it's great to talk to a possible hiring manager. What if something changes at their company and they want to come back to you with an offer?

As Dave Jensen wrote, soliciting feedback can be very useful from an interview (http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/ca ... t.a1400120). However, asking for salary ranges does not sound like "feedback" to me.

I know, personally, how hard it is to network at a geographically distant location. However, it is not impossible. I was very surprised at how willing people were to talk on the phone as if we were in person. I recommend seeking out people who have had this position previously in the area or who worked for the company previously. Also, if you can befriend a recruiter or former hiring manager for this position they would also be able to help regarding salaries. Lastly, I've heard of good advice coming from HR staff but have not had luck there myself.

The above is the way to go. If you are in a jam for time or resources, you could do the same type of networking in your local area and adjust what you hear according to cost of living. Obviously this works for some jobs but not all.

The only way you know is if you start asking around!
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby Steven Z. » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:32 pm

Getting feedback from HM's who rejected you is very difficult. They will almost never give the real reason you were rejected because they are afraid of lawsuits (frankly the real reason is very often stupid, arbitrary, or illegal) and because it is awkward. Often times they will just dodge your calls and emails and go silent.

They might talk to you about salary but many times they will not.
A lot of companies like to play salary games. They demand your current salary so they know how low they can get your for or if your current salary is more than they want to pay they can reject you outright. Therefore they are often very hush hush about their salary ranges.
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby JMO » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:16 pm

I see questions about salary ranges come up a lot, and I'd like to put in a plug for the salary surveys published by professional societies. Many professional societies (biochemists, engineers, etc.) conduct salary surveys annually or semi-annually and slice the data by location, specialty, employer type, etc. You may need to be a member of the professional society to access the data, but you probably should be a member anyway for the networking potential.
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby Steven Z. » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:26 pm

The ACS salary survey is a joke. They post median salaries that are easily double what companies are really paying. Part of it is selection bias. ACS only polls their member who are typically in very good jobs where the employer is paying for their membership. Very few bench chemists are going to fork over $200 of their own money for a membership.
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby Parker » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:14 pm

Thank you all for your replies. I am not looking for reasons for why that company didn't hire me. I'm looking for a salary range and there is no other way for me to get this information. I think I will go ahead and ask him and others in the field. I did not find the specific online surveys because what I am looking for is very specific.

In the past, I have asked for tips on how I can improve and had varying degrees of success in getting feedback. It ranged all the way from being totally ignored to getting specific coaching about how I could have answered certain questions better or things I should include or remove from my CV. I think there is value in asking. At the very least, it shows that had they hired you, you would have been open to feedback and improvement.

In this case, the hiring manager told me flat out (I didn't even have to ask) they didn't hire me because I'm not a US citizen and that due to the nature of the work, HR would not allow non-US citizens to get this job because it requires access to certain databases. According to their website, they have several DoD and other defense contracts so it could have been that. There is nothing I could have done. I'm not a US citizen. I am already on the waitlist to get a green card and there is nothing I can to do to expedite it. Onto the next company... without citizenship requirements... and hopefully armed with some relevant salary info...
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby J.B. » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:22 pm

Parker wrote:they didn't hire me because I'm not a US citizen


You are going to find that this is much more of an issue than knowing your fair market value, even with companies that don't require high level government clearance. Paying for visas is expensive, and companies are not nearly as willing to do that now as they used to be.

I also agree with Steven Z that you will not likely get feedback or any useful information on your salary range. If you want reasonably accurate numbers, you can dig them out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Again, I very seriously doubt that correct salary information is your biggest hurdle.
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby PG » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:02 am

If you get a good contact with the hiring manager or someone else in a company that you applied to I dont see any reason for why you shouldnt make an attempt to add them to your network. For reasons already mentioned in the thread other people than the hiring manager might be easier. I imagine that this is also very different between different countries, for example the risk for legal complications in my country is probably limited to very obvious discrimination due to something.

If you start this discussion for example around the goal that you have for the future ie soemthing like " in our meeting I thought that we got very good contact with each other and if you dont mind I would like to continue discussing with you about my long term goals. 10 years from now I would like to be in this position (not the one you applied for) what advice can you give me to get to that point? I am thinking about X and Y do you think that this is a good idea?

Once you have an established relation and some time have passed since your application it will be easier to go into more sensitive questions such as salary and other things.
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Re: Seeking advice from hiring manager who didn't hire you?

Postby Parker » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:36 am

FYI I emailed him and asked and got a number this morning! At least now I have a reference.

Once you have an established relation and some time have passed since your application it will be easier to go into more sensitive questions such as salary and other things.


Thanks. That is probably true with most HMs. But I went for it anyways and got what I was looking for.
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