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It just keeps happening – over and over. A recruiter’s mistake with an unprofessional effort, wastes a candidate’s time and costs the client — or the employer — money.

In a nutshell, here is the problem: A recruiter calls a candidate, entices them with a new career opportunity, but never inquires about their current salary, a key part of the candidate qualification process. The candidate, who is not a recruiting professional, does not think to ask or they demur because he/she did not want to seem impolite. After all, the recruiter said a colleague referred them. The candidate assumes the recruiter knew. The real question is, who knew?

Then the so-called hiring authority compounds the foolish amateur-hour error by conducting a two-hour interview without ever asking the candidate about their current compensation, or volunteering the salary range of the proposed position. It was assumed that the recruiter had appropriately qualified the candidate.

In reality there was a sizeable deficit between the candidate’s current base compensation and that which the new employer was willing to pay. What makes this real-life example so incredible is that it is a common occurrence. Really common.

Thousands of times each week, inept recruiters attempt to qualify candidates without verifying one of the most important elements of the “match” characteristics: compensation. Thousands of times each week candidates are presented to employers for jobs that they will not accept because the recruiter did not ask one simple question: Please describe your current compensation plan.

Remarkably, this problem is not isolated to the lower level management positions.

Candidates, stop wasting your time. Ask the recruiter how much the new position pays. If they do not know or will not say, stop the process. More than likely, you are wasting your time.

© 2012 John Gregory Self