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While keeping a handle on staffing costs remains a worthy goal for any technology manager, this doesn’t necessarily make it wise to inquire about a candidate’s salary history during an interview. What used to be a standard practice is now frowned upon by many in the industry, and some states – most notably Massachusetts – have even outlawed that line of questioning. This includes putting a field for previous salary on an application form.

Let’s take a closer look at this issue influencing technology companies and their staffing processes. Perhaps a change is in order at your organization?

Check Your Applicant Tracking System

Considering the burgeoning legal challenge to asking a candidate about their previous salary history, your HR team needs to analyze the forms used by your company’s applicant tracking system. If salary is a required field in the professional experience section of an application, this likely needs to change. Some states’ laws may warrant the removal of the field, whether or not it is actually “required” on the form in question.

In essence, placing a field for previous salary on an application – online or not – is the same thing as asking about it during an interview. Even if the question is still currently legal in your state, that may not be the case in a few years. It is arguably wiser to change your policies now instead of incurring a legal risk down the road.

Companies Need to Set a Pay Range for Their Open Technology Positions

Ultimately, it is up to the employer to set a pay range commensurate with the open position they are advertising. A candidate’s salary history is irrelevant to their pay with your organization if hired. They should be paid a fair rate for their role; what’s more important is whether they have the right experience to succeed in that position.

Some in the industry feel asking a candidate about their previous salary is simply a bad recruiting practice. It is important to frame the right questions to be able to determine whether or not the interviewee possesses the right technical abilities and professional experience to thrive in that role. In the end, the answers to these questions are more important than what they earned at an earlier job.

When you need additional insights on building a great team at your organization, talk to the experts at Strategic IT Staffing. As one of the top technology employment agencies in the country, we maintain a supply of great candidates able to succeed for your firm. Schedule some time with us soon!

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