A lot of times I get emailed opportunities from companies looking to hire me. At first it looks promising, then I come to find out their budget isn't even close to what I need to consider a move.

Please consider to add the option to allow me to specify a salary range that is acceptable to ME, the candidate, so that employers trying to contact me don't bother me if they low ball me.

For instance, yesterday I got a nice request from a great company. As soon as I mentioned what I was looking for, due to my experience, they responded with "we don't have the budget for that". Had I put in my range right through my careers profile I wouldn't have wasted close to an hour with them. They would have seen my profile and had a glimpse of what amount of salary I was looking for.

Had the company known what I was looking for they would not have even bothered looking...this is definitely needed!

Something to the effect of:

Minimum acceptable amount: 130k

As the employer has access to the candidate search they can then query / filter for people making a certain range. They could use a slider control to say see all candidates who want to only make 80-90k USD / year...very simple..but effective for both me and them!

  • +1 I agree with you. I guess you could temporarily put this in the "Add your personal statement" section. – HackerKarma Sep 18 '15 at 14:53
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    I could add that HackerKarma but a lot of these companies don't look there...plus having this would allow them to query / filter for the candidate that meets their needs. This is not the first time this has happened to me. This is I would say about the fourth time I have had what appeared to be a good opportunity but then when they find out the salary they "don't have the budget"...well just like you dont have the budget I also cannot sacrifice that much of a pay cut to work for you irregardless of how many slurpies you want to give me. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 14:55
  • Honestly, I don't see how having a salary range on your account would necessarily prevent a company from contacting you in the first place... You say yourself, they don't look at the personal statement... why would you think they'd pay attention to a box where someone puts "I won't accept less than ___ dollars per year"? – Catija Sep 18 '15 at 14:59
  • Catija - Because I too am an employer on careers not just a candidate, and I want to be able to filter for people who want to make a certain amount of money...because you know companies have things called budgets. How could you not see that this feature request is almost needed...like...yesterday. I wasted time going back and forth and when it came time to talk money I was low balled...irregardless of the culture and the perks...some people don't care that much about free popcorn. Being an "Employer" in careers I see a much needed feature..how do you know the recruiter wouldnt have used it? – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:02
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    My point is if candidates are going to use careers to find a better job, we need to get opportunities from people who are interested in us. By interested in us they should have at least had the opportunity to know what we will / won't accept. I'm sure Darian / Skeet don't want to be emailed by companies because they have the highest rep but they are both being offered 50k. If Skeet could simply set his target salary (say 150k) than all the folks with a budget much less than that can forget about even asking him, because he and they are not interested. This also helps the companies that are – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:05
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    True, I guess then SO Careers need to add a smart mechanism apart from what you have proposed (range filter) here... I would say add one more check and display 'minimum accepted salary' (if set by Candidate) when Employer makes a contact (from SO Careers portal) to candidate. This fails if employer access the SO Careers profile from 3rd party ATS – HackerKarma Sep 18 '15 at 15:05
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    ...interested in him. So you know he doesn't waste so much time trying to weed out all of these companies that cannot afford his services. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:06
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    @HackerKarma - exactly it could be done very simply, and so what if not every single company doesn't use it. There are smart companies, who have budgets who will use this correctly! – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:06
  • There are also egotistical companies that think "we're so amazing that he'll happily take a 50K pay cut to work here"... also, as a job hunter, you've just lowballed yourself. If they know you'll work at 130K, why would they offer you more? – Catija Sep 18 '15 at 15:09
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    +1 Candidates need to have price tags as well. Even though I'm not looking for a new position, I get contacted a lot (albeit through LinkedIn), by recruiters who basically want me to fill positions for less than half my current compensation. It's almost as if the tech job market is so hot that recruiters are being pressured to contact as many people as possible regardless of whether they are suitable or not. – Mysticial Sep 18 '15 at 15:11
  • @Catija - I didn't low ball myself, that is what I AM HAPPY WITH...and that is what matters most. If you wanted more than that, that is on you, you should of stated that when you entered the value in. I'd rather weed out the companies who are low balling me and be happy with what I am interested in. Besides this is just to get the initial contact, this number of course can be discussed as you get further into the job process. If I'm applying to NASA and I listed 200k a year and found out they wanted to send me to the moon this could all change...they and I know that. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:15
  • @Mysticial - great point...this works both ways. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:15
  • Well, I'm glad you're happy working for (potentially) 10-50K less per year than everyone else on your level at a company... – Catija Sep 18 '15 at 15:17
  • Catija - just vote the question down and move on you obviously don't see the benefit, you are concentrating too much on an absolute. I am living proof that I've used the service long enough to request a feature that will help both me and the employer. I don't want to be contacted by people who cannot afford me...this is a range nothing more. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:18
  • Sorry @Catija - does this make you feel better? I'm not sure what your grudge is on me? This is an open platform so you trying to find "interesting" things about me...like using an @ symbol is laughable..Please move on. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:26

I'm not going to put a [status-*] tag on this yet because we don't have concrete plans with a concrete ship date, but as a product manager thinking about how to improve the experience of job seekers on Stack Overflow, I did want to let you know that we're currently thinking about how we can better match candidates with jobs we're confident they'll like.

We're considering a lot of different variables that feed into how good of a match there is between companies and developers, but one of them is definitely salary. A few months ago, we started collecting (but not requiring) salary information from customers who post job listings on the Stack Overflow Careers job board, and displaying that information to candidates viewing the listing. A natural corollary to that would be asking candidates what their minimum required salary is.

I'm not sure whether we'd want to directly expose that number to companies, but I do think we can use salary as one (probably heavily-weighted) criterion for a relevance sort on the company side. So when a company is searching for candidates in our database, the candidates at the top of the search results would be ones who have specified a minimum salary that is within the range offered by the company. We would still show them profiles for candidates whose minimum salary was above the range the company offers, but they'd be much further down the list.

Ideally, the end goal is to have us (Stack Overflow) be good at recommending developers to companies and jobs to developers, but to get out of the way and let everyone make their own decisions. If we can say "hey, this looks like a good match for you and it's because you both want X, Y, and Z", we can let each side determine whether X, Y, and Z are enough, or if they are going to pass on this person / job because they're really looking for A, B, and C, too.

As I said up front, we don't have a specific feature planned right now, but we do plan to incorporate salary into a better system of recommending which developers a particular company should consider reaching out to. We probably won't prohibit contact between companies and developers whose salary ranges don't match, though, because some companies might be able to negotiate, and some developers might be okay reducing their salary a little if other benefits add to the total compensation (like if the company pays for 100% of the health insurance costs or something – not salary, but for many people, this benefit would increase the amount of money they actually get to keep from their paychecks).

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    Hi @Laura - this all sounds good...just know that I'm asking this in the best way that I can. I don't want to sound awful, but I really so far dislike careers because of this. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out. I'm tired of wasting so much time with employers who don't realize they cannot afford me. Maybe having people they cannot afford be at the bottom of their list as you mentioned. But something needs to stand out or warn them that contacting people not within their budget will yield no benefit for both them and the candidate. – JonH Sep 21 '15 at 15:45
  • Thank you for the consideration and giving little hope. How about integrating with PayScale API and displaying their salary range (if available) for the candidates who have set minimum salary on their profile. This way, both candidates and employers will know what the current market salary ranges are. – HackerKarma Sep 21 '15 at 15:51
  • Thanks for bring this up @JonH. It always helps to have real users providing feedback (which we get far less of here on meta than we do for the Q&A product). Reducing the amount of time both sides waste on unrealistic matches is definitely the goal, though it's definitely going to be a series of improvements, not a drastic change in one fell swoop. – Laura Sep 21 '15 at 18:18
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    @Laura - Sounds good I try to provide feedback on careers as much as I can. Actually I've asked for a lot of things on careers (See my meta participation and a lot of it is implemented which I thank you guys for). – JonH Sep 21 '15 at 18:20

As long as this amount isn't directly shown (only inferrable), it's probably a good idea, but showing "I'm willing to work for $70000" to a company that is willing to offer up to $90000 for a good candidate is likely to cause problems for candidates, as they don't have the chance to read the company at all before letting that bit of valuable information slip.

(There might need to be some fuzzing or something to avoid clever hacks where a recruiter looks for all candidates in a very narrow range, or multiple barely-overlapping ranges, or whatever.)

  • It could be as simple as a field that states what your starting range is. For instance, if I am not willing to work for a company that doesnt offer me at least 90k. I could put in 90k and then the employer could then filter and if I come up in the query that means yes I'm available...otherwise I dont. This does not have to be shown to the employer it could simply be a hidden field that only the candidate could see. This way I specify 90k..and the company running a candidate search can put in there start/end budget..if I fall within that budget I come up else i dont. Simple. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 19:12
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    @JonH: Right, but note that clever searches could conceivably reveal that ($70000-$95000, $90000-$105000, you show up in both and are therefore between $90k and $95k), so some work would probably need to be put in to avoid too precisely pinning that down. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 18 '15 at 19:14
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    true but I still don't see that as being bad...the candidate is only stating that they are not interested in anything less. Sure one could assume okay we got him he wants 90k..but it should not be a decision maker then and there. I mean whens the last time you sat at an interview and agreed on your salary 100% right when someone said an amount? Usually both parties have to agree...and if you want to work for a great company..great companies know this already...they know the market value...they see you and hear your motivation...all of these things play a role. Anyhow +1. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 19:17

Making the candidate state how much is required may not be as good an ideal as you first think.

Some candidates don’t know there current market worth, so if the put a low value in, it is likely that all employer will limit their offer to that amount. Other candidates need to get a job quickly.

Yet some employers will not employ someone that is asking for a low salary as they assume the person must be no good.

There is also the issue that it is likely to get set to a little more than a person’s current salary, but a lot of people don’t like they current salary being public.

If it is option for a candidate to provide this information, employers will assume something based on if it is provided.

Someone’s acceptable salary could also be very depending on what skills they will learn in the job, how long the commute it and if they will have to relocate.

So will more games not be created by adding an acceptable salary?

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    "Some candidates don't know their current market worth"...this is an optional field NOT required. Shame on them for not knowing the market value and at the SAME TIME posting what they wanted as a GUESS. Because that is exactly what you have posted here, you are assuming someone is required to do so, does so, and doesn't even have the slightest clue what they are worth. I say they deserve it in this case. Sorry -1...because these don't help either the candidate nor the employer. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:19
  • @JonH, the problem with an optional field, is that a users had to decide on the risk of not filling it in. – Ian Ringrose Sep 18 '15 at 15:21
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    Ian - so what? Its an option...in this case be ready to be bombarded by people who cannot afford you...but at the same time you may or may not get an opportunity that can afford you. I'd rather talk to people who are interested in me...and with that they better be able to fulfill at least what I am asking (my preference). Again a preference doesn't mean you get out of the job interview with that EXACT amount, that almost never happens. Sure I'd love to make 250k a year, but I always get out of a negoitation at least happy with the talk and agreed with the other party otherwise I wouldnt be – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:23
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    ...there I'd be long gone. So specifying what your ideal range isn't a concrete number...its stating don't even bother contacting me if your budget doesn't fit my needs. And if the person doesn't want to add it fine, when the employer runs their query / filter you'll come up...EVERYTIME...and here is where my problem lies. I hope you understand that. – JonH Sep 18 '15 at 15:24
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    @IanRingrose Both, Employers and Candidates can now use PayScale service to find out current market worth. This company is disrupting the Salary market myth and has received VC funding of $100M – HackerKarma Sep 18 '15 at 15:49
  • @HackerKarma, I don’t know how much to trust it, as they give higher averages pay for someone with .net skills then someone with c# skills. Nothing they asked gave them any ideal of my skill level. The sample size is also very small for the UK. – Ian Ringrose Sep 18 '15 at 16:21
  • @IanRingrose As per their About Us page it shows compiled from "database of 40 million individual salary profiles". I wish there was a bifurcation of that but I guess their primary targeted area is USA. – HackerKarma Sep 18 '15 at 17:25
  • I do give it a lot of credit for telling me the sample size, about 240 in my case over all of the UK. – Ian Ringrose Sep 18 '15 at 17:29

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