Friday, February 13, 2009

How Much Are You Really Worth?

How much money will you be making at your next job? That could depend on a few pieces of personal information the hiring manager won't ask you about directly (because it's illegal for him to do so) but which he'll take into account when making a salary offer.

Want to know how much you're worth once an employer discovers your personal info? Job Search Intelligence is a free online salary calculator that crunches more than just the job title and geographic location of your prospective job. Before spitting out salary data, it asks you to respond to the following prompts:
  1. Select gender
  2. Select ethnicity
  3. Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
  4. Select the state where you are seeking employment
  5. Select the highest level of education that you have achieved
  6. How many years of work experience do you have, that is relevant to the job description for which you are seeking employment?
  7. How many jobs have you held in the last 7 years?
  8. Do you speak more than one language fluently?
  9. What is your FICO score (credit rating)?
  10. What is your current annual salary?
  11. What is the annual salary you will request?

According to Paul Hill, President of Job Search Intelligence, these things matter when it comes to determining how big or small your paycheck will be. I asked Paul a few questions about the survey. I should point out that by producing this calculator and answering my questions, Paul isn't saying this criteria is ethical or legal. He's simply saying this is the way it is.

My Question
Does a "Yes" answer to question #3, "Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?" increase or decrease the salary offered for a job?
Paul's Answer
It's actually somewhat of a complex dynamic. What our data shows is that persons straight out of the service will have a longer time securing employment than those without recent Armed Forces experience. Those who have Armed Forces experience, and have followed that up with civilian employment will have roughly the same, or slightly better prospects than those without the Armed Forces experience. It is a function of how the employer perceives the value of the experience, and when that experience landed on the job seeker's resume.

My Question
How does the answer to question #6, "How many jobs have you held in the last 7 years?" affect the salary offer?
Paul's Answer
Clearly employers are being very critical in interviewing and hiring now. What employers do not want are "opportunists" who jump ship frequently. They want talent, they'll pay for talent, but they want stability. Job seekers should make every effort to demonstrate this quality.

My Question
Why does someone's FICO score (question #8) affect his or her earning potential? Do employers actually check a job candidate's FICO score before making a job offer?
Paul's Answer
This function in our program applies only to certain occupations. Of course your FICO score is a proxy for fiscal responsibility. People would be surprised if they knew the various occupations where employers are checking FICO scores. The short answer is that if you are anywhere near: money, trade secrets, or privileged information, employers will want to protect themselves from their information being misappropriated for personal gain.

While on the site, play with the calculator as if you were an employer looking for salary info about your job objective. Understanding an employer's perspective can help you negotiate your new salary.

1 comment:

Paul Hill said...

Hi- this is Paul Hill from JSI. We have developed our program and datasets with academic rigor, in order to reflect the 'real world' variables that affect compensation. Let us know of your thoughts and comments. Thank you, Paul