How to Handle Candidates’ Salary Questions at Every Hiring Stage

Talking about compensation can be awkward.  The key is to shelve the conversation until both parties are excited about the opportunity. 


Steering the conversation away from compensation – always a fun challenge. Lou Adler provides some good “down in the weeds” responses for handling early compensation deal killers.  As a C-level executive search firm, we try to very quickly just remove the issue altogether by simple saying that “the CEO and Board are willing to put together the right package for the right candidate.”  As recruiters, we want to find out what key drivers would motivate a candidate to consider something new.  Money is important, but that’s not the vision that will ignite the imagination of a candidate.  If you can help the candidate envision their “new life” (and an actual day in that new life), then a deal could be in the works.  Remember, there’s a reason why you smell those fresh baked cookies when you step into the kitchen of that prospective model home for sale!