Is the Salary History Question History?

How to Shift Your Comp Conversations with Job Candidates

Presenters: Lydia Frank and Caitlin Williams, PayScale

Original program date: February 2018 (this program is no longer available)

Program length: 60 minutes

The salary history question has long been a staple of job interviews, but it can have some unintended consequences in terms of pay equity for new hires. Banning employers from asking the salary history question has gained momentum as more cities and states have passed legislation to combat pay inequities. Whether asking for salary history is legal in your location or not, every organization needs to find ways to have more meaningful conversations about pay with incoming candidates.

While the salary history question may not be the best way to set the tone for a win-win relationship between employees and employers, proponents say useful information can be gleaned by asking about salary history. For example, "Can we afford this talent?" Or "Can the candidate negotiate about sensitive topics with confidence?"

In this program, PayScale’s vice president of content Lydia Frank and talent acquisition partner Caitlin Williams will discuss surprising findings of a recent PayScale study on the salary history question as well as a more human, data- driven approach to leading the compensation conversation with candidates. Attendees will learn:

  • How asking about salary history impacts pay equity.
  • Good questions to ask instead of salary history.
  • How to use market data to guide your compensation offers.
  • Best practices for communicating pay with future employees to increase offer acceptance rate.

Learn about our speaker About the Presenters: Lydia Frank is vice president of content strategy for PayScale. While at PayScale, Frank has collaborated with a number of media partners to showcase PayScale’s data around topics like the skills gap, underemployment and economic mobility through education. She has contributed articles to various publications, including Money, Fortune, Harvard Business Review and TechCrunch. She is also a regular speaker on the topics of salary negotiation, gender equity and compensation best practices, and she previously led editorial teams for both MSN and, covering topics including careers, technology and personal finance.

Caitlin Williams
is a talent acquisition partner at PayScale and has experience recruiting for everything from third-party agency contracts to full-time corporate roles, entry level to executive. She is passionate about building best-in-class teams and educating consumers about how to advocate for themselves in the workplace. In addition to owning a full req load as a talent acquisition partner, Williams leads PayScale’s employment branding efforts, is part of building and optimizing people team operations and leads the internal communications task team that built out the company’s first intranet tool.

Recertification Credit

Viewing this webcast in its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM and recertification from the HR Certification Institute (general credit).

Webcast Sponsor

This webcast is sponsored by Payscale



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