Should I Share My Salary With My Recruiter?

There is a common theme running through our “Ask Talance Group” series: Being open and honest with your recruiter and potential employers should be a default best practice. The same holds true here. While the answer is a resounding “yes”, you should read on to learn why it is so important you share your salary and goals with your recruiter.  

Your Goals are Important  

Good recruiters truly care about your life and goals because they want to make sure you are ultimately happy with them and with the next step in your career. A happy candidate most often means a happy client, which helps the recruiter build a strong client base for future referrals and repeat business—it’s really a win-win-win for everyone involved.  

Sharing your current compensation package along with your career and earnings goals gives the recruiter a foundation to build on. In other words, it helps them both manage your expectations and align you with positions that provide the best opportunity to achieve those goals. A recruiter understands that moving to a new position is a big step, so getting everything out in the open builds trust and transparency, something everyone can appreciate. 


Recruiters have their fingers on the pulse of the market and know what companies are willing to pay for candidates depending on their years of experience, skills, and accomplishments. They can quickly determine if you are currently being paid at a market level, and the likelihood of being able to get the position and earnings you desire.  

With few exceptions, most candidates are not greedy! They just want to be paid fairly, and they certainly don’t want to leave any money on the table. Recruiters are paid based on what you are paid and they want you to be happy, so their goals are in alignment with yours. Their #1 goal is to have their client fall in love with you, which makes negotiations much easier. Their #2 goal is to get you the best offer without jeopardizing #1! Otherwise, everyone loses.  

Limit the Surprises  

Surprises are for birthdays, NOT for job offers! Nothing is worse than getting to the offer stage and finding out that everyone has wasted their time because you are miles apart on money. Knowing the full compensation picture on both sides of the deal allows the recruiter to manage expectations and slowly chip away at that gap as the interview process progresses. In the end, both sides need to be happy or there is no deal.  

Shooting in the Dark 

The most common reason a candidate declines to share salary information is due to a lack of trust—they feel sharing this information will hurt their chances of getting a higher offer than if they had not shared it. They are hoping the company comes right out of the gate with their very best offer. In the real world, companies want to know your current salary a) so they don’t waste time upfront interviewing someone they can’t afford and b) so they can put together an attractive offer. If they cannot get any guidance from you or your recruiter, there is little incentive on their side to shoot high.

No one wants to pay more than they have to, so they usually will make a lower offer to see if you’ll accept. It is much easier for the recruiter to give them a justifiable target and negotiate before a formal offer is made. Desirable companies do not make lowball offers and no company wants their offer rejected, hence they are more likely to sweeten the pot and make a higher offer if they KNOW it will seal the deal.  


Biggest takeaway? You guessed it, be open with your recruiter from the beginning. The greatest leverage you have is your willingness to walk away. If you feel your recruiter does not have your financial interests at heart, find another one. If the offer you receive is not what you feel is at fair market value, you decline it and counter with an amount you’ll accept. And, if that amount is fair and you are the top candidate, you should be able to get what you want.  

If you have any further questions about working with recruiters or anything about the recruiting process, give us a call at (713)-357-9565. We want to give unbiased answers to your questions, whether you choose to engage our help or not.   

Happy Hunting!