As a Job Applicant, Does That 'Desired Salary’ Question Make You Nervous? It Might Not Matter, HR Managers Tell

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It's the job ad requirement that makes you pause Â? should you or should you not provide your Â?desired salaryÂ? along with your resume? This article explores a poll of HR and compensation managers.

Just 3 percent of HR managers automatically disqualify job applicants who don't answer when asked in advertisements or application forms to supply a “desired salary level.”

That's based on an online poll conducted recently on, the website for human resource professionals, and its sister site,

Visitors to both sites were asked, “Does it matter if applicants don't respond to the 'desired salary' question?” Here's how they answered:

Yes, but it's a minor factor – 25%

No, it's just nice to know – 25%

It depends on the position – 25%

Yes, it makes us think twice about proceeding with them – 15%

No, and it wouldn't matter if we did know – 7%

Yes, they're disqualified – 3%

The poll, conducted August 4-15, drew 953 participants.

“The flexibility that HR pros showed in this poll probably reflects a certain amount of realism on their part,” said Kevin Flood, managing Web editor of “They know that most applicants don't want to answer out of fear that they'll under-price or overprice themselves. Besides, an HR manager who really knows the job market probably has a pretty shrewd notion of what that person makes anyway.”

But Flood also noted that most HR pros attached some significance to answering the question, if only to say it was a minor factor or depended on the position. “Applicants who don't answer need to realize they are taking a chance,” he said.

HR professionals who want to stay on top of the job market are invited to download, at no cost, a BLR special report: "Best Practices in Recruitment and Retention." It's loaded with inside information on how leading companies find and keep the employees they need to pull ahead of the competition. Download the report here:

About BLR

Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for HR, compensation, safety, and environmental managers. For more information and a free catalog, call 800-727-5257 or visit

Contact: Managing Web Editor Kevin Flood

860 510-0100 x 2283

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