The beauty of job interviews is they make us talk about something we’d all prefer not to: money. Sure, it’s an awkward subject; but providing salary history to a prospective employer is common practice. However, salary history requests haven’t always been a good thing. Unfortunately, we’ve seen far too many instances of unfair and unethical practices hidden behind the salary question. Ever heard of the gender pay gap?

New salary history legislation is being proposed in some parts of the country to combat this discrimination. Depending on where you live, asking for salary history during a job interview could soon be illegal.

New York City, San Francisco and Massachusetts are just some of the places to approve salary history bans— and the rollout is already underway. San Francisco’s salary history law recently took effect, while New Yorkers can expect changes to hit on October 31st.

Think this doesn’t apply to your city? Think again. These areas are paving the way for similar changes in other areas of the country. At this rate, similar legislation may very well take effect nationwide.

What Does This Mean For Recruiters?

If you’re hiring, you’d better be up to speed. The specifics vary from state to state, but here are some important changes that might apply to your city:

Screening applicants based on their past salary is a no-go. This also applies to justifying a lower salary offer.
No more prying questions about salary history. That includes calling up former employees.
But don’t expect anyone to disclose salary history.Talking salary isn’t completely off the table. Want to discuss salary expectations? Go for it!

Time To Review The Way You Interview?

Don’t panic yet. Sure, every new piece of legislation comes with its own set of challenges to tackle. But all too often, we see change as a problem rather than what it actually is: an opportunity. Why not let this change work in your favor?

There’s no need to let these legislative changes compromise your interview technique. This could be the perfect chance to get to know your prospective employee better during the interview stage.

Ready to become a more effective interviewer? Here are the best practices to keep in mind for interviewing job candidates (despite the salary history ban):

  • Focus on accomplishments, not dollar signs. The person coming to that job interview is bringing their history with them. Base their suitability off their skill, not past paychecks.
  • Prepare to invest in the right candidate. While it’s all too tempting to cut costs by offering a
    lower salary, it might cost you more in the long run. Employees who feel they’re worth more
    make better workers, leading to more productivity for your company. It’s a win-win situation!
  • Manage mutual expectations. This is the perfect chance to make sure the person you’re
    interviewing is a good match for the company. Get into the nitty gritty of what’s expected
    from both you and the prospective employee.

Sure, legislative changes can be stressful for employers and recruiters. But the good news is they don’t have to be. Who knows? This may revolutionize the way you interview for new employees.

Thanks for reading!

Meredith