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Recruiter Offers A Candidate $85K For A Job With A $130K Budget & Blames Job Seeker For Not Negotiating Well Enough

Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock / LinkedIn / AnnaHang from pixabay via CanvaPro
woman annoyed looking at laptop screen, job recruiter linkedin post

If there's one thing that can be a turnoff for many job candidates during the interview process, it's having to tell the hiring manager or job recruiter how much you think your salary should be.

Most often than not, applicants aren't knowledgeable about what amount the company can afford to pay them, and what answer will be good enough to lead to an offer.

However, one job recruiter tried to criticize a potential hire for not knowing the correct amount to ask for their salary, and the viral post didn't elicit positive reactions in favor of the recruiter.

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The recruiter blamed the candidate for accepting an $85,000 salary instead of trying to negotiate for a higher one.

In a post shared on LinkedIn in January, and later shared on other platforms, a job recruiter named Mercedes Johnson shared an experience she had with a potential hire after accepting them for a role at a company they had been applying and interviewing for.

"I just offered a candidate $85,000 for a job that had a budget of $150,000," Johnson revealed. 

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She claimed to have offered the salary to the candidate because that was the amount "she asked for," and argued that it isn't her responsibility "to give lessons on salary negotiations." 

"Here's the lesson: ALWAYS ASK FOR THE SALARY YOU WANT (DESERVE)," she added. "No matter how large you think it might be. You never know how much money a company has to work for."

The post, which was shared on Twitter, wasn't well-received and many people called out Johnson for not just offering the candidate a higher salary amount instead of making the applicant go through the runaround to be paid what they deserve.

"Salary should be discussed openly to give an opportunity for candidates as part of them interviewing you. Hiring is the beginning of a partnership," one Twitter user pointed out. Another user added, "It won’t cost Mercedes a thing to give her lesson AND still pay the candidate what she’s worth."

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Johnson eventually issued an apology for her post, and clarified that its purpose was to 'empower others.'

After receiving a slew of backlash, Johnson posted a follow-up to LinkedIn, acknowledging that the purpose of her initial post wasn't meant to be taken in any way other than a public service announcement to other job candidates.

"I understand and now feel how my post made a lot of people feel, especially the candidate that was directly impacted by my choice," Johnson wrote.

She admitted that the candidate deserved to receive a salary that reflected her worth to the company, despite their own thoughts on how they felt the job responsibilities are worth. "It should not have been a public learning experience, but an internal one."

Johnson continued, writing, "I don't take lightly the salary disparities that happen in corporations. It is not to be made light of."

Many people who are actively seeking and applying for jobs have expressed a desire for the company and employer to be transparent about the salary for prospective job positions. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 91% of US-based respondents said that seeing a salary range in a job post would impact their decision to apply.

While 82% of respondents said that seeing a salary range in a job description would give them a more favorable impression of a company. Salary ranges were also found to be almost as important as the role’s responsibilities in determining a candidate’s decision to apply. 

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A job expert explained the best way that candidates can respond to how much they should be paid during an interview.

In a TikTok video, Tessa White, a career expert and author of 'The Unspoken Truths For Career Success,' offered some advice for candidates who will likely have to answer the salary question during an interview with a recruiter.



"Typically, the recruiter will say, 'How much do you want to make?' I want you to pivot by saying, 'You know, compensation is a pretty complicated topic and has a lot of different elements, let's wait until we're a little further in the process before we talk specifics,'" White explained.

She added that as a compromise, candidates should inquire with recruiters to confirm the pay range for the position so that there is no confusion when it's time to pick a desired amount.

"When they share with you the range of pay, then you can respond by saying it's either low, high, or acceptable," White informed. "And when you're left as the only one standing or one of two finalists, then you can really talk about compensation and you already know the range of pay, so you have a better starting point."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.