Job candidates shouldn't be afraid to discuss money early on in the hiring process, new research shows.
More than 30 percent of senior managers believe it is perfectly acceptable to ask about compensation and benefits in the first job interview, while 38 percent suggest waiting for the second meeting to discuss salaries, according to a study from the staffing firm Robert Half.
Just 8 percent of those surveyed said job candidates should wait until after a third interview to talk about compensation, while 14 percent said those talks shouldn't happen until after a job offer is made.
Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald said job seekers should do their homework before broaching the subject of pay with employers.
"Make sure you and your potential new boss are in the same ballpark before getting too far along in the hiring process," McDonald said. "Come to the interview with a general idea of the salary range for someone with your skills and experience."
The research revealed there is little downside in asking about salary in early round interviews. Less than 10 percent of the senior managers surveyed said they decided against hiring someone because a candidate brought up pay and benefits prematurely.
McDonald advises job seekers to tap their networks, including professional recruiters, for insights into compensation. He also encourages interviewees to consult industry salary reports.
"Take your location and market trends into account, and try not to come across as being focused solely on pay and benefits," McDonald said. "You should be clear you're also excited about the job."
The study was based on interviews with more than 300 senior managers in the United States at companies with 20 or more employees.
Originally published on Business News Daily