How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

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throwawaypep
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How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by throwawaypep » Tue, 30 Apr 2019 5:46 pm

I have 10+ years of experience and have been interviewing for mid to senior roles in software / data engineering. I am in the late stages with a large finance / fintech firm, but they insist on knowing my current comp and seeing my payslips before they can proceed with an offer.

I make around 200 k in my current role as an engineering lead. Besides money, my job offers incredible autonomy. I pretty much get to dream up and execute projects on my own. I have amazing work life balance: I work remote 90% of the time and can easily fulfil expectations working 5-10 hours a week on average.

In spite of these benefits, I have been looking for a role that is more senior and challenging. But I want to make sure that when I trade jobs, it's worth it in terms of compensation vs hours worked: and as such, I have been targeting roles that can pay around 350 - 400 k.

After many (8-10) rounds of interviews, pretty much everyone sees me as having the perfect background and skills for the new role. Early in the process, I confirmed with the (third-party) recruiter that the role does in fact have a budget of up to 400k.

Throughout the interview process, the recruiter was insistent on knowing my current compensation. They also emphasised that the company's standard policy is to pay an increment of say, 15-20%. I have successfully managed to deflect the question of my current salary up until now.

The recruiter repeatedly "warned" me to keep my expectation in line with their increment range, and cited many candidates (for other roles in firms like this) who were asked for much more than the standard increment range and were promptly turned down. They repeatedly asked me for assurances that I'm not one of these candidates who is asking for a "crazy" increment.

At this point, I'm afraid that if I let them know my current comp, the deal will fall apart. As a data point, I previously interviewed with a different company in the same peer group as this one and made it to the offer stage. They insisted on seeing my payslips before making an offer, and sure enough they offered a 25% raise, and I had to decline.

What are my options at this point? The difference between what I'm asking for and what I make is enormous, but my current situation in terms of work life balance is not reflected in my payslips. I am prepared to walk away if they offer less than 350, but that would be a shame because they are trying really hard to hire for this role and I fit it like a glove.

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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by BBCDoc » Tue, 30 Apr 2019 6:24 pm

Screw the recruiter and demand what you expect.

I had recruiters blow smoke up my jacksie with assurances that prospective employer has the Budget, only for the offer to come through completely below my expectations.

The recruiter probably has been assuring the employer that your expectations will be within 20%.

They likely have a few other candidates interviewing too, it will be a numbers game.

Walk away and wait for a real offer, if you have the work-life balance now. Any more salary is just addressing wants, not needs.


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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 30 Apr 2019 8:58 pm

I'm with BBCDoc... screw the whole mess. The recruiter is shitting bricks right now because he has made promises to the employer about you to get his foot in the door. Now he is trying to cover his ass by having you supply payslips and acknowledge that the salary isn't as high as he originally said it was.

I also operate under the principle that it doesn't matter if you made $1500 per hour in your last job or $1.50... what matters is the perceived value that you bring to this job. Having said, that, you should be sure that you haven't misgauged this company and job. Is it really worth the compensation you are seeking?

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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by throwawaypep » Tue, 30 Apr 2019 10:38 pm

Thanks for your perspectives, BBCDoc and SE.

The firm is a large and well known financial institution, and the role is at a fairly senior grade, typically awarded to people with 10 to 15+ years of experience.

I know independent of the recruiter that the role *can* pay up to this level - I have seen the advertised salaries for this grade on mycareersfuture.sg.

The recruiter is telling me that asking for payslips is a "standard" practise that they won't deviate from, and that if I don't submit, they won't proceed with the offer.

As a matter of last resort, I was thinking of inflating the non-cash / equity part of my compensation, and refusing to submit the proof for receiving equity - is there any other way to deal with the situation besides exaggerating or walking away?

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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by BBCDoc » Wed, 01 May 2019 7:42 am

TBH, if you look at computer generated payslips from all companies I have worked in, they appear so absolutely basic it is a wonder why nobody has fudged them...


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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by BBCDoc » Wed, 01 May 2019 7:43 am

TBH, if you look at computer generated payslips from all companies I have worked in, they appear so absolutely basic it is a wonder why nobody has fudged them...


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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 01 May 2019 10:11 am

"The recruiter is telling me that asking for payslips is a "standard" practise that they won't deviate from, and that if I don't submit, they won't proceed with the offer."

To phucking bad then is what I'd say. The recruiter is looking at losing 3 months of your negotiated salary as a commission . The shithead should see your resistance to go lower as being a good thing for him but he won't because they suffer from tunnel vision.
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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by Wong_Jnr » Thu, 02 May 2019 9:21 am

throwawaypep wrote: The firm is a large and well known financial institution, and the role is at a fairly senior grade, typically awarded to people with 10 to 15+ years of experience.
I know independent of the recruiter that the role *can* pay up to this level - I have seen the advertised salaries for this grade on mycareersfuture.sg.
As with any large MNC grades/payscale mean absolutely nothing. You need to benchmark the role against the market, not just a "job banding".
throwawaypep wrote:The recruiter is telling me that asking for payslips is a "standard" practise that they won't deviate from, and that if I don't submit, they won't proceed with the offer.
Definitely a standard practice for a FI. It's called due diligence...
Companies here are finally learning that there's been a lot of porky pies being told and have had their fingers burned numerous times. Friends who have tried to recruit have come across this. When my wife got here job it took an age for the DD to be completed. They will even contact prior employees for proof of salaries/references and insist upon them to ensure a "forged" salary slip hasn't been submitted.
throwawaypep wrote:As a matter of last resort, I was thinking of inflating the non-cash / equity part of my compensation, and refusing to submit the proof for receiving equity - is there any other way to deal with the situation besides exaggerating or walking away?
To be blunt, reading all what you've said, I wouldn't touch you with a barge pole.
Trust and honesty is a key factor to recruiting for a senior role, you're sending way too many red flags and asking quite basic questions for somebody who is allegedly "senior management"

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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 02 May 2019 10:16 am

Wong_Jnr wrote:[They will even contact prior employees for proof of salaries/references and insist upon them to ensure a "forged" salary slip hasn't been submitted.
You can ask for proof of salary all day long at American companies and you won't get it. What you will get is dates of employment and title. End. Period. It is not in the interest of any company to reveal any additional information about an ex-employee. There is no upside for a company to hand out that information to anyone.

I'd be very surprised if any MNC's in Asia would hand over that information. There is absolutely no upside in doing so... and plenty of downsides.

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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by Wong_Jnr » Thu, 02 May 2019 10:37 am

Strong Eagle wrote: I'd be very surprised if any MNC's in Asia would hand over that information. There is absolutely no upside in doing so... and plenty of downsides.
The question was asked when my wife was recruited regarding her last salary (US MNC) which was a stumbling block as you say and wasn't forthcoming apart from the she worked here for so long in such and such a position.

To get the acceptable proof of her last salary her latest tax return was submitted and accepted as proof. As that's on the onus of the candidate that really shouldn't be an issue.

I totally get it from a DD perspective, but the problem is these MNCs are outsourcing the DD and every box has to be ticked and it takes an age if it's not to scrip and outside the box. It is Asia afterall... :roll:

Thing is I think if you've nothing to hide and are up front off the bat, you'll land the position. Problem is these smoke and mirrors do yourself no favors...

OP is being told "he's perfect" but with the industry and specialty he's in he's not exactly unique and the employer will just look elsewhere. I know would.

...and once you've had the 3rd party introduction, OP really should be dealing directly with the company and the 3rd party recruiter really shouldn't be in the picture.

As I eluded to earlier, there's many red flags here that have been set off and as the employer I would walk away.

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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 02 May 2019 11:12 am

Wong_Jnr wrote:Thing is I think if you've nothing to hide and are up front off the bat, you'll land the position. Problem is these smoke and mirrors do yourself no favors...
I'll say it again... it does not matter a whit whether you made $1.50 per hour or $1500 per hour at your last job. Your value at your current/new job should be based solely on your value add to the company, nothing more, nothing less.

And this so called salary "due diligence" is so much bullshit. How much due diligence has this same recruiter exercised in verifying that the person knows his shit, has actually worked at the companies advertised, or anything else that is virtually unverifiable on a resume.

Answer: He hasn't and he can't. The company I work for now runs background checks and credit checks on every new hire. This weeds out the worst of the worst. We run a drug test, just to keep the clients happy. We even verify dates of employment and title because that's all a company will divulge.

So... what do I really know about a potential employee? Nothing. Nothing except what I can glean from a conversation or two. Because his prior employer will never tell me, "He's an asshole," nor will they tell me, "Yeh, he was great." No upside to either answer.

And thus when I am done, I can only judge what this person's capabilities are based on my impressions. I know what the market ranges are. I make an offer that I believe reflects what I know about the person and the value add he will bring.

His prior salary doesn't have a damn thing to do with it, and nor should it. To say otherwise is bullshit. It shows that you have a lazy ass recruiter and a lazy ass HR department apparently incapable of making their own judgments as to the worth of an individual.

And you know the really dumb thing about this approach? You are relying on someone else's judgment of worth... which may or may not be worth a damn at all.

The way the compensation interview ought to be working for the OP is simple. The OP says, "After listening to everything you want me to do, I want $400K to fill the role."

The HR boys say, "Whoa, Tonto! We've only got $250K allocated for the role."

And OP says, "Well, if you want me, you're going to need to open the safe and get out some more cash."

Tell me again where the OP's last salary entered into the negotiations process? Only a shithead HR person or recruiter would whine, "But you were only making $250K at your last job. You shouldn't be asking so much." And only a shithead recruiter or HR person would somehow conclude that because someone was making $250K at their last job, they couldn't possibly be worth $400K at their new job. The reasoning of muppets.

Recruiters are no friend of the employee.

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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 02 May 2019 1:37 pm

This! ^^^^
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Re: How to deal with companies that insist on seeing your payslips before making an offer?

Post by tiktok » Thu, 02 May 2019 4:45 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Only a shithead HR person or recruiter would whine, "But you were only making $250K at your last job. You shouldn't be asking so much."
I heard the exact "logic" from multiple recruiters in Hong Kong. I presume the same neanderthal ideas exist here.
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