What Does Competitive Salary Really Mean?
The term ‘competitive salary’ generally refers to a salary at or above market rate, and is often seen on job adverts instead of a salary range.
Seeing the term competitive salary on a job spec can be off-putting – many people assume this means the salary isn’t actually competitive at all, but is a sign of a company wanting to underpay you.
But what does competitive salary really mean? The truth is, there are many reasons a prospective employer might put this vague term on their job advert.
One of the recruiters we spoke to said that sometimes companies might be recruiting for two roles at different levels but with the same core description – a junior and a senior project manager, for example – and only having to advertise once saves them money.
Another reason is that a client might be willing to be flexible on specific skills or experience, but will compensate appropriately for the level of candidate they recruit. Providing too wide a salary range in this case can give false expectations to some candidates.
Finally, companies don’t want to put off potential candidates with their pay range, especially when there is room to manoeuvre on the salary – for example, a candidate looking for a 50k job may be put off by a range of 30-50k thinking the role is too junior for them.
Of course, one of the problems of a post with a competitive salary advertised means you are more than likely going to be asked:
- what salary you are currently on
- what your salary expectations for the new role are.
This can put you in an uncomfortable position where you are effectively asked to make the first move in a negotiation.
Using a tool like Sliips can give you the advantage in this situation. By using crowdsourced payslips, we give you comparative pay for your role, industry, gender, experience – any factors you want – and show you what a true competitive salary would look like for the position you are applying for. Using this you can ensure the salary expectation you provide is a competitive one and you do not undersell yourself.
That’s it, in summary. Now you understand what that ‘competitive salary’ on a job spec could mean, you do your research using Sliips to see what the true figure means, then you can go into negotiations well-informed as to what your competitive salary offer really means.