Many states are opting to forbid employers and recruiters from asking about prior pay. Although it may seem harmless to some, trends indicate that this questioning has often contributed to discriminatory wage gaps, rather than objective salary offers. In August 2016, Massachusetts became the first state to ban the questioning, and other states have followed since then. However, even if your state has not limited your Q&A method yet, perhaps it’s best to slip into this latest and greatest best practice before the competition beats you to it.


There are a few tangible perks associated with blocking these wage conversations, and they impact both sides of the Skype call. For candidates, if they’re getting the short end of the salary stick with their current company, they can’t be placed in a lower wage ballpark if you don’t even know what ballpark they’re currently in.


Instead, as the recruiter, you’ll start with a clean slate and make a reasonable judgement based on the candidate’s experience, skills, and fit. You’re setting up your interview for objectivity and establishing your potential hire on a level playing field with their competition. Hello, professionalism.


On the other hand, your client will be happy to cut expedient costs for overpaid positions by relying on external market data. When you opt to assess salaries based on your client’s geographic market, industry, and skills requirements, you eliminate guesswork and position the company to offer realistic and fair compensation, which reflects well on all three parties involved. There’s no high-ball nor lowball: there’s just business.


In summary, third-party data gives you reliable and consistent compensation margins, which employers can work within, while also allowing candidates to maintain their privacy, if they choose to do so. If your state hasn’t passed laws barring compensation questions, then you’re free to fire away while they’re still game, but that doesn’t mean it’s fair game.