by Leo Wiles
22 November 2017
Some of your advertised job salaries seem low for what’s being asked of the applicant. What do you do to combat this? Anon
We’re kind of unique as a jobs service in that Rach and I are freelancers too, juggling our RL responsibilities while also working ourselves. So, whenever a job ad comes on that seems like a lot of work for a little amount of money, we’re the first to notice – and to address it.
As you may know, job posters post roles themselves via the site, for the most part. If we spot a job going through and the salary is lower than we believe is fair given the current market, the poster will receive an email or a phone call from Rachel who lets them know they are offering a salary that’s below market rate for the skillset they’re after.
Similarly, if a member raises their concerns about a role’s scope, we will encourage the job poster to either change the spec or offer a salary or freelance rate that fits in with the high calibre people who may respond to the role. We’ve also been asked to provide anonymous member feedback about certain roles to job-posters, which we also do on occasion.
We’ve chatted to four or five separate job posters recently about the value of our members, and urged them to adjust their job ad. On the whole, we’ve been successful. So when you notice a job being reposted or repackaged, it’s because we’re going in to bat for you in the background – no easy task as the landscape constantly changes.
As we know, the days of $1/word for experienced journos are largely over, except at some super-exclusive titles. However, the ability for a job-seeker to negotiate his or her rate / salary is still as necessary as it has ever been. I once went into an interview and upped the salary offer by $20k after outlining why I was uniquely suited for the advertised role. I was able to present my case and we found a way for me to be paid in line with what the role was actually asking for.
Obviously, we’re aware that time has marched on – and with small publishing houses, government roles and digital agencies there’s little or no wiggle room in the budget. When this happens, it’s down to you to negotiate a different package or walk away leaving you free to find a better-suited role. But if you are keen on a role, can bring to it years or decades of experience – and you believe it warrants a higher salary, it’s definitely worth asking just how open they are to negotiation.
Are you more likely to jump in and negotiate hard for a role you want, or assume there’s no more budget and give it a wide berth?
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