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    Why you should seek accurate salary data to land the salary you deserve

    Discussing salary or going into a salary negotiation conversation can be nerve wrecking for many reasons — and you’re not alone. Some may feel like they lack enough (of the right) data to discuss numbers, while others might not feel confident in the actual words to use when approaching a salary conversation to appear fair while achieving a salary they deserve. Both instances can cause unnecessary anxiety for job seekers, and can prove especially difficult for candidates of underrepresented communities, even though it continues to be the top motivator for tech candidates to look for and accept a new role.
    Leveraging salary data can help empower job seekers to not only ask for the compensation they deserve, but also expect it. In our webinar, “Staying Empowered With Data: Knowing & Asking For The Compensation You Deserve,” I had the opportunity to discuss with our guest speaker, Virgginnia Buccioni-Hillman — an experienced D&I recruiter, HR professional, and DE&I Program Manager at Tile — about why it is important to seek pay equity, how to uncover accurate data sources, and approach salary discussions.
    Empower yourself with accurate salary data
    With a wide variety of resources available online, job seekers must be keen to know where their salary data is coming from. Salary information can be presented as base salary or total compensation, which may include equity, stock options, and bonuses. In addition, salary data can be characterized as employer-reported or self-reported data, the difference being that self-reported data cannot be confirmed by employers. While both types of data sources can be helpful for research purposes, this is what can confuse job seekers and make salary discussions more intimidating and possibly misleading.
    For technical candidates, there are various factors that should be considered when researching salary data and defining a target salary range, including the career field and role you are in or interviewing for, your current city, the location of the prospective role (if it differs from where you live), your core skill-set, and your years of experience (i.e. overall, within a role, coding in a particular language/framework). In her recruiting experience, Buccioni-Hillman shares that this is how different salary bands are developed and how candidates are evaluated for starting salary within the interview funnel.
    Using your research to discuss salary
    On Hired, we encourage a type of salary discussion at the first introduction between a candidate and recruiter to establish a preferred base salary on both ends. While this is not set in stone until a final offer is extended, it elicits a conversation around this early on to ensure there are no surprises or time wasted for both parties. It can also be common for salary discussions to happen as the process approaches an onsite interview.
    Job seekers should invest themselves into the role and team you are interviewing with and lean into these conversations. When asked what your target compensation range is, you can lean on the data you’ve gathered and share your preferred base salary range based on the market research you’ve done. Likewise, Buccioni-Hillman encourages candidates to feel comfortable asking what the base salary range is for the role and level you are interviewing for. By having an open dialogue early on with the recruiter and hiring manager, it can be an ongoing conversation as you proceed through the interview process.
    After doing research into salary data, it is also important to take stock of what is most important to you in a total compensation package, including stock, equity, bonuses, and benefits. Especially in a remote world, examples can include additional vacation time, flexible work schedules, professional development budgets, technology allowances or incorporating a compensation adjustment with a performance review after 6 months and other perks. In an instance of negotiating salary, candidates might shy away from countering to not appear greedy or ungrateful for the opportunity. Companies won’t retract their offer because you would like to negotiate — if anything, they expect you too so don’t be shy. 
    Displaying confidence in your pitch
    If a company has extended a job offer, they believe that you would be a great addition to the team. Displaying gratitude and humility for the opportunity is great but Buccioni-Hillman challenges job seekers to strike a balance between that and ensuring that you aren’t leaving money on the table. Buccioni-Hillman shares that candidates should remember to do the following in salary discussions or negotiations:
    Display confidence in your ability to perform the job successfully
    Focus on the value you can bring to the role and team
    Reiterate your commitment and motivations
    Confidence starts within yourself. When you know your worth, it isn’t boastful to ask for what you are valued. Buccioni-Hillman explains how, while there are systems that may work in favor of some more than others, it shouldn’t stop people from believing in themselves. Gaining visibility and a seat at the table starts with asking for help, gaining mentors, and surrounding yourself with like-minded people that you aspire to be like. While it might feel like it, success doesn’t have to be a lonely road. You can go much further in community with others.
    Additional Resources:
    If you are looking for employer-reported resources and tools to seek accurate salary data, we recommend the following:
    Hired’s Salary Calculator: Discover tech role salaries for specific markets, roles, and years of experience based on real offers extended to candidates by companies on Hired.
    Hired’s 2020 State of Salaries Report: Understand tech role salaries and compensation trends by market, over time, and across different demographic groups, especially in the rapidly changing world we live in today.
    SalaryList: Online tool with real salary data collected from government and companies – annual starting salaries, average salaries, payscale by company, job title, and city. More

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    Knowing What You Want So You Can Find a Job You Love

    Searching for a new job can feel like a daunting task, especially if you weren’t expecting to or have been out of the market for a long time. Before navigating interviews, you may be creating a mental list of things to do including updating your resume, LinkedIn profile, and to start looking at what opportunities are out there. In our recently published ebook, From Layoff to Lift Off: A Comprehensive Guide to Bounce Back in Your Career, we share that the first, and most important, step to start with in your job search is to look within and take stock of what is most important to you in your next opportunity.
    Wants & needs
    Between what profession and life stage you are or will soon be in, your non-negotiables and ‘nice to haves’ can vary from person to person. Starting a job search calls on self-reflection into your top priorities and deal breakers in your next opportunity, which should take place before speaking with a recruiter. The areas that job seekers can begin evaluating include (but are not limited to):
    Finances, such as preferred base salary, bonuses, equity or stock options, and total compensation
    Benefits and perks
    Work-life balance
    Tech stack
    Company size, stage, and industry
    Company culture
    Location, which would include considering if you’re comfortable with and able to commute into an office in a post-COVID world
    As you consider these areas for yourself, understanding what you don’t want is equally important as what you do. Additionally, while it is important to showcase your skills and strengths, being able to identify what you are interested in learning more or growing in, especially with regard to your technical experience, will help you immensely to be able to communicate those desires effectively in your online presence, cover letters, and interviews.
    Empower yourself with data
    Once you have outlined a list of your preferences, requirements, and deal breakers, as a job seeker one of the best things you can do is to empower and equip yourself with data and research into the role(s) you are interested in. You look into the job requirements for the role(s) you’re interested in, compensation offered for the title, level, and market that role is located in, and into the hiring companies, especially as it relates to your list of preferences.
    Information on company size, stage, industry, location, and culture are often easily accessible online, especially on the company’s website, prior to you even applying for open roles. On the other hand, information on compensation, benefits, and perks offered might be a little harder to find unless you’re actively interviewing with that respective company. In these instances, it is especially important to know what you want so you can ask the right questions in your interviews to uncover that information to make the best decision for you. In terms of compensation, while company-specific information may not be readily available, you can equip yourself with market research by using tools such as:
    According to our 2020 State of Wage Inequality Report, the wage gap that exists today is perpetuated by a gap in what candidates actually expect to receive. This is consistent not only between women and men but also across racial groups, age groups, and markets. Since their expectations are lower than their market value, tech workers are asking for less and getting paid less. When you know your value, and it is backed by data, you can go into conversations about compensation more confidently to ask for what you deserve. By analyzing data from multiple resources, you can cross-reference the numbers you find to give you a good idea of a range you deserve for your experience in addition to what you can expect to see for roles you are interviewing for. More

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    Understanding Recruitment: Empowering Job Seekers for Better Interviewing

    Interviewing for a new job can be an emotional and time-consuming process for many, especially in a remote world where home-life and work-life may converge. Feelings of hope and excitement can be mixed with anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm. Although, when you know what to expect as you enter into a job search, your nerves can settle knowing that you prepared as much as you could for the interviewing process. With that, hopefully you can gain that much more confidence and resilience to make it through and find a job that you truly love.
    In our ebook, From Layoff to Lift Off: A Comprehensive Guide to Bounce Back in Your Career, we share tips on how to better understand the recruitment process to improve your interviewing skills and ultimately win at interviewing.
    Understanding recruitment
    Upon review of your application or receiving an interview request, companies will usually have at least 3 steps in their interview process for technical roles. This can include a phone screen with the recruiter, a technical screen, and an onsite interview. In a remote world, companies have taken the opportunity to create a remote interviewing experience that mirrors what it would be like to interview in person, especially for an onsite interview. It is best to practice for phone and video interviews, behavioral questions, how to give a summary of your experience as it relates to the roles you are interviewing for, and gathering your references.
    It is important to note that, while most recruiters and hiring managers work hard to create a stellar candidate experience, they may also be inundated with messages. Upon review by a recruiter, your profile will also need to be reviewed by a hiring manager throughout the process. Because this is a team effort that requires careful consideration by the hiring team, there is time that Don’t be discouraged by automated messages or responses–dealing with a high candidate volume will require understanding and empathy on your part, as well.
    Best practices for follow up
    Being proactive while you interview is a great way to both impress the hiring team and manage your various interview processes. Following up after each interview with a note of gratitude and your next availability will help reiterate your interest and can expedite the scheduling process for your next interview. It works to your benefit to do so within 24 hours after your interview concludes as the discussion is fresh in your mind and you are still fresh in the mind of the interviewer. You can often catch the interviewer within their decision window before they debrief with others on the hiring team.
    If you don’t hear back, don’t count the opportunity out–there could be various reasons for the silence. Prioritize the opportunities you are most interested in and follow up on your initial outreach in a sequence of 3 days, 4 days, then 4 days (not including weekends). As long as you lead with kindness and focus on your conversations with the individual you are reaching out to, instead of pitching yourself as a candidate, it can be a productive and positive signal to the team that you are still interested without seeming too pushy. More

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    Job Searching? Online Networking Strategies to get you Started

    Embracing our new realm of human connection doesn’t have to feel impersonal or distant. You can and should be forming new social ties online as a job seeker. Now more than ever, it’s acceptable to reach out to people remotely. There are no parties to socialize, no events to make new encounters, no coffee shops […] More

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    Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on your job search

    As we move into the summer months of 2020, by now we are well acquainted with the recent events hitting markets hard and disrupting hiring patterns. Whenever we are faced with challenging times, we are presented with unique opportunities. As a job seeker, you will have to remain proactive in your search for employment. Staying […] More

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    An Extrovert’s Guide to Remote Work

    Because of COVID-19 many of us are now in a position where we’re working full-time remote for the first time ever. As someone who thrives on human interaction in an office setting, working at home alone has been challenging to say the least. I sat down to have a coffee with Chethan Reddy to get some tips […] More

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    How to Remain Proactive in your Job Search During the Covid-19 Crisis

    In this time of uncertainty, many companies and job seekers are faced with a decision. Pause the interview process or adapt to the situation. If you are a job seeker, ask yourself, can your skills be leveraged remotely? While some companies are reassessing hiring needs as their industries may be experiencing a slow-down (travel, entertainment […] More

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    How a Software Engineer Should Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

    I think that without a doubt the most common interview question is “so, tell me about yourself”.  As someone who’s gone through the HackReactor program, spoken to recruiters, and interviewed dozens of candidates myself, here are the most important things any candidate should keep top of mind.  Common Misconceptions  There are two common misconceptions with […] More