Job Search Answers – Why Don’t Recruiters Understand My Financial Needs?

Feb 9 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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At the end of my Resume Revolution complimentary webinars (enroll at, I open up the floor to job search questions … from you.

This was an interesting job search question asked by D.G. during one of my webinars:

“How are Boomers communicating with Gen X and Y to get what we need? The Recruiter that I was speaking about previously is totally not understanding what financial needs I need to survive period. It’s only through conversations with other Boomers that I feel I am establishing a worthy exchange.”

D.G., this really isn’t an issue of a generation gap, of Gen X or Y understanding boomers, or boomers ability to communicate with our younger brothers and sisters.

The fact is, recruiters really don’t give a damn about your financial needs. Recruiters don’t work for you, they work for employers.

It’s not a recruiter’s job to find you a job that meets your needs – it’s their job to find a candidate that meets an employer’s needs. And one of those needs is based on budgets.

When a recruiter discusses salary with you, they aren’t looking at what you made, what you’re used to, or the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to. They are merely comparing your skills/background to what the market currently pays for that skill/background.

There can be circumstances where a candidate’s market value could be less, sometimes significantly less than what the market will bear. This is rarely pleasant information for the candidate, but it’s critical information for a you to know.

You may be wondering … You’ve worked hard, managed your career, continued to invest in your own education, so why do you have to take a pay cut?

Look at it from an employer’s (and therefore, the recruiter’s) point of view. The longer you work for an employer, the more knowledge you gain about the employers’ operations, competitors, customers, and the industry … so you become more valuable to that employer the longer you’re there. Over the years, your value to that employer has been rewarded with pay raises, which can eventually allow you to enjoy above market value salary – because you’re more valuable to that one employer.

That excess value often doesn’t translate to other employers. If other employers need your specific in-depth knowledge of your past employer, of their competitors or customers, you’ll have a better chance of continuing to be paid an above market value salary. It’s when you move beyond your industry, your target employer probably won’t see the same value. All that concentrated information about your past employer, competitors, customers, industry just isn’t valuable to companies outside of the industry – so why would they pay you for it?

While this can be a bitter pill to swallow as a candidate, it’s important information to receive. It’s important to know what employers see as your market value, even if that information is disappointing – because it gives you a wake-up call.

Waking up to smell the coffee allows you to make important decisions effectively:

  1. Do you try to stay in the industry to make more money (if that’s an option)?
  2. or

  3. Do you change your lifestyle so that you can live within what the market is willing to pay?

It’s never fun to be disappointed.

But it’s better to be disappointed than to keep living beyond your means, based on unrealistic salary expectations, isn’t it?


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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