“What is the salary range planned for the position?” “I would not step into recruitment process unless I know the money you can offer me!”

These are the questions each IT recruiter is used to hear several times a week.

You can surely feel it, that only the sound of the above already suggests that this is neither a request nor a polite question, but simply a condition given by a contacted person.

My overall experience and all the thinking I have done on the matter brought me to one simple question – why do we need to know exact salary ranges? Should it really be the only “go” or “no-go” indicator?

I’m sharing my thoughts here to initiate some reflection on the subject. Recruiters got used to be facing such cases. Candidates have already created a habit of asking “how much” at first. Do we always have to follow this logic, or look for a deeper meaning in it, common sense and best added value for ourselves?

Let’s sort out few initial points.


That is obvious. Candidates want to know the salary they can expect for a certain position. No one wants to spend time on a several-stage recruitment process and at the end of the way realise that it was not worth it and pointless. Everyone knows that changing job in most cases should consider a raise in salary or definite improvement of work responsibilities offered. That is easy to agree on.

Are salary rangers really that important?

This question has troubled me for some time now. We work to earn money and with following employers we want to earn more and more. That is clear. But is that all? I do understand certain specifics of different markets and industries. Focusing on the IT industry, however, I can’t agree that money should be the only issue.

Considering lots of amazing opportunities available on local and international markets I fully stand for the smartest and best choice for my candidates, not necessarily the most beneficial moneywise.

If you earn 12 000 PLN, you can surely provide for yourself and your family. In the end of the day this is three times more than the average rate in Poland. If so, do you still think that a financially better offer (let’s say 13 000 PLN) would be better for you at any cost? Really? Wouldn’t you prefer a more “sexy” position for 12 500 PLN?

What about your passion for IT? Was that for money or technology? What comes first?

One of the things I love about my job is meeting enthusiast, passionate IT specialists that do not mind spending whole weekends on “hacking sessions”, when meeting in the bar talking about other frameworks and arguing whether node.js is rather back end or front end. People who first fell in love with IT, not money coming out of it…..

If two options you are offered are technologically similar, then the choice is obvious. But if you can see vast discrepancies between the proposals, would you still go for the one that will pay you more?

I am confident that most of you reading this would say: “no, technology is more important than money”

If this is the case, then why don’t you ask your recruiter for technology stack and work content offered first? Why is money the so called “deal breaker”? Why do you keep yourself from much better and challenging career progression?

The moment when you know how much you can expect

Think about recruitment processes you took part in. When did you know how much they could really offer you?

Was that at the very beginning? At the very end, or during the offer call?

The truth stays in-between. Despite budget planned for certain role, the salary you will be offered relies in 80% on expertise you have shown during the interviews.

So even if the company is ready to pay you 15,000 PLN, they will not offer you that much unless you show them you are Senior enough for the position. Budget capability has very little to do with the final offer rate.


Coming up with conclusion here, I will leave you Dear Reader (if you are still with me  ) with several maybe’s to think about.

Maybe instead of asking for salary ranges, it is better to specify how much do you expect or what your minimal expectations are? Recruiters will not initiate processing unless they can be realistically fulfilled.

Maybe when changing your job, it is better to spend some time to investigate the company’s DNA or culture and find out how good it would be for you to work for this particular firm?

Would it not be better to be happy with your job in general, not only with money you get out of it?

Maybe Recruiters simply do not know the brackets planned for particular position?

This is more and more often to see. “The sky is the limit. We’ll pay good money for great people” – Hiring Managers say. Maybe it is then well worth fighting for this sky, not for 500 PLN increase in salary ranges only?

and maybe YOU want to add anything to it?