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Can I Afford This Job?

Money by Andrew MagillDear Reader,

Here is a quote job post I saw recently.

They are offering competitive salaries, benefits (vacation, medical, dental, vision), a 401k plan, as well as a fun collaborative working environment (catered food truck lunches, theme park outings, big charity events and more).

Sounds interesting right? If I am a Junior developer making squat or near squat, I am interested. However, if I am a Mid-range developer, Senior developer, or a System Architect – or if I am a developer with a family that depends on my salary and I have a minimum salary requirement – I’m conflicted.

Do I bother to apply? Are there other signals I can use to deduce whether this will be a waste of my time or not? What is “competitive salaries”? Who are they competing with? If they are competing with fast food restaurants, that’s going to be a different number than if they are competing with investment banking companies.

As a hiring manager you haven’t done your job. You have told me how great the job is, but you’ve not answered the question “Can I afford to take this job?”.

As my friend Sean Coats pointed out in the comments of “The secret to writing a job post to attract PHP developers”, salary is important when deciding whether to apply for a job.

Help developers pre-qualify themselves for your positions. Save yourself the time and aggravation of interviewing someone only to find that they can’t afford to take the job. Help developers answer the question “Can I afford this job?”. Put a salary range on your job post.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Photo Credit: Money by Andrew Magill
Used under CC license

12 thoughts on “Can I Afford This Job?

  1. When you are jobless you may opt for any Job. But you will quit in a few months. As Sean Coats mentioned salary is a constraint for a person who have family and lots of stuffs to do with it.

    Once you joined the firm your colleagues are the one they talk. If you are rewarded more than the one you are giving to someone of same quality that will bring noise on both.

    That brings to a wonderful place, 2 jobs to fill :-) . Understand the reason why someone left try to learn from it than looking for new developers. Things are always great when you see from outside. The inside will worst as Heaven.

  2. I used to work for an online recruiting company and was surprised how many firms were squeamish about posting salaries. They were hoping to get that one low cost diamond that perfectly met all their needs and did not consider how much of their resources were spent on sorting out less qualified applicants.

  3. When i’ve been responsible for hiring in the past we did not include specific salary ranges on the position. Why? Because salary is really determined by YOU, not us. Organizations have an estimated range they’re looking at in terms of cost but for stellar candidates why wouldn’t we want to consider going 10, 20 or even 30% above our range?

    If we would list exact salary ranges, that could make a person immediately disqualify themselves. Any job posting I am responsible always directly states compensation dependent upon experience.

    Now there are reasons to disqualify yourself even without a specific salary range. If a post is for a mid level developer with 2 years of experience + a bachelors degree or equivalent experience and you have 15 years of job experience. Guess what? Your salary range is likely out of band. I would also make it clear what a job is not for, which most frequently was NOT FOR software architects. A qualified software architect has experience and commands a paygrade well above a senior level developer.

  4. So many of my conversations with recruiters would be significantly simpler if they paid attention to this. Not only are they often vague about the cash on the table but the location. I have had very exciting offers come up only to discover down the line that “close” to where I live really means can get there inside of a day. Anything over two hours each way needs to be able to also include overnight stays and that significantly impacts the cost/benefit consideration.

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