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The Payslip Conundrum

A LinkedIn debate has raised an interesting topic around the recruitment process.

Those who have ever embarked on a job search via a recruiter might be familiar with the convention of providing a most recent salary slip before beginning the process. Whether or not this step is necessary is under question.

The candidate’s perspective is that providing your current payslip weakens your negotiating power when it comes to the new salary. The new employer can just match your pay or make a slight improvement on it to try and pull you over, even if the role is actually worth more.

Another issue arises if your current job is underpaying – your new employer will still use the amount as a base to judge what they think you’ll be willing to accept. To get around this, some people have admitted to faking payslips and inflating their current remuneration. Aside from this being fraudulent, it can cost you significant reputation damage.

So, the benefits of giving this information up is rather unclear.

From the perspective of the recruiter, three factors make this step an important part of the process.

The first one is understanding the candidate’s current level of pay. Recruiters report that most candidates don’t know exactly what their current role is offering. Benefits such as a car allowance, cell phone allowance, on-site lunches, access to gym, contributions to retirement funds and medical aid all form part of the cost to company of the candidate.

These need to be factored into the next negotiation as not every employer offers the same benefit structure. Candidates often fail to consider this and when evaluating an offer.

Secondly, the recruiter already has an idea of what the company can afford to offer. If the candidate’s current pay or salary expectation falls outside of this amount, it saves time and effort all around as the remuneration offer is usually only made by the new employer as a final step.

Finally, recruiters’ pay is linked to the size of your offer. The more the candidate gets, the more the recruiter gets. An argument can be made that recruiters will take care of repeat employers looking to place candidates and try to find discounted candidates to ensure the employer continues using them as their preferred recruiter.

Ultimately, it’s your choice when it comes to payslip provision. Understand that it is not a necessity and that you can say no. Making sure you know what your existing package is worth and offering a recruiter an idea of your expected offer may enable you to circumvent the payslip dilemma.