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Should I provide my w2 to a recruiter?

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

NO !!!!!

None of their business. In fact providing remuneration history is a terrible negotiating tactic.

Lyle Newkirk
Title: CFO
Company: Corrigo Incorporated
(CFO, Corrigo Incorporated) |

I think it is asking for trouble not only from a negotiation perspective but also from a confusion perspective. W-2s are not always indicative of earnings due to one time items and timing of bonus payments.. However, there are some hiring managers who will not make an offer without knowing what a person was making before.
You should make sure you have some credible third party data that benchmarks the compensation for the position you seek.

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

Just as a voluntary gesture or because he has a position for which you are a top 3 candidate? There is a difference.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Very tricky question. I have requested a W-2 from individuals I was hiring in the past. It is a common approach with sales people that work on commissions. It does not make sense to me for other positions. I would never share the info with a Recruiter.

This sounds very similar to what Realtors do when they ask a person looking for a property to obtain a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter from a lender, “How much can you afford?” The difference here would be a recruiter asking, “What is your value, based on your previous employer?”

I agree with Wayne and Lyle.

Rob Matthews
Title: Junior Full-Stack Developer | Graphic De..
Company: AirRun
(Junior Full-Stack Developer | Graphic Designer, AirRun) |

I was just asked for w2 info from a recruiter that called me today, has contract work, and is purely a middle man between me and a 'potential employer.' Also asked for the last 4 of my social. I can't think of any reason that providing that would benefit me. Please let me know otherwise. For example, pretend I asked for any of your last 4s... Whaat could you find out other than provide a banker or customer service with semi secret info to verify identity? Recruiter works at ptechpartners.com... site's copyright is 2016...

Topic Expert
Mike Caruana
Title: Director of Financial Services
Company: Diamond Resorts International
(Director of Financial Services, Diamond Resorts International) |

I don't think it is a good idea to give a recruiter your W-2. I really can't imagine a reason why they would need it? I mean, what does verifying that you've actually been at that pay grade have to do with your qualifications for a job? (I know Execs making big coin that aren't as qualified as some management level team members making a fraction of what they are.)

Anonymous
(Director, Finance and Accounting) |

NFW

Carla Gordon
Title: Accountant
Company: Govt
(Accountant, Govt) |

No, in addition to previous comments, it has your SSN on it. Who knows what hands it may pass through. At the very least, black out the SSN.

Andrew Nussbaum
Title: Director of Finance and Adminstration
Company: **--**--**
(Director of Finance and Adminstration, **--**--**) |

Ann Admin,

There is no reason to provide W-2 to a recruiter... provide a salary range (if padding, don't go overboard).

ray Cushmore
Title: CFO
Company: Bideawee
(CFO, Bideawee) |

I agree giving your W-2 is not a good idea. However, if you work for a non-profit in senior management, then your compensation is most likely included on the 990 and public information.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

And the Recruiter or HR person can spend the time to look it up.

Anonymous
(Owner) |

The recruiter may want to use the wage info to fill your position once you leave. If you do not have a close relationship with the recruiter, I think it's safe to say your wage info will be shared however it benefits the recruiter.

Topic Expert
Karoline Mello
Title: Director, FP&A
Company: Apollo Group
(Director, FP&A, Apollo Group) |

My company has recently started down the path of salary verification, at the request of the President of the company, who believes very strongly that if a candidate is negotiating a hirer salary the President wants to know if the person has been paid that in the past and done a job at a high level of pay. This is after the candidate was selected and an initial offer was made. His point is that he does not want to pay more to be the place that provides the on the job training, and past salary is indicative of past performance.

Craig Millis
Title: Finance Director
Company: Anonymous
(Finance Director, Anonymous) |

Karoline, your President's logic is flawed.

He's worried about the candidate that may need training, and falsely believes a history of below market compensation will reveal that need.

What about the candidates that don't need training, but they've been underpaid (which is why they're seeking another job)? How will seeing this candidate's compensation history help your President make the right hiring decision? In this case, your President will pass on a candidate who could excel at the job, without training, simply because he was under-appreciated at his last job.

Carla Gordon
Title: Accountant
Company: Govt
(Accountant, Govt) |

This is VERY flawed logic. In addition to Craig's answer, when Boards of major corporations are asked how they base the compensation of their CEO, they ALWAYS say it has to be competitive with "the market".
If it was based on "past performance" why doesn't that apply when you see a company's performance go down the tubes and the CEO moves on to another job.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Your President is very misguided (he or she or it to be PC) is not alone. I have found that individuals who think in a box about hiring, think in a box about everything.

Life nor business fits in a nice neat box, thus lateral and creative thinking are a must (tempered with ethical and legal issues; we are in finance).

Rich Pellegrino
Title: CFO & Treasurer
Company: "P&C" Insurance Company
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO & Treasurer, "P&C" Insurance Company) |

Not a chance!!!

Anonymous
(Controller) |

No. Past pay does not necessarily determine current worth. Companies should be basing pay on the market value of the position and the special skills and experience of the candidate. Likely any company that requires pay verification is not one you want to work for anyway.

Craig Millis
Title: Finance Director
Company: Anonymous
(Finance Director, Anonymous) |

Sharing one's W2 with a recruiter is an unreasonable request at any point in a job search.

The right response is, "I'd prefer not to share that information. However, I did earn a competitive salary, which is also what I'm seeking in my next role" - politely put the burden on the recruiter to put forward a salary range for a job position (then it's the candidate's responsibility to indicate whether they agree with that range or an alternative).

If a recruiter needs some evidence that a candidate is worth a certain value, both the candidate's resume and references are the right source. It's unreasonable for a recruiter to request a W2, salary history, or just the prior job's compensation. Yes, even a candidate's compensation at their last job is unreasonable to request, because it does not matter. What matters is the candidate's target compensation and whether the company will meet it.

All candidate's would be much better served if they politely declined compensation history requests.

Craig Millis
Title: Finance Director
Company: Anonymous
(Finance Director, Anonymous) |

Sharing one's W2 with a recruiter is an unreasonable request at any point in a job search.

The right response is, "I'd prefer not to share that information. However, I did earn a competitive salary, which is also what I'm seeking in my next role" - politely put the burden on the recruiter to put forward a salary range for a job position (then it's the candidate's responsibility to indicate whether they agree with that range or an alternative).

If a recruiter needs some evidence that a candidate is worth a certain value, both the candidate's resume and references are the right source. It's unreasonable for a recruiter to request a W2, salary history, or just the prior job's compensation. Yes, even a candidate's compensation at their last job is unreasonable to request, because it does not matter. What matters is the candidate's target compensation and whether the company will meet it.

All candidate's would be much better served if they politely declined compensation history requests.

Vesna Davis
Title: Analyst
Company: DLC
(Analyst, DLC) |

The only problem is, when a recruiter puts forward a salary range, for example, $80K to $100K, the candidate only hears "$100K and expects to receive this higher salary, even in their experience commands a lower salary within the quoted range.

Craig Millis
Title: Finance Director
Company: Anonymous
(Finance Director, Anonymous) |

Vesna, how does a candidate sharing their compensation history resolve the problem of a job offering the low end of a salary range and the candidate wanting the high end? Sharing history doesn't resolve it. And, the candidate will always start the negotiation at the high end (and vice versa for the hiring company).

Discussing a range simply enables the candidate and recruiter, early on in the process, to determine if they're even close to being able to negotiate a comp that's acceptable to both parties.

Kenneth Reid
Title: President
Company: MasterType Accounting & Business Service..
LinkedIn Profile
(President, MasterType Accounting & Business Services, P.C.) |

Your W-2 shows your past salary, and contains a lot of personal identifying information that can easily be used for identity theft. In my opinion, your W-2 should never be given to a recruiter or a potential employer. The information contained on a W-2 is confidential information for your eyes only, and should never be disclosed to any other person (other than your tax preparer who needs the information to prepare your tax returns).

Also, when you are looking for a new job, why would you want to limit your salary potential by revealing what you earned with a previous employer? If a potential employer (or recruiter) sees what you earned at a previous employer, this might cause the recruiter or potential employer from offering you a higher salary - especially in today's economy.

Anonymous
(Sales-Tech Solutions) |

Never.

This is Anti-Competitive and is becoming Illegal as of 2017.

Applicants that have been underpaid for the market or budget of an open job WILL
continue to be underpaid.

Recruiter
"How much money were you making in your last role, and I will need your W2 information"
Me
"As a policy, I do not release private financial information"
Recruiter:
"I am required to provide this information to my client"
Me
"Great, please provide what you are looking for and mandate in writing"
Recruiter
"Never Mind"

Jason M. Jones LPA
Title: Deputy Treasurer - Staff Accountant
Company: Franklin County Treasurer
(Deputy Treasurer - Staff Accountant, Franklin County Treasurer) |

I think Bishop Bullwinkle said (or rather, sang) it best:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB4Nby2Ai-g

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Very succinct.

22885 views

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