Should I disclose my current salary?

Friday February 26 2021

Moses Ssesanga

By Moses Ssesanga

Dear Moses,
I have been working at my current workplace for two years. Recently, I applied for a job and got it. However, I received an email from the human resource of the other side inquiring about my current salary. This salary is one of the reasons I am leaving. I am afraid that disclosing it may be selling myself short. Simon.

Dear Simon,
Traditionally, salary negotiations and questions of that nature used to be perceived as an avenue for potential candidates trying to get as much money for themselves as possible from their potential employers, or, as employers trying to pay as little as possible to their new hires. That should however, never have been the case.

 Despite the low salary you have been earning in your current job, you should  try to do some research to understand the market remuneration value of the position you are gunning for as well the relative range paid by your new employer. 

However, should that information prove a little difficult to get given the confidential shroud around many company’s salary information, it would be prudent to remember that when recruiters are considering potential candidates for a position, they would be seeking to establish the candidate’s salary history in order to determine if they would be a perfect fit for the position. They would be trying to find out if the candidate is paid either a low or higher salary relative to what they can afford. 

 The employer would be seeking to feel confident that they are getting a great candidate who will deliver impact relative to the cost, aka, salary invested. That should ideally have nothing to do with how much you have been remunerated historically. With your new employer, you should have the confidence to determine what your fair value is, based on the individual circumstances and demands of the position you are seeking to take up.  

You should also bear in mind that in the modern world of work, conducting salary negotiations professionally, is aimed at striking a compromise, fair remuneration position with the candidate. The candidate would be seeking to be paid a fair salary that reflects the value for the effort, expertise and time they would be investing in the role while the employer would be seeking to optimise how that value is derived from the candidate. 


That is why your potential employer may even ask why you think you should be paid what you are asking for. They are trying to ascertain your passion and self-perception of your value. This is what should be at the fore of your mind as you negotiate your new salary, not necessarily your remuneration history. 

Moses Ssesanga,
Head of Human Resource, 
NMG Uganda