Can HR person ask a candidate’s last drawn salary from previous Job? Please discuss by HR ethical point of view.
From Myanmar
Prashant B Ingawale

Yes HR has right to ask candidate’s previous last drawn salary there is no question of Ethics at all with subject to Indian Territory.
From India, Pune
Venkata Vamsi Krishna Patnaik

Dear Kophyocdce,
How can a HR know the existing salary of a candidate appearing interview and fix his pay, unless it is ascertained with proofs?
Hence it is utmost important question to ask the last drawn salary. It is not at all unethical in HR point of view.

From India, Hyderabad

I have a different view. The predominant interest behind such question is to give normally a 10% to 15% increase over and above what he is drawing now.My humble submission is hire a candidate on the basis of his potential and pay him a compensation that is commensurate with his potential instead of offering him 10 to 15% increase of his current salary.This could become unjust if he were underpaid by the current employer and his potential justifies far better remuneration. So Iam not much in favour of asking a candidate about his current salary.
HR & Labour Relations Adviser
Navi mubai

From India, Mumbai
Nagarkar Vinayak L

Dear colleagues,
I am unable to understand the connection of asking salary details with ethics. If anything , it is far-fetched.
There are no scientific , objective and 100% reliable tests to assess potential of the candidate let alone judging it merely during the interview process.
Therefore, asking salary details and knowing salary expectations from the candidate is , in my view, perfectly sound and fair HR practice involving no ethical issue whatsoever.
Vinayak Nagarkar

From India, Mumbai

It is perfectly ethical and required to ask the current salary of person appearing for an interview.It is important for the interviewee also to reveal his current salary as nobody would like to switch over a job at a salary lesser than the present one. If one has more potential than his current employer also will offer him higher salary and try to retain him once he discloses that he intends to leave the organisation for higher salary.
From India, Delhi

Thanks to the learned members for their enlightening responses in favour of the proposition.
True, it is neither unethical or unlawful in the Indian context to ask a candidate about his salary as it is a predominant practice here though I am given to understand that such questions are banned in interviews in USA by a legislation but I am not in favor of such legislation in India as it amounts to dictating the employer as to how to conduct an interview- a steep interference into his business. But this is not the issue.
My contention is not from the point of ethics or law but from the point of prudent principles of interview for the reasons given below.
1)Though there are no perfect tools to assess the potential of a candidate, there are equally no perfect tools to detect whether the candidate is lying about his salary by quoting a higher figure than expected in which case the employer may end up paying more than what the candidate deserves.The risks are even.
2)There may not be very accurate tools to test the potential perfectly but a skillful interviewer with a sharp mind honed by experience, can easily gaze a candidate's potential fairly if not perfectly during the interview.It is said that it is not necessary to test every grain of rice to see whether the whole bowlful of rice is cooked or not and it is enough to squeeze two/three grains to know this.This is the skill expected of an interviewer. If there are no accurate tools, then we need to use what is available for assessment as the company cannot ask the candidate to wait for 6 moths of his probation to know his compensation.
3)It is found that the timing of the question many a time is found not mature or it is premature.Many a time the HR asks this question on phone even before the actual interview commences giving a an unfriendly impression that the company is concerned more about costs than about people. Another draw back is that this palsy up on the psyche of the candidate as to why he should quote it when he does not know any thing about the future job and the candidate may not respond or mumble something ending the process. Who knows the company may be loosing a potential candidate.
Sometimes the interviewer pops up this question in the middle of the interview (they are more eager to know as to how much they have to shell than the candidate is eager to know how much he can get) unsettling his mind with doubts whether the figure will be lower for the job in which case he fears to be underpaid and if it is higher, he apprehends to be rejected and reluctantly the candidate is likely to loose interest in the interview.Who knows the company may be loosing a potential candidate.
4) It amounts to pricing a person but not a position which is not prudent principle of interview.
5) Instead of asking him about his salary details, the interviewer can best leave the timing of the question to the candidate himself or postpone it till the interview process is over and by paraphrasing it differently by asking him as to how much he would like to quote for this job.At this time, both parties are comfortable to discuss it in the context his salary and the job profile and both parties recognize each other as equal partners in the selection process as the employer is as much in need of a potential candidate as the candidate is in need of a job.
We may agree or disagree with respect as every view has it's own substance and most likely subjects like this may not have right or wrong answer but what is important is to have different views and discussions on the issue which the querying member and other members would like to hear and know and learning happens.
Other views welcome.
HR & Labour relations Adviser
Navi mumbai

From India, Mumbai

Dear Kophyocdce,
The employing company is right to know all about(work experience, wages and family details) a person they are going to recruit.
Why do you think it is unethical to know about a person whom i am considering for a job is not understood? This attitude gives an impression that the candidate has got nothing potentiality against his claim to suit requirement of the employment.
It is common & general practice to fill up a form before interview, where all details of one with details of reference of person from whom employer can also verified authenticity of information furnished by the candidate. This act is very much ethical and got sanctity under the law.

From India, Mumbai
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