There are so many different opinions on when you should introduce salary into a conversation with candidates. More recently, I have heard a lot of opinion around paying what the job is worth and not taking the candidate's current salary into account. I can see this point of view but there are two main problems with this. 

1. Would you really give someone a £40,000 pay rise if they were on £50,000 and you bench marked the role at £90,000? Why would you do that? Is this not similar to a big football transfer e.g. Manchester United paid £85 million for Harry Maguire who is not worth it and immediately has a huge weight on his shoulders to try and justify the price tag? Big salaries bring demanding expectations. 

2. Most candidates would be delighted with a decent pay rise to move jobs and have enough budget still in the kitty to enjoy further ones based on performance. I have seen the doubling of salary overnight pay rises to candidates and have not yet seen a successful outcome. It sets unfair expectations.

My view

I do believe that salary should be discussed in the early stages of any recruitment process both to understand a candidate's current remuneration but also their expectations. It may be that a "pricey" candidate has been earning more than your salary budget but in a much bigger role, and due to life circumstances, they may not aspire to achieve the same level. You may get a lot more for your money than you were expecting and in a good way.

For me, salary should be put on the table as early as possible in your candidate conversations. What's the point of investing time and resource in a recruitment process, everyone loves a candidate and then it all falls down because your salary expectations are too far apart? Don't kid yourself that you will be able to talk a candidate around at the end of the process.

Transparency is a powerful thing!