I've been filling out a lot of applications these days, at a lot of different businesses. For a while I was unemployed, after being basically laid off from my previous job. I've had a job for the past three weeks now, but I still keep applying elsewhere, because it's nothing substantial enough to survive off of. In fact, I'm pretty friggin' underpaid. It may not entirely be my employer's fault though, as I remembered something that happens to be one of the worst things on applications, in my opinion.
No, I'm not talking about the felony question or background check. I'm not that badass. I'm talking about the question on applications that asks, "What rate of pay do you expect?" or something similar. Maybe I'm being cynical, but what is the purpose of the question, other than for the employer to get an idea of how much they can get away with underpaying you?
I was desperate for work at the time, so I put a lower figure than I've earned in over two years. That was stupid of me perhaps, but who doesn't low ball it on applications? You want to give yourself as good of a chance of being hired as possible, right? To make matters more insufferable, the work that I do is worth far more than I'm being paid. I basically manage a stockroom for a company that can certainly afford to pay its employees well, and my store is located in a pretty upscale part of town.
Don't think I'm suggesting that if applications omitted this question about desired wages, then the company would pay better. I know better than that. Maybe the question wasn't even taken into account when I was hired, but my last four jobs each paid at least $2 an hour more than this current one, and they knew that from my application. If nothing more, the question's presence on applications really makes me wonder about a correlation with how employers pay their workers.
Maybe I should find some way to do a study on it...