Secrecy around salaries

Post Reply
indogal
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 3:33 pm

Secrecy around salaries

Post by indogal »

I was recently reading a thread about which countries one can work in and potentially save a good deal of their salary. I feel like there is a lot of speculation and debate about this. It makes me wonder why schools are simply not more transparent about the salary they are offering.

In this recruiting season, I turned down several jobs. This was after spending a great deal of time preparing for interviews & sitting through the interviews themselves. Many schools make you speak to three or four people before they offer you a position. (this can easily take 3-4 hours of your time simply interviewing- often at odd hours due to time differences in different parts of the world) The main reason I turned down these offers is that when the salary was finally revealed to me, I learned that it would not be enough to live on and have any savings.

Why do schools waste their time, as well as candidates? If we knew from the beginning of the interview process what the salary range is, it would be easier to decide which opportunities to pursue and which to pass over.

Please don't recommend looking at the information on Search- since schools self report, it is often inaccurate (some over estimate/others underestimate) and you can't really get a very clear picture.

Can anyone think of a way to get schools to be more open and transparent with this information?

mysharona
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Secrecy around salaries

Post by mysharona »

" it would not be enough to live on and have any savings."

I think you answered your own question.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9405
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

A few reasons:

1) Their is a behavioral principal called commitment and consistency. The more resources you expend the more vested you become the less likely you are to decline. Its the same phenomenon at fairs, an IT has spent so much coin to travel to X and they dont want to leave with nothing because thats losing and they dont want to be a loser. The ISs are mimicking what upper tier ISs do, presenting an image of being highly selective reducing esteem you hold in yourself, maybe you arent so awesome if even meh ISs are making you go through hoops.
2) The IS needs to sell you too. Every IS thinks they are first tier but the numbers (and more accurate the tangibles) res ipsa loquitur. An IS needs to make their pitch about how their intangibles have value, value that sets them above their competition.
3) A fully transparent system would likely involve some degree of salary inflation as ISs attempted to one up one another.
4) There really isnt a benefit to them in giving you that information. Information is power and giving you that information switches the paradigm, now they arent shopping for an IT your shopping for an IS.
5) There are ISs in closed systems (the two types of compensation systems are open and closed) where the ISs budget or some part of a leaders performance is managing a recruiting budget and leaders are rarely if ever penalized or disciplined for saving an IS coin in closed systems. A maths IT might get a higher offer compared to an identical primary IT. An IS might be willing to pay X for Y and if they can get X IT cheaper than they budgeted that’s in their interest and noteworthy for a leader where being a shrewd negotiator has utility.

I agree I often find the SA IS database inaccurate and mostly due to issues of self reporting by the IS. Though there are very difficult factors such as savings that are difficult to fix given the substantial difference in variables.

The easiest way and really the most practical is two start the dialog with an ISs expression of interest by inquiring what salary range they could offer based on your professional characteristics, most notably years of experience, your degree qualifications and credentials. If they wont discuss it or give you some response like they would like to discuss that at the conclusion of the recruiting process, give them another chance and explanation and if they still wont disclose, tell them youre time may better be served pursuing other opportunities. There will be leaders and recruiters who will scuff and shake their head in disbelief, but ITs arent usually the most assertive advocate for themselves, and if that approach grows on the side of ITs than ISs will accept that practice once it gets to a critical threshold.

Nexttrip
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:29 pm

Re: Secrecy around salaries

Post by Nexttrip »

indogal wrote:
> Why do schools waste their time, as well as candidates? If we knew from
> the beginning of the interview process what the salary range is, it would
> be easier to decide which opportunities to pursue and which to pass over.

There was actually a time in the early 2000s where more schools actually provided information on their salaries and benefits on their websites. I remember schools like Taipei American School, AIS Budapest, and other tier 1s had it all right online, which was fantastic when deciding whether to apply for a job.

My theory on why more schools don't provide more transparency on salaries/benefits is that it would tip off parents at the school and perhaps local community. I know that I was once working at Tier 1 where the salary schedule and benefits were listed on the website and more than one parent mentioned to me how they couldn't believe how much we were making. Basically saying that we were all overpaid. Also, in a lot of schools there are a 2-tiered system of overseas hires and local hire contracts, and by exposing the disparity it could lead to more issues with the local staff/community.

In terms of why some schools don't let you know the salary at the beginning of the interview process, I interviewed with 3 tier 1 schools at the GRC Dubai fair and 2 schools gave me salary/benefits during the 1st interview and the other school during the 2nd interview. So I think it depends on the school as well.

mamava
Posts: 276
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:56 am

Re: Secrecy around salaries

Post by mamava »

Obviously, schools want you to go through the full process because, in the event that the salary is not what you're aiming for, you'll be persuaded by the pitch to make concessions in your salary wants.

Likewise, as a job-seeker, you want to know the salary straight-up, but that information might deter you from accepting great jobs that might not meet your salary requirements.

Good schools have salary schedules--some post them on their websites, others don't but have them available.

I would be seriously suspicious of a school that doesn't have a salary schedule. Do you really want to work for a school that paid out salaries based on random or personal or subjective qualities?

Psychometrika
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Secrecy around salaries

Post by Psychometrika »

mamava wrote:
> I would be seriously suspicious of a school that doesn't have a salary
> schedule. Do you really want to work for a school that paid out salaries
> based on random or personal or subjective qualities?

They don’t assign salaries randomly. As an experienced high school math teacher who is comfortable negotiating I can often do better without a salary scale. Teachers in high needs areas can leverage their background to get more than they could otherwise with a flat scale that ignores every quality except experience and education. Like I teach my AP Econ students its all about supply, demand, and scarcity. You know what they will pay before you sign the contract, and you can decide if it is worth it to you or not. Plus, as someone who worked outside of education for a while that’s the norm for me anyway. Fixed salary scales can be reassuring, but they can be limiting at the same time.

Illiane_Blues
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Secrecy around salaries

Post by Illiane_Blues »

I'd much rather work at a school with a salary scale and not with negotiated salaries.
The fact that I'm in a high needs subject doesn't mean I work harder or have more or better degrees than the English teacher at my school. If anything they are working harder than I with all the essays they have to read and grade.
Different salaries for the same work would make me feel uncomfortable.
But that's a personal preference.

Psychometrika
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Secrecy around salaries

Post by Psychometrika »

Illiane_Blues wrote:
> I'd much rather work at a school with a salary scale and not with
> negotiated salaries.
> The fact that I'm in a high needs subject doesn't mean I work harder or
> have more or better degrees than the English teacher at my school. If
> anything they are working harder than I with all the essays they have to
> read and grade.
> Different salaries for the same work would make me feel uncomfortable.
> But that's a personal preference.
Fair enough. It’s worth pointing out that salary schedules don’t prevent wage discrimination at international schools. Even the ones with salary schedules often have local vs overseas contracts for expats, and on top of that many have entirely different compensation packages for host country nationals. With all that going on already I’m not particularly bothered by having one more layer of differential compensation. I’ve heard some teachers at my current school (which has a schedule but different levels of contracts) grouse about this privately, but they keep renewing their contracts so it can’t bother them too much either.

Post Reply