Definitely. But it is your choice whether or not to provide it. We would all like to believe that the value we bring to a company is EXCEPTIONAL and that we are rare commodities in the job market. Most of the professionals that Longview works with are, in fact, at the pinnacle of their chosen profession. Let’s be honest, this level of constant success can often times cause our egos to get a little large. We often find it hard to remember that it is the companies that truly have the power. However, it is also true that during our candidacy and the interview process will be the time when we have the most power that we will ever have. But it is the company that has the ultimate responsibility of hiring qualified professionals who did not misrepresent themselves, and often times they will request verification of the compensation that we have represented to them, via Pay Stub or W2. Sometimes the purpose of this is to verify previously purported production/ success (for sales professionals). Other times, this is a way for a company to verify the character of a potential new hire (“Did they tell us the truth when we asked?”).

At First Glance

This concept does not seem fair. You’re probably asking yourself: “What relevance does my current compensation have?  I should be paid based upon the value I bring, not upon what my current employer is paying me.” (See our blog Why Do I Need to Disclose My Salary?). But when you really think about the enormous costs of a bad hire (time, money, lost business, stress on employees, etc.) and the lack of valid, verifiable information to corroborate a candidate’s assertions, it makes more sense. When making a hiring decision, companies need to find ways to ensure they are getting what they think they are – particularly when they can not contact anyone at the candidate’s current employer. Companies are not stupid. They have smart people working for them. Many companies believe that simply checking references is not enough due diligence. After all, it is a cold day in hell when a candidate will give a reference of someone who actually doesn’t like them.

At the end of the day, it is your choice whether or not you want to comply with this request. You don’t have to; it is voluntary (kind of). But we are seeing it more and more these days, along with much more thorough background investigations. If you choose not to provide a potential employer with requested W2 or Pay Stub, be ready for them to rescind your offer – because it will most definitely happen.


Want access to the best employers or further insight into salary negotiations and strategy?  Contact Longview Search Alliance, a top national recruiting firm and San Diego headhunter. We make transparency a priority, a concept you may be unfamiliar with when working with recruiters.

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