How Much Should Be Your Expected CTC?

How Much Should Be Your Expected CTC

COVID-19 has been tough both personally and professionally for a lot of people. With companies running out of billable projects, it is the employees that have to face the axe.

We have been recruiting for a few positions, including managers and developers for our technology team. During the preliminary conversation where HR gets a basic understanding of where you are and what is your expectation, we ask the current CTC and the Expected CTC.

I have seen various figures, ranging from a humble 10% to a preposterous 200% (when I say ‘humble’ that does not mean that we are putting words in your mouth).

To help our candidates and ourselves, there are a few parameters that we look at. We will also try to explain the why part.

1. How much does the Industry pay

Though Glassdoor and PayScale are not the most accurate ones they give you a sense of direction regarding the relative compensation for the skill set you have. The better way is to discuss this with your friends (usually friends from the same educational background but in different companies share this information, just ensure it does not come out as rude!). Everyone has a relative who is at a mid-senior position, do discuss this with them, but do ensure that they are good at their jobs. And for God’s sake, do not compare with US salaries. If you feel you are underpaid, do ensure that you put your point across while having a discussion with HR. For obvious reasons, there is no fixed number to it.

2. Is there a GAP that needs to be filled

If you join this company, would you get straight to action from the initial day/s or would you require some training? The length and breadth of that training can be used by the company to negotiate your package. There is nothing right or wrong with this one, only something that you should know and keep in mind. If it requires 1 month of training, that means the company would be spending 8.33% of your salary in training you, if you are a perfect fit for the job, then you negotiate keeping that factor (and number) in mind.

3. Don’t do it for the sake of it

Just because you are moving from one company to the other does not mean that there has to be a 20-30% appraisal. It is rather unfortunate that such trends exist in the IT industry. As a professional, you need to find out what all is important for you –

  1. Professional Growth
  2. Financial Growth
  3. Working in a good environment
  4. Good management
  5. Intellectual growth
  6. Support for career growth

These are just some of the many factors that one should look at while planning their move/s. Find out what is important for you and take a call accordingly. We, by no means, feel that you should be hired at the same salary, there should be an added incentive, but putting a number like 30-40% to it just makes no sense especially when your main motive is not financial.

4. Can you prove it?

There have been many cases where we have been absolutely blown away by the candidates, in that case, you can command that salary hike. Trust me that is the best position to be in, in more than 90% of the cases the candidates are not trained for the interview and hence are unable to prove it. Do you know how illogical it sounds when you do not get any questions right and still expect that raise?

5. How did you leave your previous company

Did the company shut down? Were you fired from your job? Were you laid off/furloughed from your job? Did you take some personal time off? The circumstances in which you left your previous company are extremely important. Though I have seen a lot of posts on LinkedIn and other networks where people have mentioned that why should there be no hike in a salary if you were laid off and get a new job (and for obvious reasons got a lot of positive traction), the reality is that you were not only replaceable, but your position was something that the company could survive without. No shame in it, it happens with everyone and this is actually beyond your control. But at this time one should secure a job first and then perform and ask for a raise, rather than crib about it on social media.

Taking a break from work is a different scenario, where the chances of you being rusty are extremely high. Heard of the term Monday blues? This is one extremely amplified Monday blue. The company is taking the risk in this case and has the ball in its court.

6. Don’t keep jumping ship every few months

It is extremely common to see candidates using Ex-ABC, Ex-PAYTT, etc. When you dig into their resume you notice that they hardly worked at any company for a considerable duration. Either the work sucks that is why they switch the company before they are let go, or their work is not significant enough that the company tries to retain them. Many might argue that to grow one needs to keep switching but to reap the benefits of your hard labor you need to spend at least a couple of years at a company. Putting in big brands and asking for crazy numbers can work with some companies, but the better ones will dig deep and find it out.

7. Know the company you are interviewing at

I find it amusing that when asked many candidates respond that they do not know much about the company. This can and does turn the interviewer off. Do your due diligence and find out reasons to join the company and not join the company. If you feel that the reasons to join the company greatly outweigh the other, and the reason is not purely financial, but others like a better team, good management, better projects, better visibility, then you should be ok with the standard appraisal over your current CTC as there are other variables that come into play here.

Having mentioned all these points one might be wondering under what situations can one actually ask for a good raise? Let us try to mention those as well here.

a. You are giving something up

A bonus, promotion, opportunity to go outside for a project? If you are giving up any of these, then it would be correct to ask for a good hike and a decent company having professional ethics would respect that. Keep in mind that you should have some sort of proof of your claims, it should not be a strategy you use all throughout your job hunting.

b. Taking more risk

Moving from a decent paying, but stable job to the risky startup world? Before you take that plunge, you should do a good amount of introspection whether you should go ahead with such a move, or not. If that is the case then do build that risk factor into your expectations. The stage the company is in, as well as the role you are brought in for, are the variables that you need to take into consideration.

c. Relocation

If you are relocating as per the company’s demand, then it’s safe to ask for relocation-based benefits. Finding a home in a new place is not easy, adding to that the stress associated with this move. The older you are the tougher will this move be for you.

d. Bringing a lot to the table

You know that you are the best person for such a job, this is usually the case when you have a very specific and unique skillset, safe to call it a niche skill/s. This is when you should ask for what you deserve.

e. A new qualification/skillset you added to your portfolio

You completed the PMP/Agile/Certification in ML/AI/some other new technology, which is very relevant to the position you have applied for, but not in your current job? This is a very common scenario where people are trying to move up the ladder, but the current company/job does not allow the same. Hence, they need to break out of and start at someplace new. This can be a mixed bag and you need to be careful.

For your newly acquired skills, you will not be having relevant experience but this is what you want to be hired for, the older skills for which you have the experience, are not what the company wants. If the skills are complementary in nature i.e. a developer to a technical architect or a project manager then your older skills will be counted, else if you say planning a move from technology to finance, then you will be treated as a fresher, hence a pay cut is in store for you.

These are just a few of the many situations we encounter during our hiring process. If you have any interesting stories or are looking for a job, please do get in touch with us at

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