Updated: Jan 14, 2021
When you post a position with a salary range and your application process requires the applicant to indicate a salary preference, do not be surprised when an individual, in particular, one who has been with the company several years and has all of the qualifications, asks for the higher end of the range.
Your responsibility is to determine fitness and negotiate, not to just turn away good candidates. It is your responsibility to negotiate.
Your Action Steps - Negotiate
First, allow the person to interview. Interviews provide the opportunity to determine a good fit for the work for both parties.
Second, if the person is a good fit for the work, negotiate salary. You should take it as a sign of good qualities about the person when they have confidence to value their contributions at a high level. They are likely open to negotiation if you simply do not have the high range in your budget.
Third, base the pay on the quality of contributions and the responsibility level. Results are well worth the investment. Labor is worth its hire.
What Not to do - shake applicants down over money
First, it is your application system which is flawed, forcing a person to state a dollar amount prior to determining fitness for the work. Change the application system!
Second, do not have an initial recruiter shake the person down over money. That initial contact should never be about money. You harm your chances and you harm your company. Plus, you must be absolutely sure you treat everyone the same - because if you are biased over gender or age - if you only mention money to some people and not others - the law is not in your favor.
Third, keep in mind, eventually, your managers will let it slip, word will get out, that you are not paying to scale for the level of responsibility and productivity. If a person has to quit a job just to get a raise, that is no way to run your department or company.