Should I continue the interview process?

Hey all!

I have not been actively looking for a new job, but I was contacted by a competitive company about a position. It's a lateral move (same title), and upon my first discovery call they let me know that the comp range is actually less than what I'm currently making.

Regardless, I took the next interview, and it went really well. They now want me to do four interviews with leadership as the next step.

However, I don't want to waste all of our time if the comp is so low. Should I talk to the recruiter first and ask what their wiggle room is for comp and title?

I like my current role and company, and it would take a BIG difference for me to consider leaving. WDYT?

The advice I always used to get was essentially that of "make them want you first -- then negotiate" (or said another way: get them to the offer stage before talking about comp, because you're likely to have a better outcome that way)This is generally good advice when you're not in the power position, but it's irrelevant here. You like your job, and wouldn't consider moving, unless for a significant raise. So you don't have to wait until the final hour to negotiate, you can let the recruiters know your salary expectations upfront, and let them decide whether or not to move forward. I think it would be reasonable to explain that you value your time and theirs, and have realized that you would need to be making at least X to leave you current position.Is there any other reason you don't want to share this info with them right now? Like do you think you might change your mind on comp expectations if you really enjoy the next round of interviews?
Thank you for the feedback! That's basically what I said to them -- they got back today and said they still want to have the conversation since they're more interested in "getting the right person for the job" versus being overly concerned about the initial salary. I take that to mean they have some wiggle room for the right person.
Yes, I'd address it now to save you both time. You have the power in this dynamic as you like where you are, and it will come across. I think going through the process to prove yourself and then ask would actually weaken your position.
I'm curious what the upside is for you? From what you've said the new role would be at the most comparable. Ref asking the recruiter, it depends if internal or external recruiter. If internal, yes. I would be cautious of asking an external recruiter about the wriggle room. I've too much experience of them saying what you want to hear to keep you in the process and then it gets to the offer, the package is not what has been spoken about. Best wishes
I totally agree. I said that (in so many words) and it sounds like they are flexible.
I always let recruiters know immediately if the salary is too low for me to consider leaving my current role. Sometimes it's suddenly "oh actually this is the starting end of our range we could go up to $xyz." Otherwise, they'll ask what my salary expectations are - at that point I'll tell them the minimum it would take for me to consider leaving my current role. They'll usually respond if they can get there or not and that determines if we keep talking. If they can't, it's really not a good use of anyone's time to continue the conversation. If they end up realizing they need to adjust the salary range or they have a similar more senior role, then they can reach out later. So I recommend bringing it up sooner rather than later and see if that *really* is their range. If it is, then they'll probably end the conversation.
Sounds like they just want to find the right talent, and don't want salary to get in the way of that conversation. So I'm going to take the meetings! Thank you for your feedback!