I’ve been talking with a few hiring managers and a few senior candidates. The hiring managers are afraid to look at some senior people because they’re concerned the senior people will want salaries that are higher than the companies want to pay. The senior people are concerned that they can’t get interviews because the hiring managers might not want to pay a higher salary.
But people will take jobs for many more reasons than just a salary number. Senior people who have already sent their kids through school may be willing to settle for a reasonable salary and more time off. People always want health care. Some people want to know they have a job, and won’t have to keep looking. (See Penelope Trunk’s take on living with risk at How to deal with getting fired (from Yahoo).
Don’t assume you know what the candidate wants or needs. Don’t assume you know what the hiring manager is willing to pay. Remember that everything is negotiable. (See Negotiating for Salary.