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The question of whether or not to disclose salaries in job ads is one that generally sparks much debate. It’s a contentious issue. Naysayers will often talk about how it can weaken negotiating abilities or give competitors a gratuitous glance at your rates of pay. Mitigating current employee jealousy also gets bandied about when salary ranges are discussed. While these are certainly factors to consider, it’s also worth looking at the other side of the coin. The benefits may far outweigh the shortcomings…
1.) It’s one of the first things job seekers look for
According to SHRM, when looking at a job posting, compensation and benefits are the primary things that most candidates are looking for. It is a motivating factor and one that shouldn’t be easily ignored. In fact, LinkedIn has said that 70% of professionals will want to hear about salary in the first message from a recruiter. So cut out the middleman and include it in the job posting. It’ll save you time while simultaneously giving vital information to potentially interested candidates.
2.) Candidates will try to find out anyway
Whether it’s the first thing they ask or if they do their own sleuthing on sites like Glassdoor or Salary.com, candidates want to know what kind of salary to expect. And a lot of the information is out there anyway. Concealing compensation from candidates is all smokescreen – in the end, every potential employee has to be offered something. Be up-front and show transparency. Remember, salary is important but isn’t always the deciding factor.
3.) Diversity, equity and inclusion
Transparency across all company policy, behaviour and performance is becoming of increasing importance in any business. Whether it’s in terms of impact to the environment, treatment of staff, diversity etc., the corporate veil is being quickly tugged down. One way to ensure that your organisation is on a committed path to equality and fairness is to disclose salary ranges. It is a very powerful action that illustrates how your company isn’t interested in dangerous mystique. Our resident job postings expert Katrina Kibben believes that pay transparency is a ‘trust builder’ and keeping them secret creates emotional liability.
4.) Millenials want it that way
In Jennifer Deal’s hugely successful book ‘What Millennials Want From Work’, she found that:
“Millennials are most likely to discuss their compensation with their parents (71%) or their friends (47%). In comparison, older staff are substantially less likely to discuss their compensation with co-workers (19%), friends (24%) or parents (31%).”
Openness about finance is a deep-rooted trend among this cohort. And considering the fact that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, it is perhaps worth thinking about this in terms of how to attract them. If salary ranges appeal to this generation then it makes sense to include them in job postings.
5.) Candidates don’t often leave jobs to be paid at the same level
According to the 2020 Compensation Best Practices Report by Payscale, one of the major reasons why employees leave companies is for a higher salary. It’s important to understand that salary history does not give you a guide as to how much a candidate is worth. Maybe their most recent salary was $35,000, but it’s been that figure for the past 4 years due to a pay freeze within the organisation. Does that mean that the candidate is going to be willing to accept a salary of $36,000 with your company? Maybe not. Upfront details about what a position is worth will encourage applications from strong, dedicated candidates.
6.) It is becoming more normalised
One of the greatest barriers to including a salary scale on job postings is tradition. Legacy has a LOT to answer for when it comes to certain hiring practices. Required years of experience, particular college degrees, and many more ultimately irrelevant requirements. So when it comes to job postings, companies often have a set way of operating which might be incorrect. Thankfully, change is on the horizon and many companies are already embracing the benefits of transparency. Glitch, Basecamp and Buffer have all very publicly bucked the trend – it’s even becoming law in some states in America.
7.) Standing out from the pack
While the trend is slowly turning in favour of adding a salary range to job postings, around 50% of US companies still don’t do it. The best candidates are generally very selective about which jobs they apply for, so why not try to pique interest where you can? Being upfront and honest about a position, including what the compensation is, can give you a competitive advantage in a saturated market. Now, the reverse argument could also be made – that a salary range that is too low can alienate candidates. But, isn’t this better to know from the start rather than wasting applicant and recruiter/manager time? It could negatively impact candidate experience and result in more problems further down the line.
It’s understandable that some companies would be hesitant to include a salary range in their job postings. Smaller or niche businesses may not be able to compete with the larger enterprises and don’t want to seem like a secondary tier. And, while money is of course a big motivator for job seekers, it isn’t always the primary impetus. Non-cash benefits like superior cultures and remote opportunities can also sway opinion. But, the transparency and ease that including a salary range affords cannot be overlooked. At the end of the day a candidate will only accept what they’re worth, so why deceive?