Listing salaries in job postings has long been an area of contention between employers and job seekers. As an employer you might feel that not revealing salaries up front gives you more flexibility in considering a wider range of candidates. According to management and organization development consultant Susan Heathfield (Posting Salary in Job Listings), you may also believe that being the first to supply a number in a salary negotiation puts you in a weaker negotiating position. However, more employers are realizing that salary transparency in their job posts can actually make their recruiting process more effective and efficient.
While most job seekers are undoubtedly striving for rewarding and fulfilling careers, they tend to consider compensation as a top priority when deciding whether to pursue job opportunities. Roy Maurer, SHRM talent acquisition online manager, highlights research from LinkedIn indicating that when scanning a job posting, most job seekers look first at a position’s compensation and benefits, then at the job’s required qualifications and duties (see Salary Is Most Important Part of Job Ad).
Salary has become so significant that many job seekers don’t want to delve too far into the recruiting process before discussing compensation, concerned that they will discover an impractical salary gap between the company offer and their pay requirements. Neither the candidate nor the employer wants to waste each other’s time if the salary offered doesn’t match the candidate’s requirements, according to HR executive Nicole Morris (Salary transparency is on the rise… in job postings?). Salary transparency in job postings allows candidates to make more informed decisions at the onset of the application process, delivering more appropriate candidates to a hiring manager. This helps ensure that employers are spending their time with candidates they can afford to hire, and prospective employees are spending their time applying for jobs they can afford to accept.
Not knowing the salary range in advance can leave a candidate in a vulnerable position. After moving through an extensive hiring process, a candidate might accept a job offer below his/her desired pay level or under market value. This may seem advantageous to you in the short term, but may cause disappointment, distrust and even resentment from the employee over time, reducing the level of engagement and commitment you expect from your employees, and possibly leading to increased turnover.
Salary transparency in job postings is on the rise, with companies such as Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn at the forefront, providing job seekers insider salary and review information. Even if employers choose not to list their salaries on job postings, these sites are including estimates of salary ranges for comparable positions based on employee reviews and third-party data.
While your organization may have a firm policy of withholding salary information in job ads, it may be worth considering whether lack of transparency in the recruiting process is attracting the best candidates for your job openings, especially in the current hot job market. Since many qualified candidates may not apply without knowing what the job pays, withholding salary information could be affecting the number and quality of applicants for your openings.