Talent Strategy

Why You Should Consider Posting Your Salary Range in a Job Posting

Change is hard, and “this is the way we’ve always done it” can make sense in various contexts.  But in a world in which the way employers find candidates and candidates find opportunities continues to develop (and we’re happy to say that we at VocaWorks are part of that positive change) that stance won’t serve you or your company well if you’re seeking to find the best candidates for openings at your company.  Let’s examine some reasons why you should consider posting the salary range for every job posting you publish.

More Applicants

Studies show that job postings with salary ranges get more applicants.  Often some of the job applications that are directly linked with an internal tracking system take a significant amount of time to complete, and before someone commits to even that time, he/she often wants to know if this is a job that will even be in the right salary range.  Employers should also be relieved, as they will know every single applicant will have seen the salary range and still continued on with the process, so that means there are no illusions or false hopes being sown.

Respectful of Everyone’s Time

Apart from the job application process, there are sometimes tests, multiple interviews, and other screenings.  This is a part-time job in of itself, especially when it is done for multiple firms simultaneously.  Companies don’t want to interview candidates they can’t afford to pay.  Candidates don’t want to interview with firms who can’t afford them.  It’s even worse when there’s a good candidate/company fit, culturally, because then both parties have gotten excited only to find out they had no business speaking in the first place, as there’s no salary range fit.

Starts a Relationship with Transparency

Companies have had good reasons in the past to safeguard salary data.  They didn’t want to create internal conflict by allowing current employees to see offered ranges for external hires.  They didn’t want competitors to know what was available so those offers could be matched or topped.  They also wanted all the bargaining power in a salary negotiation.  But all of those reasons have disappeared in the past few years.  Employees are already pushing for more transparency within their own organizations about salary data, to better deal with allegations of wage gaps.  Websites like Glassdoor or Salary.com are already providing anonymized salary data and insights that were simply unavailable in times past.  Perhaps most importantly, the rising generation aims for speed in many things and has little tolerance for something that will infringe unfairly on their most coveted asset: time.  By not providing salary ranges, companies are signaling, whether they know it or not, that they are okay starting a relationship on a slightly antagonistic note.  This is only further compounded when they ask for past salary information while providing nothing equivalent.  This is already illegal in several US states.

Salary History is Irrelevant

Candidates aren’t solely looking for new opportunities and challenges, they are often looking for more pay as well.  A salary history (which, by the way, is the only representative of the assessments of companies which may have little to nothing to do with your organization in values or vision) is only one metric of what a candidate may be worth to you and your organization.  Perhaps he/she brings a rare set of skills, contacts, or personality that is exactly right for your organization and the position you are looking to fill.  If this is the case, all that really matters is what you are able to pay, not what the candidate has been paid in the past.  What may feel like naïveté on the part of an employer is a very welcome change for the candidates.  They feel treated as an equal and as a valued member of a team before they’ve even started.

Remember that even a job posting is a chance to showcase and practice your company culture and ethos.  Even if candidates see a salary range that isn’t a good fit for them, they may forward the opportunity to a friend who they know it would be a good fit for.  The old result?  Another abandoned application.  “That’s the way it’s always been done” can be replaced with, “But there’s a better way, now.”


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Stephen writes about startups, hiring and career issues for VocaWorks.