When you’re posting an open position, obviously you want to attract quality candidates.  Many companies shy away from posting salary details on their job descriptions for a few reasons, including weakening their negotiating position, not wanting to disclose to competitors what the pay range is, or not wanting to draw attention to less-than-competitive pay.

For every negative reason to avoid posting salary information, there are plenty of positives.  So why should you consider including a salary or compensation range on your postings?

1. You’ll see an increase in quality applicants

A 2016 study by SHRM indicates that 74% of candidates want to see salary or salary range information included in job descriptions.  Additionally, a study by SMART Recruit Online shows that job postings listing this information see 30% more clicks on average than similar postings that do not provide salary information.

2. You’ll save yourself some time

The recruitment process takes time for both candidates and you, the employer.

Candidates don’t want to waste time applying to a job, filling out applications on an ATS (which can take upwards of an hour, depending on what information is required and how it’s set up), and going through rounds of phone or in-person interviews only to find out the salary will not meet their requirements in the eleventh hour.  To avoid this, many applicants will refrain from applying to a job posting that does not include any salary information.

This method also wastes your company time and resources.  If salary information had been posted, you would not have had to waste time interviewing a candidate – sometimes multiple times – only to find out you cannot come to a salary agreement.  The time you invested in this non-viable candidate could have been better spent interviewing someone who is interested in the job at the pay scale you had in mind.

Providing a salary range will help in that only candidates who are comfortable negotiating from your range will apply, and you’ll only be interviewing candidates you can afford to hire.

3. You’ll have the opportunity to talk about your total compensation package and control the salary narrative

The same SHRM study concluded that 61% of job seekers want to see the complete benefits package on a job description and 39% want to know if there are flexible work options available.  Even if your salary range lags behind the going rate, providing the salary information also opens up a chance to talk about what other benefits your company can provide.

Can employees earn additional money through a commissions scale?  Highlight some of the other reasons someone will want to join your company: on-site daycare, available telecommuting options, a company gym, on-site cafeteria, etc.  Someone may be willing to accept a lower salary than they would otherwise if they’re made aware of other great perks you offer.

Applicants may even be able to find salary information on their own by reading reviews on sites like Glassdoor (where past and current employees, as well as applicants, can provide salary details or information on company culture and application process).  Being upfront about the salary from the start allows you the chance to provide additional important information on why you’re a great place to work even if the take-home pay isn’t among the highest in the industry.

4. You’ll stand out from the pack

A study by Adzuna determined that over 50% of companies do not include salary details in their job descriptions.  Imagine a candidate is looking at two similar jobs, one with salary information and one without it.  If you provide salary information and the other company does not, the candidate is more likely to apply for your position versus the position with unknown salary and benefits.

Three ways you can provide salary information

So what are some ways you can include salary information in your job postings?  Below are several suggested options:

1. Advertise a lower salary

This can attract candidates who have a desire to work for a great company, but aren’t necessarily out to find a job where they make the most money.

2. List your highest possible offer

If you know your company offers competitive wages, this can attract applicants you may have missed otherwise.

3. List a salary range

Giving a range allows for some leeway to adjust the final salary offer depending on applicant skills and experience.  This also allows room for negotiation if a candidate would be a great fit, but the company prices them in the lower end of the pay spectrum based on their experience or skillset; you’ll have the ability to offer them more to entice them to accept the job if you really want them on your team.

It is advised that you include “depending on experience” only along with an actual listed salary range.  Simply advertising a salary as “depending on experience” can send a negative message to otherwise viable candidates who may take it to mean you won’t consider applicants who require a higher salary, or that the salary will be so low as not to meet their family’s needs.


As stated above, for every negative reason to avoid posting salary information, there are plenty of positives.  We hope you keep these ideas in mind while posting your next open requisition.

 

Additional Resources:

ZipRecruiter’s 4 Ways to Handle Salary Information in a Job Description

Reasons to Include Salary Ranges in Job Postings

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