Transparency on Salaries for Roles

Here’s a controversial one! And I’d be glad of the feedback. I have seen some interesting debates on LinkedIn about this subject, and am keen to understand what the community thinks.

Isn’t it time to publish salaries on job posts? :astonished:

Woah! What?! Well, hang on! Hear me out. :face_with_monocle:

For a prospective candidate, when considering the options of a potential move, isn’t the salary a major consideration? For example, there’s nothing worse going through the entire interview process, absolutely nailing every stage and then delivering a killer presentation, to be offered the job… and then find the salary is so low with no room for manoeuvre, that you just wasted weeks of your time and effort, that probably distracted you from your current job (not a good look.)

After all, at the end of the day, salaries pay bills. We work to live. Not the other way round. And whilst there may be some excellent benefits, some of those benefits may not be immediately available or won’t help pay the gas bill.

I think most job seekers are hesitant to ask upfront what the salary is, prior to applying for a role, as perhaps that then makes the candidate look like they are only interested in the money. A bit of a catch 22 because the role could be the absolute dream job, offering a top-end laptop :computer:, unlimited wine :wine_glass:, a solid gold-pressed platinum desk with a view :evergreen_tree::evergreen_tree:, free cakes on a Wednesday :moon_cake:, meditation time on a Friday :prayer_beads: - but a salary of $10k per year.:pleading_face::flushed::astonished:

So, if a candidate can see the salary (even if just a range), then would that not help with transparency and set the expectation at the outset? Would that help with getting the right candidates? And doesn’t that then help with employee advocacy?

Thoughts?

Cheers

Jon

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I too have seen plenty of discussion on LinkedIn around this topic.

You make some good points about how the candidate may be perceived if they ask about salary bands up front. I have no doubt that this could be a fear, for many.

How is the employer perceived by applicants though, if they fail to include at least a salary band on their advertisements? It might be unfair on many, but they could be seen as wanting to hide the salary to hopefully appoint a candidate on a reduced package.

For me, there’s absolutely no reason why an indication of remuneration (including unlimited wine) shouldn’t be included. I’d certainly be asking the question, if only to confirm that the role is actually of interest.

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In the US there are some states (like Colorado) that legally require the salary range to be included in a job description. As a result, there are many companies that won’t hire candidates living in Colorado, so the push for transparency totally backfires. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I have also seen posted ranges that are so wide, they’re practically useless.

My personal $0.02 is that there should be some indication of expected salary early in the process; if not in the job description itself, then at least in the screening call with the recruiter.

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I’ve been listening in on some of these debates on LinkedIn and have also seen several job posts with salary included recently. It’s very interesting

I totally agree with being more transparent with salary from the jump. This is a huge component of any job and participating in an interview process can be quite the commitment. If it’s not posted in the JD then at the very least the recruiter can set expectations on first contact.

Writing this got me thinking so I did a little search and found an interesting report by LinkedIn. It states that “a recent job descriptions heatmap study revealed that knowing how much a job pays is considerably more important for women. When an employer shares salary ranges in their job postings, this could be seen as a signal that they are committed to transparency and fair pay regardless of the candidate’s gender or background.”

Lots of things to consider when on the hunt for quality applicants!

I agree that salary transparency helps candidates make better decisions, but so often I think this fails to consider that, at least in my eyes, transparency should also help the employer by making sure recruiters are only spending time on candidates who truly do fit the role.

I will say, as a 25-year-old, I might be part of a generation that is demanding more of the employer, but the most helpful way I’ve learned the salary for a position is during the phone screen. I think that’s the time for you as the applicant to learn if the role truly does seem like a fit for you–not just the employer’s opportunity to see if you can handle the position. If I were an applicant, I know I’d really appreciate if the pre/scheduling a phone screen email from the employer said something like, “We’ll be able to talk through the role, the responsibilities, and salary.”

Such a great topic @jon.ashley! I 100% think companies should at a min list the scale. It would save canidates who are looking applying for something that does not fit what they need. What is one question we as canidates get asked in the first interview??? What is your salary requirement, which is a very hard question to answer when you have no idea what the other is thinking. So in a nut shell, companies need to me more transparent and in doing so they just might get better suited people applying!

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I have noticed that Glassdoor has created something called Fishbowl (gotta love their marketing team!) which goes to serve this purpose - check it out. Although it’s not advertised as the sole feature of Fishbowl, I have seen loads of ads from them promoting salary to be more transparent.

I also see both sides of the argument. You wouldn’t consciously take a job that offered less than you were currently earning, so why not be upfront?

I think also unless anyone disagrees, it’s a candidates market at the moment. Therefore you may be missing out on potentially amazing candidates as they don’t want to waste their time (and yours!), applying for a role where the compensation is perceived to be too low. And it’s a question I know I really struggle to ask - what’s the salary?! When do you ask that? How does that make the hirer feel?

It’s a tough one I appreciate… :thinking:

I think scale is a great way of attracting candidates Jennifer. I do wonder though whether that also would hold people back who have an expectation that the higher level is the one they want. But I guess that is a good negotiation to have for the right candidate.

As Jon said, it is a candidates market at the moment, but ALL interviews (regardless of market) should be approached as a mutual endeavor. I’m interviewing you as much as you are interviewing me… easier said than done, but I think it’s important that both parties have the room to ask and understand the opportunity ahead.

That said, I could take or leave posting salary. Posting salary triggers transparency and openness, and I’m generally onboard with the argument that it saves time if there isn’t a match. However, from the hiring perspective, I like candidates who are willing to ask the “tough” questions and even negotiate if/when that time comes. In my opinion, that’s one of those soft, transferable skills that strengthens an organization.

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Hot topic! :fire: I would be interested to see salary ranges in job postings, but at the very least it should be directly discussed during an initial phone screening with the recruiter / hiring manager, and ideally they would proactively tell you what their target salary range is. I hate when they ask what YOUR range is first vs. telling you what THEIR range is … I feel like it’s almost a trick-question, and many women (myself included) tend to low-ball themselves. Another detail that should be clearly discussed from the start is return-to-office plans and what will be expected / required. Personally, I would not accept a job that required full time in-office work at any point in the future. I’m livin’ and lovin’ the remote lifestyle!