Candidates are speaking up loud and clear in support of pay transparency. Posting salaries publicly not only shows that your organization values fairness, it leads to increased engagement with qualified candidates and their networks and makes your recruiting more productive. Here’s why we recommend the practice and how candidates respond to job ads that don’t disclose pay.
Why Post Salaries in Job Ads?
Transparency and Fairness
Including salary information in job advertisements can help ensure that the hiring process is transparent and fair; it is widely considered a best practice for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Salary transparency helps ensure that employees are not underpaid or overpaid based on factors such as race, gender, or other characteristics that should not impact pay.1
Engaging Qualified Candidates and Their Networks
Posting salary can help attract candidates who are interested in and qualified for the position.2 Some job boards require a salary range, and many will estimate an incorrect range if the employer does not provide one.3 In our experience, many candidates will only apply for positions that include a posted salary; not posting reduces the size of the candidate pool. We also find that candidates are more willing to share job opportunities with their networks when the salary is posted. Increasingly, candidates expect a transparent recruiting process.
A More Productive Search
By including salary information upfront, employers can save time and avoid negotiations with candidates seeking salaries far outside the range. In a competitive job market where job seekers have many options, candidates usually request salary information before engaging in a conversation about the role. Pay transparency builds trust with candidates and increases their decisiveness, often leading to a shorter overall search duration.
In some cases, there may be legal requirements for employers to include salary information in job advertisements, such as equal pay laws requiring employers to pay employees of different genders the same amount for work that is equivalent in skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.4 Research shows that pay transparency laws are working as intended in reducing pay disparities.5
What Candidates Say When Salary Is Not Posted
Over the past year, we’ve collected candidate responses to our outreach for positions that did not include posted salary. Here is a sample of what they said.
“Thank you for your email, but I will respectfully decline considering this opportunity. I will not pursue opportunities where the job is posted without a salary range. This practice perpetuates gender pay disparity among other equity issues. It is also not my practice to expend the effort applying for a position that may or may not meet my salary and benefits requirements. Should your organization and the association wish to disclose the salary range, I would reconsider.”
“I also value organizations that prioritize equity and would not apply for a job opportunity without knowing the expected salary range.”
“As an executive leader, I will not recommend any positions to my network without full transparency from the beginning. Feel free to send me any JDs that follow this practice.”
“I’m not interested in changing jobs at this time, but I would be happy to share this with my network if you are able to tell me the salary range.”
“Withholding salary information from potential applicants perpetuates racial and gender inequity … There is a movement within the nonprofit sector to #showthesalary, and I highly encourage you and your firm to consider adding this transparency to your process.”
“Not disclosing salary ranges has been proven to disproportionately disadvantage women. It’s unethical not to disclose, and soon to be illegal in many states. Please let your project director know that I will neither consider a position that does not list the salary, nor will I pass the opportunity along to other potential candidates.”
While we always respect our clients’ preferences, our team recommends posting salary information on job advertisements to ensure that your hiring process is transparent, fair, efficient, and appealing to the qualified candidates you want to attract.
- To ensure fairness, Staffing Advisors routinely engages with compensation experts to benchmark salary ranges