- Employers that omit salary information on job postings may be turning away desirable candidates at the start, a September survey by job search engine Adzuna indicates. Of the 2,000 job seekers polled, 22% said they believe salaries should be employers’ No. 1 priority on the postings, and 28% are most frustrated by the lack of salary clarity on job ads, such as very large salary ranges.
- Even more concerning, the lack of salaries on a job ad makes potential applicants skeptical of the employer, the survey found. About a third (32%) assume the company is hiding something, while 30% said it shows the company would underpay them. Others said it makes the company look untrustworthy (28%), or that it shows the company will be biased in how they pay their employers (31%).
- Job seekers also feel their time is wasted when they have to wait until a job offer to learn what the position pays. More than half (54%) of the survey’s respondents decline an offer straight-out when they found out the intended salary, even after going through lengthy interviews. One-third said they would not attend an interview in the future if they didn’t know what an employer was willing to offer in terms of salary.
Amid the push for pay transparency and the growing number of local and state laws mandating it, employers must be strategic with their response, experts have said. Pay disclosure may ease concerns about attracting talent, but employers must think through what they will share in job postings versus what they’re sharing with current talent, one expert said.
As the observation indicates, there are pros to salary transparency and arguments for caution. Proponents can point to the benefits it has on recruiting. For example, a study by AI hiring solutions firm PandoLogic found that recruiting costs may be lowered by including pay information in job postings. Postings that included this information performed better in the first quarter of 2021, the study revealed.
A recent survey by WTW backs that finding: Nearly 1 in 6 companies (16%) who disclosed pay data saw an increased number of candidates applying for jobs. However, the survey also found that 31% of employers say they’re not ready for pay transparency.
Even so, some employers may not have a choice. A number of jurisdictions already mandate pay transparency under various conditions, according to an HR Dive tracker. For example, Colorado requires employers to disclose hourly or salary compensation, or a range of that compensation, in job postings. In California, employers with 15 or more employees will have to include pay ranges in job postings starting Jan. 1, 2023.
Employers must also have strategies for addressing mixed sentiments among current employees. Some workers, like those at Blizzard Entertainment and members of the media industry, have openly advocated for pay transparency, HR Dive reported in 2020. Other employees may feel embarrassed or violated when they know co-workers are looking up or discussing their salaries.
Companies have constructive options, experts previously told HR Dive. They can embrace an open dialogue about equitable pay or use incidents of pay disclosure to help employees understand how salaries are determined.
In the meantime, employers may also want to address some of job seekers’ major turn-offs. For instance, 28% of those who responded to the Adzuna survey said their biggest “pain point” when applying for a job was having to go through an interview process that dragged on for multiple weeks. More than a quarter were turned off by employers that weren’t totally transparent about the company or what their role would be.