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Divulging Salary on Job Advertisements

Providing wage details on job postings has been a hot topic and one of the more common polls I have seen on LinkedIn lately. There are always two sides that think there should always be a salary listed and the other that thinks the salary details are not what should drive candidates to the position. Both sides do have far points, but we need to look at the reasons behind both.


To Not Post Salary

The employers that do not post the salary details on their positions often state that they are trying to find candidates that are not just driven by money. It is a general rule of thumb that employees will leave employers for a 20% gain in wages, even if they are happy with their current position. If the employer is paying above-median wages, they may get people applying that are only doing so for higher wages, and not necessarily the job duties and company culture. By not posting the salary, a company can pay higher wages and not start a wage war with their competition. For example, if a median salary for a position is $18 an hour, but the company wants to pay $22 for top talent, posting the salary of $22 on it may cause competition to match that for the same position. Then the median starts to go up and so do salaries.


Another reason to note why employers may not post wages is that they may have increased wages for hiring but did not increase wages for current employees. This reason sends a bunch of red flags for any human resource person. Employees are legally protected when it comes to discussing wages with coworkers. The National Labors Relation Act considers wages part of the “working conditions.” If an employer is hiring new employees at higher wages, that may be a recipe for all sorts of undesirable outcomes, such as low employee morale, increased turnover, and brand/company image damage by employee bad word of mouth.


To Post Salary

A reason to post salary on a position is that it is generally the first thing job seekers look for when browsing open positions with companies. Having a salary posted on the job will save recruiting resources, such as candidates applying for the position but are seeking a salary well above the range for the position. It will also remove the awkward question of “what does this position pay” during the interview. Recruiters usually want potential candidates to focus on the company, job, and culture. However, if there is no salary posted, it will become part of the conversation at some point.


Another reason employers put salary in the postings is that there is an expectation in our Millennial workforce. By 2025, the Millennial generation will be the biggest makeup of the current workforce. If you are recruiting and trying to attract workers, you may be reducing your candidate pool by not having the salary posted, since Millennials may pass by your post for one with the salary listed.


Another big reason for posting salary ranges is to avoid inequality in pay based on gender. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in 2021 earned 84.3% of a man’s weekly salary. Not disclosing the range and asking the female candidate to choose the desired salary makes it possible that the gender wage gap will widen, and you may find your company with unjust salary differences. That is one way to meet the Equal Opportunity Employment personnel when a discrimination claim is filed for gender bias.


And the final reason for posting salary details is it may be required by law. Some states, like Colorado, have required salary ranges in job postings since January 2021. Washington State just signed legislation to require employers to post salary ranges in the job posting starting January 2023. This is a good reminder to check if your state has salary transparency laws so you can make sure your job posting is compliant.


Whether your company policy is to post wages or not on postings, it is important to understand the reason behind the decision. If your company does not post wages, you may want to discuss salary expectations early in the interview process so you can save the company and the candidate time if the salary range falls under the applicants’ expectations. If your company does post wages, make sure they are meeting the expectations of the local market. If you are too low on your salary, you may have an even harder time recruiting in today’s labor market.


For more information on job descriptions/posting requirements or for assistance on salary benchmarking, contact one of OmniaHR certified consultants today!



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