The Benefits of Including a Salary Range on Job Postings

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There are benefits to including salary information in your job ad. It is so important to the applicant, that it's one of the first things they look for.

Should you put a salary range on a job posting? It’s a pretty common question. Some employers advocate for leaving salary range and benefits off of a job application. We’ll get into their reasons a little further on in the blog, but the benefits for including a salary range far outweigh any downside.

Salary information is important to the applicant. It’s one of the first things that candidates look for in a job ad and some applicants will not apply for positions when this information is missing. They may feel that no salary or benefits in the job ad indicates that you’re not transparent. They’re also trying to efficiently manage their own job search. Solid applicants don’t want to waste time applying for positions where the pay scale is too low to consider.

From the employer’s perspective, including the salary range is an extra step to vet candidates. Job searchers who are currently making a higher salary won’t apply. This is beneficial because candidates will seldom consider a pay cut, so it would not be a good use of your time to interview them. Adding the information directly to the job posting helps your applicants tailor their search and helps you to narrow down the applicants who would be a good fit.

Job seekers are often able to find salary information, even if you leave it off of the job ad. They can look on sites like to see what current and previous employees had to say. Including the salary range tells prospective employees that your company is transparent about its hiring process and is fair and equitable.

Including Salary Range on a Job Posting Can Yield More Applicants

Did you know that the salary range is the first thing that job seekers look at when they’re reviewing employment listings? It’s true. According to SHRM, heat mapping has been used to determine that job seekers look at salary, qualifications, and duties, in that order. Salary is the first thing they look for in a listing and over 70% of candidates say they want the salary range included in the first message from any recruiter.

It’s that important. Millennials and the upcoming Gen Z expect transparency. They may distrust companies that don’t include this information. They believe it puts them at a disadvantage in negotiating.

As the employer, you have to realize that not including a salary range runs the risk of wasting time, for both the applicant and the company. This is a bad way to start any relationship. Offering transparency here means you’re more likely to get more applicants, and you’re also more likely to get the right applicants.

You should also realize that the salary isn’t the applicant’s only concern. Job ads that also include an array of benefits will have a higher application rate. In some cases, very attractive benefits will sway employees who might have been looking for a slightly higher salary. It may not sway professionals who are far too advanced for the open position, but it can be a great opening for negotiation when the applicant is at the higher end of the range.

Candidates Are Already Looking for Salary Ranges

When you don’t include the salary range in the job posting, the applicant is more likely to go looking for the possible pay rate. Some candidates will simply take your company off their list of prospects because the information is missing. Other applicants will do their own research.

Applicants who know their worth and are confident have a set base salary in mind. They can’t afford to settle for a position that does not pay that rate or higher. If they’re still interested in the position, but you’re not providing them with this fundamental information, they’ll look on third-party sites. Savvy applicants can look at the Glassdoor average salary or LinkedIn average salary. Third-party sites also have other employers listed. Sending these prospects to other listings can mean that you lose good candidates who find more appealing positions in their research.

You don’t want to make it difficult for them to find this simple information. The applicant may not be satisfied in a position that pays less than their ideal rate. When neither the employer nor the applicant understands what the other party expects in salary, it can be frustrating. The applicant will research the going rate for the skill level and any information they can gather about what your company pays for that position. But the old advice not to ask about salary or talk about salary is outdated. Salary is a main criterion for the employee.

Giving the salary information directly in the job listing helps the candidate immediately see the benefit of applying. They know exactly what range to expect if they receive the position. They have a good idea of the growth potential and whether their current experience makes them a good fit. It makes your job more attractive because the applicant can easily see whether taking the time to tailor their resume and write a compelling cover letter is worth their effort.

Making this information hard to find won’t put you at an advantage. Some employers believe that not including it gives them leverage in negotiating salaries. Your negotiation power should be within the pay range and based on the employee’s individual skills/credentials. If you’re looking for an unfair advantage in paying far below standard salary for the position, the employee is likely to know that or find out at some point. An employee who later finds they’re underpaid will not stay. You are looking for a long term employee after all.

If your company is capped by a strenuous budget, it’s still more preferable to be clear about the payment range. You’ll find some great candidates who want to grow with the company. To build trust and cultivate long-term relationships with future employees, transparency in your employment ad is your first foot forward.


Including Salary Ranges and Compensation Is Inclusive and Equitable

Applicants are looking for this information. More than that, it makes your company stand out as a place that considers the employee’s needs and is transparent with its payment practices.

It was once common practice not to discuss pay rates publicly. This was a benefit to the employer, not the employees or potential employees. It was a questionable practice because employers weren’t necessarily paying fair wages. Keeping salaries confidential meant that many employees were paid far lower than their worth because it wasn’t something they could question.

That practice is no longer one to be modeled. In fact, being totally forthright about salary is a great way to showcase that the company is ethical and forthright. It’s also more considerate to the candidates and their time.

Compensation is a Major Deciding Factor for Those Who Are Looking to Change Jobs

If you’re hiring for an entry-level position, this may not be quite as important. But for any positions above entry-level, applicants are looking for positions that pay more than their current or previous job. In some cases, applicants may consider positions that pay the same amount as their current job, but they won’t usually be interested in lower-paying positions.

When you’ve included the salary range in the employment ad, it makes the rest of the process much smoother. Both the candidate and employer are aware of the pay scale involved before the interview process starts. For many applicants, financial negotiations are something that may cause discomfort. Taking the uncertainty out of the process means that both parties can concentrate on important aspects of the position, such as responsibilities, experience, and company culture.

In some states, some laws bar the prospective employer from directly asking for a salary history. In those states, you can ask about salary expectations, but not what the applicant’s personal salary history. Including the salary range in your job ad can give you some information about their expectations. You’re aware that the offered compensation seems reasonable to the candidate.

For applicants who are currently employed, the salary range and benefits will be important in their decision-making process. You have to keep in mind the reasons that an employee may want to switch jobs. One of those reasons is to move to a position with a higher income. People who are farther along in their careers also have a personal budget to consider. No one would reasonably want to take a position with the same or more responsibilities for a lower pay and benefit rate.

Both Employer and Applicant Benefit from Transparency

We’ve discussed how the applicant benefits from finding a job salary on an employment ad. It’s also very beneficial for the employer. It was once thought that leaving this information out of the job ad gave you greater leverage in negotiating salary. The downside of this is that you’ll get a much greater number of applicants who aren’t a good fit for the skill level and position. There can be a wide range between what you’re offering and what the applicant might be looking for in salary. Not including the information will mean culling through a lot of resumes and interviews for people who will decline a job offer or not meet your criteria.

Including the job description and salary range helps to target your ideal candidates. It saves time and showcases that your company is transparent and equitable in its dealings. It also helps your candidates easily job search by salary to make their process more efficient.

The search professionals at PeopleSuite Talent Solutions are well-equipped to help you with your hiring challenges. Employers, if you’re looking to fill a role, please contact us today. For job seekers, feel free to view our job boards here.

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