Today, Michelle Burke from Social Talent (an NPAworldwide Endorsed Program) shares with us her 10 reasons why you should include salary ranges in your job ads. Michelle is a Content Marketing Executive at Social Talent, providing training in internet recruitment, sourcing, headhunting techniques and much more. Find more of her articles on the Social Talent Blog.
The question of whether or not to disclose salaries in job ads is one that generally sparks much debate. Suffice to say that there are downsides to including a salary range in your job ads – for one, you could be tipping off your competitors as to what your rates of pay are, making it easier for them to make counter offers to potential candidates. There’s also the fact that you could be irritating current employees who aren’t in that particular pay scale themselves, generating an avalanche of pay-rise requests in the process!
But for every con, there are oodles of pros. Today, we’re listing 10 good reasons why you should include salary ranges in your job ads.
Here’s a statistic that can’t be ignored. A study by SMART Recruit Online found that when job ads include a salary range in them, they get over 30% more applicants. Furthermore, UK career portal Jobsite found that drop off rates for job adverts without salary details are between 25-35%.
That means that your potential candidate pool drastically shrinks when you don’t list salary ranges in your job ads. Let’s consider for a second just how many qualified candidates could be part of that percentage?
‘Depending on experience’. What does that even mean anyway? When candidates see ‘DOE’ on a job ad, chances are that they don’t think that this is a job in which they can negotiate their salary. Instead, they think that the company will essentially pay them whatever their salary was in their last position, or whatever the lowest going rate is!
Whereas, if rather than simply putting ‘DOE’ in the salary section of your ad, you try listing ‘£45,000 – £50,000 DOE’ instead, it shows that the company has a set payscale for the position on offer, and the successful candidate will receive a salary within this range, depending on their experience in the field. So there’s no mystery and no nasty surprises down the line for the candidate, because they already know the best and worst-case scenarios. Doesn’t that make much more sense than leaving it wide open?
Let’s not be naive – even if you don’t post salary ranges in your job ads, candidates can more than likely find out this information anyway. They don’t even have to do that much digging, really! With the rise of websites like Glassdoor, where current and previous employees, as well as successful and unsuccessful candidates can give their two cents about the interview process, company benefits and, yes – even post their salary ranges.
Just last week, Zip Recruiter announced that they are testing a new feature on the site which will give job candidates the choice of either applying for a job or checking the job salary, in the hopes that it will get more employers to list salary information about jobs within their organisations.
In Jennifer Deal’s hugely successful book ‘What Millennials Want From Work’, she found that “millennials are most likely to discuss their compensation with their parents (71%) or their friends (47%). In comparison, older staff are substantially less likely to discuss their compensation with co-workers (19%), friends (24%) or parents (31%).”
Considering the fact that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030 and we’re constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to attract them, shouldn’t listing salary ranges in your job ads be a no-brainer?
Be honest. Have you ever listed ‘DOE’ in the salary section of a job ad, not because the pay scale is truly dependent on a candidate’s experience, but because you simply have no idea what the salary range actually is?! Shockingly, this happens quite a lot, especially when it comes to in-house recruitment. There can be this mentality of ‘Just get the candidates in and from there, we can decide what the salary range will be’. Can you see just how many things are wrong with this picture?
According to the 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report by Payscale, the number one reason why employees leave companies is to ‘seek higher pay elsewhere.’ It’s important to understand that salary history does not give you a guide as to how much a candidate is worth. Maybe their most recent salary was £35,000, but it’s been that figure for the past 4 years due to a pay freeze within the organisation. Does that mean that the candidate is going to be willing to accept a salary of £36,000 with your company? No, probably not.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Diversity and bias are two of the most important issues in the recruitment industry right now. In fact, earlier this year, Barack Obama announced a new executive action requiring companies in the USA that employ 100 people or more to submit a report as to how their salaries break down by race, ethnicity, and gender.
So, is it possible that similar regulations could eventually be applied to job ads? Only time will tell.
A little over 50% of US companies don’t publish salary information in job advertisements. So think about it like this. If you do decide to list a salary range and a candidate is looking at your job ad as well as another job ad that doesn’t list a salary, which one are they more likely to apply for? Now, the argument could be made that they won’t send an application to you if the salary range doesn’t meet their expectations, but isn’t it better for them to not apply at the beginning, rather than applying, going through several rounds of screening and interviews only to eventually find out that the pay scale is too low for them at the 11th hour? That’s hardly good candidate experience now, is it? And it’s not just about wasting candidates’ time. Your own time is worth something too, so why should you be spending time on candidates that your company simply can’t afford to hire?
Bringing up the topic of salary in interviews is much like playing a game of poker. No one wants to give away their cards. Candidates know that bringing up the topic of salary too soon could make themselves look too money-driven. This leaves candidates in a very vulnerable position in that they truly don’t know whether or not they can even afford to accept the job that’s on offer until the final stages of the process. When you list a salary in a job ad, there’s no need for this game of cat and mouse – the candidate simply wouldn’t be there if they weren’t ok with the salary for the position!
The taboo of not talking about how much we all earn has been something that has been bred into us since the dawn of time. However, this is showing signs of change. In the last year alone, companies like Buffer, Whole Foods, and Sum All have all lifted the lid as to what employees within the company earn. Buffer even went to the extreme this year, by creating a spreadsheet that lists the salaries of every team member in the organisation, even that of the CEO!
Now, don’t get us wrong. It would be unrealistic to say that every company on the planet should follow in the likes of Buffer’s shoes. But, that being said, it’s well worth thinking about this. If a company is dead-set against including salary ranges in job ads, at the very least, you should be asking why this is really the case. Is it because they don’t want to tip off competitors, or is it really because they pay below industry rates? Is it because they don’t want to alienate their current employees, or is it actually because there are no pay bands and two people who do the same job could have two completely different salaries? One thing is for sure – the debate is well and truly alive! The only question is…what side are you on?
Have your say – do you think it would make recruiter’s lives easier if salary ranges were listed on job ads? Let us know by leaving a comment below, or tweeting us at @SocialTalent now!