To show the salary or not? That is the question.

The question of whether or not to disclose salaries in job ads is one that generally sparks much debate. It’s a contentious issue. Naysayers will often talk about how it can weaken negotiating abilities or give competitors a gratuitous glance at your rates of pay. Mitigating current employee jealousy also gets bandied about when salary ranges are discussed. While these are certainly factors to consider, it’s also worth looking at the other side of the coin. The benefits may far outweigh the shortcomings…

Why does it matter?

There are so many reasons. See for a comprehensive summary. Below we’ve collated our top 8 from scouring the net!

1. It wastes everyone’s time.

Applying for a job is time-consuming. A good candidate will put together a relevant CV, personalised cover letter, and research the organisation before applying. Finding out in the final stages of the process that the salary doesn’t match expectations makes it worse. Stop wasting job seekers - and your own - time.


2. It’s one of the first things job seekers look for

LinkedIn has said that 70% of professionals will want to hear about salary in the first message from a recruiter. So cut out the middleman and include it in the job posting. It’ll save you time while simultaneously giving vital information to potentially interested candidates.

3. Reduce the discomfort for jobseekers.

Asking for salary information can be uncomfortable for job seekers. If someone wants to change jobs but doesn’t yet want their employer to learn they are looking elsewhere, how will they know if the prospective job is worth applying for first to ensure they can look after their whānau. This can be especially difficult within industries where everyone knows everyone! (something particularly common in little ol’ NZ).

Some job seekers can worry that ringing the employer to ask what the salary is might damage their chances of success. And if you do share this information with people who ring, why not list it? A phone call, as simple as it is, just adds another fence to jump.


4. Millenials want it that way

Openness about finance is a deep-rooted trend among this cohort. And considering the fact that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, it is perhaps worth thinking about this in terms of how to attract them. If salary ranges appeal to this generation then it makes sense to include them in job postings.

5. You’ll get more applicants!

Research shows that you’ll get more applicants when you show the salary on your job ad. CharityJob (UK), the UK charity sector’s biggest jobs board, shared that people saw twice the number of applicants if you show the salary.

6. Candidates don’t often leave jobs to be paid at the same level

One of the major reasons why employees leave companies is for a higher salary. Upfront details about what a position is worth will encourage applications from strong, dedicated candidates.

7. You know what you can afford right?

You probably had to get board approval or your staffing budget set, this may have involved some simple benchmarking on this role, so you know what you can and cannot pay. A range that will depend on experience is completely fine – share the range!

8. It is becoming more normalised

One of the greatest barriers to including a salary scale on job postings is tradition. Legacy has a LOT to answer for when it comes to certain hiring practices. Required years of experience, university degrees, and other irrelevant requirements. So when it comes to job postings, companies often have a set way of operating which might be incorrect.

Why wouldn’t you?

The best candidates are generally very selective about which jobs they apply for, so why not try to pique interest where you can? Being upfront and honest about a position, including what the compensation is, can give you a competitive advantage in a saturated market. Now, the reverse argument could also be made – that a salary range that is too low can alienate candidates. But, isn’t this better to know from the start rather than wasting applicant and recruiter/manager time? It could negatively impact candidate experience and result in more problems further down the line.

It’s understandable that some companies would be hesitant to include a salary range in their job postings. Non-cash benefits and remote opportunities can also sway opinion. But, the transparency and ease that including a salary range affords cannot be overlooked. At the end of the day a candidate will only accept what they’re looking for, so why delay the inevitable?

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