Should You Include Salary Range in a Job Listing?

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Should You Include Salary Range in a Job Listing?

Hiring managers are often stuck with the moral conundrum of whether or not to include a salary range in their job listings. They may weigh the pros and cons, ask colleagues for advice, or spend the evening Googling about it, yet still feel like they’re doing the wrong thing.

Fret not, for there’s a simple answer: Yes, you should always include salary range in a job listing. The pros vastly outweigh the cons, and even the cons can be turned into pros if you put in a little effort.

So let’s talk about why salary range is one of the most important pieces of a job listing.

It makes you competitive.

If a candidate sees two job listings where everything is exactly the same except that one includes a salary range and the other does not, which one do you think that person will apply for? Almost certainly, the person would feel more comfortable with the listing that shows salary information. The job-hunting process is filled with ambiguity and unknowns, so any time you can clarify an important detail like salary, you’re removing a potential hurdle for your candidate pool.

You don’t have to take our word for it, though. A 2018 Glassdoor study found that 62% of job seekers consider salary to be the most important factor when considering job listings.

It gives you control over expectations.

Now, let’s return to the hypothetical situation we laid out in the previous section. Take two job listings where everything is exactly equal except that one shows salary range and the other does not. What if the posted salary range is too low? Wouldn’t that make the candidate choose the more ambiguous one?

Actually, no. It’s more likely that the candidate would choose neither in this scenario. The reasonable assumption for the candidate would be that, just like everything else, the salary would be exactly the same in both cases. If you work this hypothetical situation to its obvious conclusion, you can see how the job without the salary information might actually pay a higher wage, yet job seekers will assume that it doesn’t.

In this instance, the organization that posts the ambiguous job listing is letting their competitors set the expectations for the position. Don’t let your competitors set the expectations for your organization – take back this bargaining power and take control of your expectations.

It makes you more transparent.

Now, many of the cons of including salary in your job listings are about transparency. What if employees can see the salaries of new hires? What about your competitors? Doesn’t this make you less competitive?

The answer to that last question is yes and no. But if you instead ask, “Does this make you more transparent?” then the answer is an obvious yes.

Transparency is vital when you’re trying to create a healthy work environment. With so much information just a Google search away, employees are getting more savvy about these things. Nowadays, they’re more willing to talk to their coworkers about salary whether that’s frowned upon or not. (Really, employees should be talking about salary more often, but that’s a conversation that’s a bit out of scope for this article. Thankfully, the New York Times has a great piece about this already.)

The bottom line is that if your organization claims to value transparency, you must actually be transparent in things like salary. Candidates are better at seeing through this sort of deception than you might think, so any subterfuge here benefits you very little.

Be open about salary. Your employees will appreciate it, and so will candidates.