You should be including salaries in your job descriptions — here's why
A growing trend in the job market is salary transparency. Candidates should know what kind of pay to anticipate when applying for a job. Salary is a key factor that job seekers consider when determining whether a position is worth applying for. Current employees also look at the salary ranges in job descriptions to help them decide whether they will remain in a position or even the company. Pay transparency is required by law in several states.
How can you attract and keep top talent? Include a salary or salary range in your job descriptions. Transparency, including pay transparency, is becoming more sought after by job seekers and employees. Employers who list competitive salaries in their job descriptions and job postings level the playing field, promote trust, and increase the likelihood of hiring and promoting skilled and experienced employees.
What is pay transparency?
Employers have historically been reluctant to disclose salaries in job postings, putting applicants at risk of discrimination and underpayment. Pay transparency is the practice of making information about employee compensation readily available to employees, job applicants, and the public in the United States. Promoting greater transparency and accountability regarding how pay is determined, who receives what pay, and the causes of pay differences helps make compensation packages and processes fairer and more equitable.
Although there are no federal pay transparency laws, several states have passed legislation requiring that applicants and employees be informed of the salary or salary range. The state determines when and how disclosure takes place. The following five states have pay transparency laws requiring salary disclosure upon the applicant's request, usually when hired or promoted:
- Rhode Island
Five other states have pay transparency laws that require salaries or salary ranges to be included in job descriptions or postings. These are:
- New Jersey
- New York
The benefits of pay transparency
Pay transparency has several advantages, including reducing pay disparities based on gender, race, and other variables while identifying and addressing pay inequities. Employee trust and engagement increase when they believe their pay is fair and transparent, resulting in higher employee engagement, productivity, and retention. Job seekers are more likely to consider a company that values fairness and pay transparency when looking for a job, which can help you recruit and retain qualified employees.
"Adding salaries to your job descriptions and postings adds credibility and shows that your company is transparent about compensation. This transparency can help build trust with potential candidates and increase their interest in the position."
Benefits of including salaries in job descriptions and positions — employers
In addition to ensuring you comply with any applicable state laws, including salaries on job descriptions and postings helps you retain and attract the right talent. It is increasingly common for employers to include compensation information in their job postings, as more job seekers expect it. Some job seekers won't even apply to a position if salary information is not posted. Adding salaries to your job descriptions and postings adds credibility and shows that your company is transparent about compensation. This transparency can help build trust with potential candidates and increase their interest in the position.
Candidates who are aware of the salary are less likely to waste their time applying for jobs that underpay them, saving you time and money on recruiting costs. Listing salaries helps you reduce discrimination and inequality, lowering your risk of pay-related employment claims. It also promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. By adhering to pay transparency laws, companies in states that have them avoid paying expensive fines.
Benefits of including salaries in job descriptions and positions — job seekers and employees
Knowing the salary range for a position allows job seekers to make informed decisions about applying. They will save time and money by avoiding positions they may be over or underqualified for or that do not meet compensation requirements. With a range, candidates can negotiate a salary within the parameters based on their experience and skills. Empowering job seekers to take an active role in their salary determination process can improve their self-confidence and promote a sense of belonging. It allows them to realize their worth and negotiate a fair salary.
What to consider before including salaries in job descriptions
While there are many benefits to including salary ranges in job descriptions, there are also important factors to consider before doing so, such as:
- Are you required by law to include salary information in your job descriptions?
- Does the listed salary accurately reflect the actual earnings for the position?
- Did you include other compensation available for the role, such as bonuses or commissions?
- Does the offered salary align with what current employees are earning?
- Do you have the resources to update all job descriptions?
- Is your compensation structure fair with a clearly documented policy?
There is a slight possibility that the number of qualified job candidates in your candidate pool will decline. If the salary is less than what an applicant is seeking, they may not apply. They might be apprehensive about pursuing a job with a high salary because they believe they are not qualified for it. To attract hesitant job seekers, consider including additional compensation, benefits, and perks, including professional development opportunities, in the job description.
4 strategies for including salaries in job descriptions
When posting a job opening, it's important to provide as much information as possible to attract the right candidates, including compensation. There are several ways to list salaries in your job descriptions, and reviewing the following four suggestions will help you choose the one that aligns with your recruitment needs:
- List the lowest possible compensation. If the salary range for the position is $75,000 to $110,000, listing the salary as $75,000 may attract entry-level applicants.
- List the highest available compensation. If the salary range for the position is $75,000 to $110,000, listing the salary as $110,000 is likely to attract more experienced candidates.
- List the salary range from lowest to highest. If the salary range for the position is $75,000 to $110,000, listing the salary range will probably attract more diverse candidates.
- List the average or median salary. If the salary range for the position is $75,000 to $110,000, listing the salary as an average or median of $92,500 will also attract more diverse candidates.
A note about applicant tracking systems and human resource information systems
If your company uses an applicant tracking or human resources information system, you can add salary information directly. However, it's important to note that how this information is displayed can vary depending on the system you're using. Some systems allow you to display salary ranges, while others only show specific amounts.
Choosing a system that best fits your needs and allows you to display the compensation information clearly for both potential candidates and current employees is essential. It will also allow you to remain competitive in terms of compensation while attracting and retaining top talent.
In addition to helping you attract top talent by giving candidates a stronger baseline, including clear and thorough salary information in your job posting can help candidates decide whether the position aligns with their career goals and financial needs. Pay transparency ensures that you attract qualified and motivated candidates. The methods above allow you to include salary information in your job posting, which is a crucial step in luring qualified candidates driven by their career goals and what your company has to offer.
Disclaimer: The information presented here may not apply in all circumstances due to the update's general nature, so it should not be used as a basis for decisions without seeking specific legal advice based on the circumstances.
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