Why don’t job adverts show the salary?
With research indicating that transparent wage listings in posts lead to happier, wealthier candidates, it could be time to drop the DOE
When you are searching for a job, there are many factors that make a post stand out – location, number of hours, experience required, the company. However, the one thing that tends to make or break whether you apply is the pay. So why don’t all job adverts show the salary?
There is nothing quite so frustrating as finding your dream job, and then seeking out the salary only to be greeted with DOE (dependent on experience), or that favourite yet illusive recruitment phrase ‘a competitive salary’.
Knowing the salary before you apply for a job can save time for both employees and employers. Often a job can sound great, but if the salary is lower than your current pay, it’s unlikely that you would accept an offer. Also, a salary that is far higher than your current renumeration package could be an indicator that it is a much more senior role than you are currently seeking.
Transparent salaries on job adverts not only cut out disappointment and misunderstandings, they can also help to battle bias and close pay gaps. By not committing to a salary while advertising, companies can base salaries on a candidate’s present salary or can benefit from candidates undervaluing their worth and asking for less than the employer would be willing to pay for the role.
In the US, this is an issue companies and the government are taking seriously. Research showed that asking candidates about current pay levels in job interviews negatively impacted the financial prospects of women and ethnic minorities, as the practice perpetuates previous pay inequality and fails to break the cycle. A study published last year titled Perpetuating Inequality: What Salary History Bans Reveal About Wagesshowed that when employers stopped asking about salary history, salary offers for women increased by 6.4% and by 7.7% for non-white candidates. The practice has now been legally banned in 14 US states.
The UK recruitment industry is also waking up to connection between diversity issues and a lack of salary transparency, with many now questioning why job adverts don’t show the salary.
The charity sector has been particularly keen to tackle the issue. Bond, a network for organisations working in international development, started a #ShowTheSalary campaign last year to encourage employers to be upfront about wages. CharityJob, a recruitment site for charity workers, now refuses to take job postings that don’t clearly list the pay. It has also launched an anonymous hiring tool on its platform that allows recruiters to see applications with key personal details redacted, such as names and email addresses, which allows them to judge a candidate purely on their experience and expertise.
Being transparent about salaries in job adverts can also increase the number of applications that an employer will get – with some recruiters estimating it can double applications – as well as increase trust in a company. This is why in the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 report, which had the subtitle Talent Demands Pay Transparency, the recruiter advises companies to shift to financial clarity in job postings.
In a survey of job seekers and employees carried out by recruitment agency Hay, 74% said it is important to them that a company is transparent about pay levels. Yet only 59% of employers agreed that they were being transparent.
With pay transparency bringing benefits to employees and employers, and tougher-than-ever scrutiny on diversity in recruitment, it really is time to consider why job adverts don’t show the salary, and for businesses to start moving towards a more equal playing field through upfront posts.