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Does the salary belong on a job advert?

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There are a number of perfectly good reasons why a definitive salary might not be included on a job advert, with some of the most common including:

  • Salary could be dependent on experience and skillset of the chosen candidate
  • The company are open to negotiation / haven’t yet decided on a salary
  • The recruitment agency deem it to be too much of a distraction which prevents high quality candidates from applying

But is this fair on candidates? If you’re worried about candidates being put off by the salary, is it because you’re underpaying your staff? And, to all the recruitment agencies out there – doesn’t the lack of salary advertising simply make initial conversations awkward between yourselves and potential candidates?

Look at it this way. If you were a candidate applying for a job, the job advert without a salary might be enough to put you off, or it could lead to you withdrawing from the process as soon as the salary is communicated to you. Not only does this waste the time of the candidate, but also of the recruitment agency and the company who are doing the hiring.

By not communicating the salary of a job role from the earliest touchpoint – the job advert – companies and recruitment agencies alike are inviting candidates to blindly enter their application with very little knowledge or awareness of the level of the job or whether it is within their salary expectations. As soon as salary becomes apparent, you have a high chance of a drop out rate from those who feel the salary is beneath them, as well as those who are clearly not qualified enough to take on the role.

Because the fact is this – salary doesn’t just tell candidates how much money they can expect to be paid. It also provides an early indicator of the scope of the role, its responsibilities and demands, and the level of skill that the company are looking for.

The benefits of keeping salary off the job advert

Of course, there are benefits to removing the salary.

One of the biggest benefits of keeping salary away from a job advert is it removes the distraction and stigma which is so often associated with financial figures. Candidates who believe they are above certain pay grades are likely to ignore job adverts all together if they are aware of a lower salary straight away, which can lead to them missing opportunities which might have been beneficial to them.

On top of this, removing the salary means that other areas can be focussed on rather than overlooked – for example the flexibility of a company, their working environment and culture, and the opportunity for progression. As soon as you remove the numbers, people start to take notice of the other aspects and benefits to working with certain organisations and companies.

Other benefits of removing the salary from a job advert include:

  • For the company, it keeps other employees in the dark about pay grades and how much individual roles are being paid. Salary can be a huge pinch point when it comes to employee relations, with instances of colleagues rising against their employers when they see through a job advert that another role is being offered more money than they are on. Removing the salary takes away all of this risk.
  • Keeping salary off a job advert also serves to keep competitors in the dark about your pay grades, ensuring that they can’t offer a small percentage more in an effort to steal the best candidates from you.
Why we believe salary should always be communicated as early as possible

While the benefits of removing the salary from a job advert are perfectly viable, the reasons for keeping the salary firmly pinned to an advert outweigh the arguments above – especially in the modern world where candidates value integrity and transparency above all else.

As a candidate, there is nothing worse than applying for a job and then finding out that you would be taking a pay cut – or that you are not nearly skilled enough to compete against someone with more experience, especially with regards to the length and complexity of today’s application processes which can be long-winded and arduous.

By adding the salary to a job advert, you immediately cut down on all that uncertainty, and ensure that the majority of applications you receive are from those of a suitable skill level and pay grade to be eligible for the role. Not only does this save the candidate’s time, but it also helps companies to keep their recruitment process streamlined, cutting down on the risk of high level candidates finding other jobs while you sift through the hundreds of unsuitable applications you might receive without the salary indication.

There are also logistical arguments which make salary disclosure important, including the viability of a candidate being able to afford to commute to the office. Understanding salary isn’t just knowing how much money you will have in the bank at the end of the month – it’s also knowing how much of a cut or profit you will be making from a different commute and a different working experience.

In short, including the salary on a job advert saves time, ensures that the overall standard of applications is in line with the expectations of the company, and provides candidates with the assurance that the job they are applying for is in line with their own aspirations and requirements.

Reed.co.uk state that two in three jobseekers are more likely to apply to a job advert when the salary is clearly displayed – heralding the transparency of the company, followed by other benefits and areas of focus such as flexibility and progression opportunities. The takeaway? Salary is important – but so are other areas, and you should take care to communicate all the benefits of working with your company as part of the job advert.