July 5, 2017

Recruiting Savvy: When to Post Salary Information

More and more, job boards are publishing salary information. Should you include accurate salary information in your job postings?

As “candidate-friendly” websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, kununu, CareerBliss and Google publish salary estimates, companies are feeling the pressure to release competitive salary information.

When a nurse searches for jobs, and finds results with five levels of salary ranges from $30,000 to $75,000, which posting do you think she will look at first?

What works best — publishing a salary range? An average? Or not publishing salaries at all?

It depends on the situation. Recently, we faced a lack of interest in a sales position for a high-tech company in a midsized city in Pennsylvania. Because sales people are sensitive to potential earnings and are often teased with promises of large commissions, we thought that by publishing an average salary, we’d attract more candidates.

Our strategy worked. After publishing the salary average for the position — $175,000 a year — interest spiked. Response almost doubled after we published the salary information.

Because we feared that we’d draw people motivated by financial gain alone, we did not make the salary information the key element of the post. Instead, we focused on the requirements, and touted the company’s excellent services and track record in the industry.

Competitive hourly wages and bonuses make a difference in highly competitive situations — when there isn’t enough talent available or when there’s increased competition for the talent that is available.

With the official unemployment rate at a 16-year low, and with the U-3 rate hovering around 4 percent and the U-6 rate around 8.6 percent, publishing competitive rates and bonuses will help employers stand out from the crowd.

Recently, FedEx posted a $13.25 per-hour rate for package handlers in Colorado, while UPS stated that their rates were “competitive.” UPS job posts focused more on the many rewards and benefits of working at UPS. Job seekers can quickly turn to Glassdoor and find UPS rates of $11.06 per hour, along with higher rates for FedEx. Who’ll win in the end?

Sharing a low salary has its advantages too. If the pay rate is low, publishing it can help discourage highly compensated job seekers from applying, which saves recruiters time and effort. And if the salary fails to attract enough qualified talent, it proves to management that they might need to reevaluate compensation or the business model.

In the end, salary information is readily available for those who want to find it. Payscale.com, Salary.com and similar websites also feature salary information for thousands of jobs.

In a competitive market, companies with less brand recognition may want to feature their salary packages in job posts to avoid having others provide erroneous information. You should also accompany salary information with other rewards and benefits. For many job seekers, convenience, security and good workplace ratings will trump a higher salary.

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