Should Employers List Job Salaries? And What Happens If You Don’t

It’s 10 a.m. and some job seekers are pulling out their smartphones. They tap their preferred job seeking app, enter a job title or keyword, and a location, then tap “search.” Two seconds later a stream of jobs appear on their screen; each result shares basically the same information:

  • Logo
  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Location

Depending on the app they’re using, they might also see how many days a job has been posted, or get a sense of how employees and applicants rank each company. But at least one piece of information is missing from about half of the search results: salary.

Why doesn’t this job show a salary?

There are a number of reasons why certain companies choose not to share salary in a job post:

  • Maybe they don’t want current employees to know about the salary of a new opening.
  • Or they pay different ranges depending on where their employees work.
  • Some just don’t want their competitors to know what they pay their employees.

Meanwhile, today’s job seekers have plenty of reasons to visit job boards, whether they’re new to the job market, unhappy with their current job, tired of a long commute, or have been out of work for a while.
No matter what their main reason is, salary is often an essential part of most applicants’ thought process. And this includes a decision about whether or not a job application is worth their time.

Should employers list a job salary?

When they can’t find salary information, job applicants may fill in the blanks other ways:

  • In many cases, online job boards will estimate job salaries for them. Even if companies don’t submit that data themselves.
  • They’ll form their own estimate based on the salaries of other jobs in their search.
  • They’ll see what other jobs your company has posted, and get a feel for how well you pay your employees.
  • They’ll search similar sounding jobs in cities where the cost-of-living is on par.

Knowing what job seekers want helps companies tailor the way they recruit. Our latest Spotlight report, “What Are Candidates Thinking When They Look at Your Job Application?” provides more analysis from the job seeker’s perspective. It’s available now.

Download the Report

So, what can you do when you cannot share the salary in a job post?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you hope to entice job seekers to tap their way from the initial search results screen, and finally hit “send” on your application:

1. Your company’s reputation matters. We’ve spent plenty of time in recent articles talking about company culture, employer brand, and passive recruiting strategies. Added up, they can help your company form a picture of who you are, in order to get job seekers excited.

  • Stick with your passive recruitment strategies for the long run. When you do, you increase your chances of being recognized.
  • Ideally, as you build your recognition, you will help entice more job seekers to move to your job posting, with or without sharing salary information.

2. On the flip side, unless you’re a recognizable global brand, there will always be job seekers who discover your company because an opening shows up in their search results. If they tap on your job post, be sure to give them something worth reading in the posting.

  • As you share the job details, remember that your posting is a place where you can tout your brand proposition.
  • Highlight ways that your company’s work extends into the real world and the customers you serve. And mention how the person who fills this position will play a vital role in your efforts.

3. Most online job boards have a “reviews” section complete with big bold rankings and half-filled stars about what it’s like to work for your company.

  • For many of today’s job seekers, these reviews offer the only unbiased glimpses into what it’s like to work with your company.
  • Know what employees and job seekers are saying about you. You can’t control what people say about your company, but you can work to ensure that employees have a sense of your mission and company’s culture, making it more likely that they’ll self-support positive things about your organization.

4. Increasingly, LinkedIn and online job boards are estimating salaries for job seekers through self-reported data. This means your salary may be out there whether you want it to be or not.

  • Know what that salary is! If online job boards are overestimating a salary range, you’ll need to be prepared during the offer stage to manage those expectations.
  • On the flip side, if job boards are underestimating a salary range, it could be decreasing the quality of your candidates. In that case, you might consider setting the record straight by listing the actual salary range.

5. Ah, yes: an applicant has chosen to apply for your application! Don’t celebrate too soon—there’s still a 60% chance they’ll quit about half-way through. Make sure this doesn’t happen.

  • Keep the application as brief as possible. As SHRM notes, job applications with 25 or less questions have twice the completion rate as do applications with 50 or more questions.
  • Cut down on redundancy—from letting applicants share links, to pulling information from social media pages, to providing an easy resume upload system.

Perhaps most importantly, be sure your application is actually mobile-ready. This is especially true if the application process bumps a candidate out of a job-seeking app, and to your career site. If they receive an “Oops, you’re using an unsupported browser” message, or are otherwise instructed to close and relaunch their browser, there’s a good chance they’ll do the first part of that instruction but not the second. After all, if your company can’t afford to keep the applications process as seamless as possible, why should a candidate think you can afford them?

Increase Your Job Application Completion Rate

Most large and mid-sized companies use an application tracking system (ATS) to assist with creating, tracking, and submitting easy-to-fill job applications to career websites or online job boards. myStaffingPro’s configuration tools allow you to set up job requisitions and applications that speed up the application process for candidates, while reflecting your company’s unique brand.

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