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The Team at Laudale

Alec Laurie
Alec Laurie
Managing Director
alec@laudale.com

Can you afford not to include salary in your job advertisement?

In a recent piece of research undertaken at Laudale, we looked at a sample of job advertisements across technology roles and found that 41% of them did not specify the salary.

We’ve all been a job seeker at one point or another in our lives and so we all know how frustrating it can be when you’re attracted by a job advert only to find no mention of the salary.  Of course, modern employees find other motivating factors at work – purpose, values, accountability – but salary is an essential hygiene factor: why not include it?

We know there will be a stack of answers to that rhetorical question, from wanting to encourage a broad range of candidates, to “the job board doesn’t have a salary feature”.  We understand some of the sentiment behind not include salary info, but we don’t believe leaving it off the advert is the answer.  Would you leave out the job location?

In a separate piece of research we conducted last year, we discovered that salary was one of the top 3 factors candidates consider when weighing up a job opportunity – there’s no getting around the fact that it will come up early in the candidate’s mind.

By omitting helpful information for candidates, are you at risk of starting the relationship on the wrong foot?  Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be leaving salary off your job advertisement…

It’s open to negative interpretations

If you’re not providing a salary or salary range in your advert, it could seem like you’re saying to candidates “we’d like to negotiate, and we’d like to come off favourably in negotiations”.  Call us cynical, but surely this is one reason employers choose to leave out salary. Who wouldn’t want to find an amazing candidate for a lower salary? If the salary is published, there’s a commitment to paying at least the minimum. Maybe there’s a very good reason for you not disclosing salary, but it’s important to consider how this appears to be the candidate.

Dependant on experience (what about potential?)

If a candidate sees this then they’d be forgiven for assuming there’s no negotiating if they are lacking in years’ experience. For example, take a junior manager looking to move into a senior management position, ‘DoE’ probably says to that candidate “you’ll be paid commensurate with a junior manager”. For an employer, being hell-bent on ‘experience’ is counter-productive for many reasons, not least because you’re apparently discounting potential.  What about the value candidates bring specifically to your business?  Even if you do have a pay scale, and the final amount you pay is dependent on what you learn about the candidate, then there’s really no harm in publishing this.

Including salary is more efficient

Why not get the basic questions covered up front? Not all candidates will be put off by no salary on your job advert but consider this: you could easily attract great people, then find that salary is a stumbling block, later on, by which point you may have invested significant time and energy. It’s arguably a great position to be in – you have a great candidate – but if you genuinely can’t afford them you’re back to square one. Furthermore, as much as we love the idea of broadening the talent pool, including salary makes your job advert that little bit more tailored, resulting in fewer applications to administer and ultimately a better candidate experience.

There’s no need for cloak and dagger

We live in an age of information accessible by the tap of a button or swipe of a screen, as such there’s little point in keeping salary information confidential. Sites like Glassdoor mean candidates can easily find out ‘actual’ salaries at a particular organisation and there are countless tools out there to help calculate market rate and just what a candidate should expect to be paid for a certain role. In short, whether you’re willing to state salary or not, candidates will know what they’re worth.

There’s no doubt about it, attracting the right talent to your business can be tough – can you afford not to include salary on your job advertisements?

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