July 28, 2021

Why Isn’t Everyone Putting Salary Info In Job Ads?


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights

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Not seeing salary info in job ads seems to be a hot button issue that all job seekers can get behind.

(Except when it comes to having their current companies add it to their own job ads but I digress…)

It’s common in the UK.. The state of Colorado just mandated it. But for most job ads in the US, salary ranges are nowhere to be found.

But…why? If it gets more job seekers interested, what’s the hesitancy?

Jeff Smith and James Hornick will uncover why it never seems to happen in the next 10 Minute Talent Rant, Episode 24, “Why Isn’t Everyone Putting Salary Info In Job Ads?”

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Transcript

The 10 minute talent rant is live. I’m James Hornick, joined by Jeff Smith and we are on the clock. The 10 minute talent rant is our ongoing series where we break down things that are broken in the talent acquisition and hiring space, maybe even pitch a solution or two. Before we dig in all of our content can be found at talentinsights.hirewell.com.

This week’s topic: why isn’t everyone putting salary information in job ads? That was the redo title. The first title I had for this was actually inspired by mean girls. It was going to be “Stop trying to make salary info in job ads happen because it’s never going to happen”. Unfortunately, it’s factually incorrect.

I found out that, first off Colorado passed the law that it’s actually the law in Colorado that you have to put salary info in job ads. Side note- there’s actually places that won’t hire people in Colorado now because of that. So total side. Also, it’s really common in the UK, certain parts of Europe.

But there’s a reason for that, that if we have time, we’ll come around to at the end. Things just work very differently there. I thought it was interesting. We had written this copy and a gentleman, I can’t remember his name, had commented about the Colorado law like, I don’t know, two hours ago or something in the morning, right before- I was like, and here we go everyone’s stealing our material per the usual. Look let’s be clear here, if you want to put a salary in a job in as a company organization, like go for it.

I’m not, no one here is saying you shouldn’t do it. Obviously, that’s why we titled it this way. Like the purpose of this discussion is just to really kind of talk about the group thing that has gotten completely out of control. The commentary around this has gotten absurd, right? I’d rather talk about why salaries aren’t included in the job postings.

Yeah. And what we mean by that, the social media aspect, there are certain topics that are just like a rallying cry that everyone’s going to jump on and putting salaries and job ads, in job descriptions of one of it. You’ll go viral but it’s lazy. Everyone’s going to agree, except when it’s their turn to make a job ad.

I’m going to let everyone a little secret here, job seekers and people who do hiring they’re the same people. Everyone complains when they can’t see a salary in a job description or job ad, except it’s when they’re turned to do it themselves. So just like stop pounding your fist like a child because you’re demanding something you want.

Let’s take a step back, breathe. Let’s talk about why it specifically doesn’t happen. Yeah. We’re for putting salaries into job ads, job descriptions. I mean, you talked about this extensively in the employer content show with Nate. There’s a lot of serious challenges and causes that you need to address and be aware of though, before you do it.

We kind of broke this down to two subjects. There’s going to be people over the range and people under the range. People over the range are kind of, self-select out like full stop going to happen. I think that anything that’s going to entice somebody not to apply to something is just flat out stupid.

If you really want the visibility into the top tier talent, putting limiting factors directly into your ads so that they have no incentive to even show you who they are, feels misguided. I always ask our hiring managers, do you want to talk to somebody who’s great? Or do you want to talk to somebody who fits within a narrow definition of what you’re looking for?

I know lots of companies are either, they’re getting creative on leveling up for the right candidates or earmarking it for the future. And that’s absolutely what you need to be focused on. And then the flip side, there’s people who are going to be under that range. So a couple of things. One, you’re going to get a lot of people who are not remotely qualified, apply for position just because they see it’s a way higher salary than they have

now. If you think your inbox, your ATS system is jacked up now wait til that happens. But also like on top of that, one of the inherent challenges if there a wide range, everyone who sees it thinks they’re worth the top every single time. The thing is like the real issue here is pay scales and internal equity.

So that’s one of the big driving reasons why people don’t put this on there. If it gets out that you’re hiring people above levels where other people in the organization are, or people can see exactly where someone kind of was brought in at that, that causes issues. And it’s bigger than just kind of what’s in your job ads and let’s be clear, that’s a management issue.

That’s something that has to be addressed, but that has to be addressed before you start worrying about whether putting salaries in job ads or not. So if you’re not paying people enough, if you’re paying people out of whack, if you’re not paying people to equitable level, which are serious issues, you should probably be talking about, lots of managers

aren’t going to hire people who were paid more than they are if managers end up being underpaid. And frankly, there’s a lot of companies that – probably most companies that will say kind of struggle with this type of stuff. Yeah and that gets into like all this data with- look, we love data driven storytelling, like big fans, right?

Salary data. First of all, it’s garbage. I’ve struggled to find any data source that I actually think has an actual pulse on the market real time. Sure, you’re getting aggregates from years before. No one generally speaking knows what that data set entails. Is it a mishmash of small, medium, large size company?

It’s impossible to nail that stuff down into an acceptable range that’s going to allow you as an employer to cast a wide net, right? Yeah. I think you have to look at the free market. It’s why we do what we do when recruiters, and either your internal staff or your external recruiters are telling you what the market is dictating.

That is literally the market value, like full stop it. Things have fluctuated so much so fast that any data set that’s put in front of your HR group or that you try to use as some sort of barometer is going to be outdated within a quarter or two at most. Let’s also not forget just how cutthroat it is out there.

So there’s a lot of organizations- if you’re advertising your salary range for the positions you’re looking at, you’re also giving your competition a free pass to outbid you and know exactly what you’re going to be offering people. Yep. It’s exactly why nobody wants to offer first because you’re essentially handing over the keys to the car to let somebody do the prices right.

Right. I bid $12,001. So fixes. We love fixes. If you don’t want to suffer the consequences of what happens when you put the data into ads you have to be above average on pay. Yeah. It’s straight up. You have to be- pay better than most companies.

Yeah. And you know, you can do an up to number or an absolute max number. We actually just had up to written into this, but you don’t want to pigeon hole into a minimum and ensure that that top level candidate isn’t going to look at you. Conversely, you can put like a lower minimum and say, this is the minimum and we’ll pay up to market.

I just think it’s the way in which you phrase it to entice those higher caliber candidates to take a look at you. The biggest thing, I think too on top of all this, you have to commit to salaries being an open book across the organization. People at this level get this much and everyone knows it.

Honesty, transparency, it’s not just things you talk about. You have to actually live it. You have to be comfortable with your employee development. If it doesn’t sound like something you can do or sound like something can pull off, that’s a bigger issue. Maybe that’s another talent rant we need to do but that’s step one before you can even think about doing this. Right.

And look, I love that I get to steal your thunder on this one. If you’re upset about not seeing salaries in job ads, I implore you- go to your corporate website right now and look at the job ads that don’t have salary info, go to leadership and try to make a change for it. Then come back to social media, tell us about it.

My gut tells me you’re probably going to get a bit of resistance from that senior leadership team and this perpetuates the great hamster wheel, right? James? Yeah. Well, it’s just like- you’ll see someone post about this and talk about it and you’ll see everyone comment on it and everyone like it. And then you go to their company sites and they’re not offering this stuff either.

And you’re not a wallflower here, you’re an active participant. Anyways, back to what we were saying at the very initial of this. So Colorado, I’m interested to see how that’s going to pan out, because like I said, there are places that aren’t hiring people from Colorado because of this.

Secondly, throw in the UK and EU it’s much more common. They have a different pay situation entirely. They have healthcare fully covered. I think people underestimate just the difference in pay scales in terms of the healthcare deficit that we have

from previous employers and that’s the way the companies can make up if they actually do have a off the deficit with what someone’s expecting based upon that. So salaries are kind of wacky just because there’s such a discrepancy in what health care is provided here. Whereas over there, it’s kind of standard. But anyways, we’re short on clock.

So that’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for tuning into the 10 minute talent rant, part of the talent insights series, which is always available for replay on talentinsights.hirewell.com as well as the YouTube, Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify and Amazon channels. Jeff, thanks again. Everyone out there,

we’ll see you soon.

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