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Job seekers always find it helpful to know how much a job pays before they apply. So why do employers and recruiters so often neglect to mention a figure in the advert?

There are all kinds of reasons an employer might want to withhold that information; perhaps they want to base the salary on the merit of their chosen candidate, or they simply haven’t thought about it yet. Regardless, it’s almost always a better idea to provide a salary with the listing, in order to help make sure you get the most, and more importantly, the best candidates in the running.

We’ve found this to be the case ourselves, as the jobs we carry that are listed with no salary tend not to get as many promising applicants as those that do include an indicator of pay. This happens even when the nature and location of the role are similar.

Let’s take a look at why that is:

Searchability

Major job boards such as Monster and LinkedIn allow users to search for jobs filtered by certain criteria, including sector, location, keywords and of course, salary.

Many jobseekers make a point of specifying a minimum salary on their searches and job alerts, and sometimes a maximum as well. When you fail to fill one out, you basically ensure that the candidates who understand the value of their work will always have your jobs filtered out of their search.

This is even the case if you fill the box with anything other than a number, such as “competitive” or “negotiable.” Even if the salary is negotiable, it’s best to supply a figure as a guide.

And it’s not just candidates who can filter out jobs with no salary information. Job boards tend to push the most “attractive” jobs to the top of the pile – and first and foremost that includes ones where all of the optional details have been supplied.

Transparency

Even if you’re fine with losing the candidates who search by salary, you may want to consider how an organisation will be perceived when it refuses to provide important information about how much a position pays.

Not only will you appear more transparent by being upfront, but your company will also look more organised, as the impression given otherwise may be that nobody has really considered how much the position will pay.

Another negative impression given by salary secrecy is that the money on offer is actually not very much at all , whether this is the case or not.

Saving time

So let’s say that despite giving no indication of salary anywhere in the job listing, you still get a good number of candidates. You invite one of them in for interview.

The interview goes well, and you ask the applicant if they have any questions for you. They ask about salary. You give them a figure. It’s well below what they were expecting and so they decline the role.

Sorry to say it – but that’s at least a couple of hours of everyone’s time wasted, which could have been saved by being more forthright in the first place.

Unfortunately it’s not really polite for a job seeker to enquire about salary before the end of the first interview, and so you’ll already be some way into the process before the candidate has the information to decide that the role is not for them.

Revealing the salary is one of the easiest ways to give your listing a little boost. But all of this is not to say that you have to commit to the salary you provide in the listing. There are good reasons for deciding you want to pay more or less later on.

For this reason it may be a good idea to mention in the ad itself that the salary is negotiable, while also giving a more specific figure in the searchable field.

We do advise all of our clients to supply as much information in their listing as the candidate needs. And the majority do mention a salary upfront as our advice is trusted, and our success in filling roles is a big part of our high renewal rate.

If you’d like our help in creating and posting a top job advert, and a huge range of other recruitment services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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