Is Salary Information Like Catnip For Job Seekers?

In this tough job market, salary information can be a welcome sight. It makes a job feel more “real.” A concrete number also lets job seekers know whether they can afford to apply for the job, or not. This can save everyone some time… but there are certainly also cons to divulging salary information in a job posting, especially if the salary is substantial. The chart below illustrates just such a predicament:

So, as a human resources manager, how do you sort out the wackos from the worthwhile candidates? Furthermore, do the drawbacks of stating salary in a job posting outweigh the benefits?

First of all, it is true that a nice, high salary can attract a larger number of both qualified and unqualified applicants. The good news is that this is a good problem to have. The better news is that new technologies, like video interviews, make sifting through a large number of applicants even easier. While recruiting software might help weed out under-qualified applicants at the resume stage, one-way video interviews can make your early interview rounds much faster. You can go through ten one-way video interviews in the time that it takes to do one phone interview—wackos watch out!

The dilemma outlined in this chart isn’t a problem at all, of course, if you choose not to include salary information in your job posting. There are certain advantages to this. First of all, you will likely receive fewer applicants. Second, the applicants who do apply will likely do so out of genuine interest in the job; since no salary figure is there to tempt them. Keeping salary information private can also help keep competitors from out-bidding you on the job market.

With all of this in mind, striking some kind of compromise seems like a good idea. There are a couple of ways to do this. One solution is to indicate a salary range in your job posting, instead of a concrete dollar figure. This allows qualified applicants to have hope of a higher salary, while allowing you the freedom to name a lower one.

Another solution is to not divulge the salary of the position until the first interview. A video interview would be a great place to name a salary range. This keeps the information private from your competitors and helps guard against “wackos” who are only applying because of the posted salary. However, divulging the salary range early allows candidates to opt out sooner, if it turns out that they can’t afford to take the job. This saves everyone some valuable time.

Do you usually advertise salary in your job postings? Vote “yes” or “no” below, and spark a conversation!

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