Advertise Salaries on your Job Adverts
When you apply for jobs and you see under salary the words “competitive”, “negotiable” or “Dependent upon experience”, what do you think? I think it is code for, “we don’t pay well”.
Why do I think that? Well, having worked in recruitment for the best part of a decade now I have come to this conclusion. On every occasion I have been asked by a client not to advertise salary, the salary on offer is at best average, but typically below average for the market. Therefore, purely from experience this is why I think that.
Why not advertise salary?
The argument is misunderstood from both parties. And the parties in question being the candidates and the clients.
The candidates will argue that, like myself, not advertising salary will mean that a poor salary is on offer. Therefore, statistically a third less applicants apply for jobs that do not advertise a salary.
However, a client will justify the reasons behind not advertising a salary as because it could upset some of their existing members of staff. And this logic, even after a decade of working in the recruitment industry, baffles me senseless.
Rocking the boat
“We don’t want to rock the boat with existing employees”. The logic is that if we do not advertise salary then existing employees won’t come banging on our door to get more money as they won’t be able to see what we are paying new employees.
I think that if a company finds itself in this position it needs to address the problem rather than plaster over it. Review your salary structure across your business. Address what skillset someone is on, the value of losing them and the overall salary budget you have available. Then set salary brackets based on measurable skills tests that can fundamentally prove how good an individual employee is. If they prove they know their stuff pay them what they need. And if it turns out they are overpaid then advertise for their job with new employees as they’re not worth the money.
Too many companies overpay people who are talk and no substance and fail to recognize the people who are good at their job.
We are not made of money
The counter argument by a company may be that they only have so much money. And therefore the economics might not make sense of changing things. Fair point. However, I’d argue two points.
1-How are some of your competitors paying more in the same market as you? What are they doing differently and what can you learn from that?
2-If your board of Directors are driving around in swanky cars and collecting huge dividends but don’t have the skillset to work out value vs compensation you’ve got other problems to address.
Upsetting the Dynamics
“But changing things could upset company dynamics”. People will get annoyed if we start moving about salaries. Yes, they will. But who is going to be annoyed. The people who bring value who end up getting paid what they deserve? Or the people who are overpaid despite being not that good at their jobs?
If you make changes in a company you will ruffle feathers. But you need to address a problem. And it’s the same problem I see from any company that doesn’t advertise salary. You will have bunch of disgruntled employees constantly looking at how much money they’re being paid. And some of them should be on more, but equally some of them should be somewhere else.
By not advertising salary on your job adverts everyone just thinks you do not pay well unless they are naïve. But if you are the person who makes the decision not to allow salaries to be advertised you have bigger problems to address. Good people aren’t silly.