It is so annoying, right? You see a role you want to apply for and the company looks interesting, but there is no salary listed. As a job seeker, that means you have no idea if this seemingly ideal role is something you can even apply for. With financial commitments like mortgages, rent, and other bills, why waste time applying for a job when you do not know if it will pay you enough?

So many employers still advertise roles without salaries listed.

And those same employers often complain that they are struggling to recruit or do not get enough applications from a diverse range of people. So let’s look at some of the facts, issues and myths surrounding salaries on job adverts.

Salary Facts

Several surveys show that job adverts without salaries listed receive a much lower number of applications. Jobsite reports a 25%-35% drop in candidates when they are not listed. Jobs listed with salaries get around twice the number of applications. And this is because, for those applying for jobs, it is easily one of the most crucial factors. The CV-Library found that 81.6% of people view the salary as the most important factor when looking for a new role.

If the salary is so important to candidates, and jobs advertised with salaries receive a higher number of applications, why are so many jobs still not listing them?

When people see job adverts without salaries, it looks like the employer is trying to get away with paying someone as little as possible. It shows job seekers that the employer is not respecting people’s time, experience or skills.

Diverse candidates

The fact is that not listing salaries on job adverts fuels discrimination. Research from the Fawcett Society shows that 60% of women in the UK either don’t know what their male colleagues earn or believe they are earning less while doing the same job. Two-thirds of women (65%) say finding out they earn less than their male counterparts has a detrimental impact on how they feel about their job and their employer. 

There are gender pay gaps in many professions, with a median gap of 18.4%. Thus salary transparency is needed to encourage a diverse range of people into roles.

There are other groups that this applies to as well. Companies are not currently required to report on ethnicity pay gapsdisability pay gaps, or other factors. But we know that transparency around salaries for roles ensures that people from dominant groups are not automatically getting higher salaries than others.

Honesty and transparency

By stating a salary or a salary range, employers are not only helping candidates to assess whether they want to (or could) apply for the role. They are also showing honesty and transparency about themselves. Stating a salary avoids the biases inherent in recruitment processes. Candidates from dominant groups can often secure higher salaries due to preferences and unconscious bias towards them.

Honesty also avoids situations where a higher salary is secured through negotiation (usually by those from dominant groups). If a role is assessed for what the role entails and a salary stated based on that, employers avoid the situation where people doing the same role are paid at different rates. Although the Fawcett Society found that women often don’t know what their colleagues earn, people talk. These things do come out in conversations, so being fair about salaries reflects well on employers.

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If, as an employer, one of the reasons for not stating a salary is that you are not sure, then reflect on that and do some research. As a recruiter, it is essential to clarify the responsibilities, benefits and details like the location of the role. Otherwise, you are wasting your and the candidates’ time.

Be clear about what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay, and you are far more likely to recruit the right person quicker. There are a growing number of job sites that will only accept job adverts with salaries listed. Show The Salary have done some fantastic work in the charity sector on this.

Advice for employers

So here are some thoughts for employers to help you:

  • Unsure of salary? Look around at some job sites to find similar roles to get an idea of what you should be paying for the role.
  • Unsure of the experience you need for the role? Consider advertising two different roles at different salary levels and then assess the candidates that apply.
  • Concerned about who will see it? If you are paying fair salaries to everyone, then you have nothing to worry about. 

All of these factors are about openness and honesty. If you want to be seen as an employer that people want to work for, then you need to present yourself as an open and honest employer. Providing a clear salary range will help you to appeal to a wider range of candidates and be seen as a fair, honest, and appealing employer.

If you want help with all of this, email to talk to us about our Inclusive Recruitment program. We’re here to help!