Revolutionizing The Hiring Process Starts With Salary

What is the one piece of information that, as a hiring manager, you’ve always been hesitant to include upfront in a job rec?

If you answered salary, you’re not alone! In fact, we’ve found that salary is the single most common piece of information that’s missing in most job descriptions.

Why? Put simply, money can be an awkward subject to broach, and often companies want to vet a candidate before putting a number on the table. But this is a less than ideal situation for candidates, and can in fact be detrimental to hiring managers during the hiring process.

We’ve found that companies that do display salary in job recs on ReferralMob actually double the number of qualified candidates they receive. Yes, that’s right. Double.

In this post, we’ll explain the many reasons why salary should be displayed front and center -- and how sharing this information can help you attract and hire better candidates.

Filter For the Right Fit

There’s nothing worse as a candidate than applying for a job, going through the entire interview process, and then finding out the salary is far lower than expected and having to walk away.

Salaries can vary quite a bit between companies — even for the same role. Whereas one company may be offering $72,000 for a Marketing Coordinator role, another may only be offering $48,000. That’s a huge difference - and not something that is accounted for by estimated salary tools

As you know, factors including the company’s size, location, hiring budget, and the level of responsibility for the role will affect the salary you can offer. But as a candidate, it’s not always clear what internal factors impact the position’s salary. When a candidate applies to multiple companies with the same or similar roles, it’s a natural assumption to make that they will all fall within a certain salary range. That mistaken assumption translates to wasted time for both the hiring organization and the candidate.

Put simply, being upfront about salary from the get-go will increase the odds that the right people apply to the jobs they are best suited for.

Qualify Candidates Faster

By proactively listing the salary (or a salary range, if you’re looking at various experience levels) in a job req, you’re weeding out candidates who have mismatched compensation expectations. The last thing you want is someone applying to a role that only pays $48,000 when they’re looking for $70,000-plus. That level of mismatch means the candidate will almost certainly turn down your offer, even after hours and weeks have been invested in the interview and vetting process.

When you are upfront about salary in a job req, candidates can quickly determine whether a role meets their monetary requirements as well as career goals and cultural fit. If it doesn’t, they will move on, and you can focus your time and resources on candidates who are a better match all around.

While salary isn’t the only factor a candidate considers before applying to a job, it is a meaningful one. According to Indeed, 76% of candidates care about good pay/compensation.

On the flip side, candidates who are satisfied with the salary you offer will eagerly apply, knowing their expectations are met. And by getting the salary question out of the way early on, you can avoid difficult conversations down the road and focus more on the candidate’s background, experiences, and other unique qualifications.

Lead the Charge in Transparency

Aside from ethical and moral implications, salary transparency is on its way to becoming law in Massachusetts. A bill signed by Governor Charlie Baker in August 2016 (effective July 2018)  states that a company must declare a compensation figure based on what the role is worth to the company, not based on what a candidate’s salary was at a previous job.

Once this legislature takes effect, companies can no longer legally ask a candidate about their salary, and will also no longer be able to prohibit employees from talking about their salaries with others -- a move that will increase salary transparency and uncover disparities. This is a huge step forward in closing the wage gap.

Massachusetts’ groundbreaking legislation is serving as a model for other states also looking to even the playing field for men, women, and minorities in the workforce, so expect to see other states following suit. Honesty and transparency are always the best policy, and this is especially true in recruiting.

The One Downside (And It May Not Even Be a Downside)

The only “downside” to putting the salary in a job req is that you may lose some leverage. For example, if a candidate is aiming to make $90,000 and they see your company is offering $95,000, you may lose out on the ability to negotiate a salary range closer to $90,000. However, you can still negotiate based on what a candidate brings to the table.

The small amount of leverage that you lose is worth it, in our view, because you will likely spend much less time interviewing candidates who aren’t a good fit. Done right, you’ll attract the right talent this way and make them feel more confident and comfortable going into the interview.

Moreover, if the candidate is qualified enough, then compensating them a little bit above their expectations can lead to higher job satisfaction and better retention.

If you’re worried that being so open about your salary offerings will put you at a disadvantage relative to other companies, it’s worth noting that several companies have successfully instituted salary transparency as part of their company culture. Many have even written about how happy they are with the approach and how well it works for them.

For example:

  • Boston-based Appcues is committed to open salaries and equity, which you can read about in their post
  • Another Boston-based company, ezCater, has equalized salaries, altogether eliminating the wage gap between genders and race at the company
  • Yet another company we admire, Buffer, has been open about their salaries for several years now.

Both have been pleased with the results, and lauded for their efforts to make the hiring ecosystem more transparent.

Considering today’s talent crunch, offering a fair and transparent salary that will attract the right level of candidates can benefit your company in a lot of ways. If Buffer, Appcues, and many of our own customers are any indication, this approach is the future of hiring.

Introducing ReferralMob’s New Minimum Salary Feature

In support of transparency, we’ve released a new desktop and app feature where candidates can search for jobs based on their minimum salary requirements. 

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We’ve designed this feature to benefit employers and candidates equally. In our decades of experience, we’ve found that open communication in the interview process only increases the odds of a fit between a candidate and a job opening.

Rather than provide job seekers with estimated salaries, our aim is to provide candidates with real salaries so they can focus on jobs that fit their minimum requirements -- thereby optimizing their time and yours as a hiring manager. It’s a win-win for both parties.

With a focus on transparency, you’ll be well on your way to providing a seamless interview process, and increasing the hiring rate of qualified candidates.