Should Companies Include Pay Ranges on Job Postings?

Kristina Finseth

 

I recently read a news story about a company, SkipTheDishes, cancelling a candidate’s second interview after she emailed her recruiter to inquire about compensation and benefits for the position.

This was their response to her questions:

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The company has since apologized to the candidate, offering to reschedule her second interview – but this story left a bad taste in my mouth.

Is it the candidate’s fault for asking for this information at what the company considered the “wrong” time? Is it the company’s fault for not providing this information sooner in the process? There are so many applications that require candidates to input their current compensation and desired compensation. Should the same standards hold true for companies?

Although there are pros and cons to companies including pay ranges in their job postings, it could be something to consider so that situations like these can be prevented in the future.

Here are the pros:

It will enable you to attract more candidates According to research from CareerBuilder, job postings that include salary information perform better than those without it. Some candidates won’t even apply to a job posting unless this information is available, so failing to include at least a pay range may be causing you to lose out on potential talent.

It shows transparency Transparency provides candidates a glimpse into a company’s culture, including how they treat employees. Providing this information can also be extremely helpful to creating an overall positive employer brand in the eyes of your candidates – even if the pay range doesn’t fit what they’re looking for.

You will save time in the process Companies can avoid questions in the process by providing pay range information to candidates up front. I can tell you from experience that nothing hurts worse than reaching out to an amazing candidate only to find out that the pay they are seeking is outside what your company is willing to provide for the position. Point blank, providing this information up front can help you eliminate candidates that exceed your pay range.

You can find out what’s attracting the right talent For companies who aren’t quite sure what pay range they should be targeting for the caliber of candidates they are seeking, providing this information in a job posting can help to determine if the right talent is attracted. If the pay range is attracting under-qualified candidates, you have the ability to tweak the posting to reflect a higher range.

Here are the cons:

You could end up limiting your talent pool Companies who aren’t quite sure about what they are willing to pay for a position could eliminate potentially qualified candidates by putting down the wrong range in the job posting. If it’s too low, but you’re willing to pay more for the right candidate, it’s important to include a confident range.

Your competition could use this information as intel If your competition knows the pay range you are targeting for new talent, they could try to make their compensation and benefits a little sweeter than yours. This could also provide leverage for your competitors to poach off talented employees from your company.

If you give the wrong range, you may find yourself in the same place Candidates who see a pay range on a job posting are going to automatically assume they are more qualified to receive the upper part of the range. At the same time, you may have been able to find the right person for the job at a lesser salary than the range you provided. If you provide too wide of a range, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment when it comes time to make an offer to the right candidate.

You may not be able to illustrate your full offering If the target pay range isn’t competitive in your market, it can be difficult to illustrate your total compensation package to potential candidates. You’ll then be forced to decide on including the pay range with bonus and other incentives factored in, setting false expectations for some. On the flip side, you may leave off total compensation and include just the base salary range, hoping candidates will read your job posting further to see the silver lining.

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What do you think? Should companies include pay ranges on job postings?