Salary information in job postings: it’s important!

Salary information in job postingsFor years, job boards have pushed employ­ers to include salary infor­ma­tion in job . Why? Research has shown that adding a salary (or salary range) to a post­ing will increase the job seek­er response – and often, the qual­i­ty of response as well. Employ­ers have been…resistant.

But the times, they are a‑changin’.

First, Google’s job schema includ­ed a slot for salary – and the com­pa­ny said over and over that it looked more favor­ably on those job ads that actu­al­ly filled out that slot with salary infor­ma­tion.  And if that was­n’t enough incen­tive, Google also added an esti­mat­ed salary range for each job it includ­ed in its blue search box. In oth­er words, Google has been prod­ding employ­ers to ‘do the right thing’ since the intro­duc­tion of their Google Jobs schema. I guess you can say that Google is using a car­rot.

Still, employ­ers – par­tic­u­lar­ly in the U.S. – resist­ed. ‘We’ll cause prob­lems with exist­ing employ­ees that dis­cov­er new hires are mak­ing more,’ they said. ‘It puts us at a dis­ad­van­tage with oth­er employ­ers who have to more because of their geog­ra­phy, which dri­ves a high­er cost of liv­ing’, they said. And so on.

Well…in July, Indeed – flex­ing its might as only Indeed can – told large employ­ers that they must include salary infor­ma­tion in their post­ings, or that Indeed would include salary esti­mates with their jobs (whether or not those matched up with what the employ­er ulti­mate­ly pays). I guess means that Indeed is using a stick.

Now, there are oth­er things afoot in the job ad salary infor­ma­tion dis­cus­sion. Sev­er­al states – includ­ing Col­orado and Cal­i­for­nia – have man­dat­ed that salary infor­ma­tion must be includ­ed on some or all job post­ings. The Amer­i­can Alliance of Muse­ums has announced that, start­ing Novem­ber 15, they’ll require con­crete salary ranges for every job post­ed on their Job­HQ board, which lists hun­dreds of muse­um open­ings. In fact, at least 14 states have laws that pro­hib­it employ­ers from ask­ing job can­di­dates their salary his­to­ry. And trust me, this is only the begin­ning.

So first of all, I take my hat off to both Google and Indeed (I know, it’s rare I com­ple­ment the Borg, but…): they are lead­ing the way to improved salary infor­ma­tion dis­clo­sure across the board. Not only does this infor­ma­tion help the job seek­er an intel­li­gent deci­sion, it also helps deter the wage gap prob­lem that has exist­ed between and female job seek­ers, as well as white and non-white job seek­ers. After all, pay is one of the fun­da­men­tal ways that an employ­er can con­tribute to dis­crim­i­na­tion – and it is also one of the most fun­da­men­tal ways that an employ­er can fight dis­crim­i­na­tion. Let’s be real­is­tic, though: with­out the pow­er and lead­er­ship of these two indus­try giants, salary infor­ma­tion might still be locked away for most job seek­ers.

How about you, the aver­age, non-Indeed job board own­er or oper­a­tor? What should you expect going for­ward, and what should you do?

First of all, make it easy for employ­ers to include salary infor­ma­tion in job post­ings: either a spe­cif­ic num­ber, or a range. No mat­ter if they’re post­ing a sin­gle job ad or feed­ing you a thou­sand ads, give them a place to include the salary infor­ma­tion.  Sec­ond, assume that this will be a require­ment for your site soon. Get ahead of the game by pro­vid­ing salary ranges for all jobs post­ed on your site. Final­ly, edu­cate your employ­ers! Par­tic­u­lar­ly with small­er employ­ers, they may be leav­ing this infor­ma­tion out because they sim­ply don’t know . Com­mu­ni­cate the val­ue of includ­ing salary infor­ma­tion, both in terms of response quan­ti­ty and qual­i­ty.

Salary infor­ma­tion on job ads is a win/win for job seek­ers, employ­ers, and job boards. Let’s do it!

Note: This post from 2022 is still rel­e­vant – even more so – today. The Doc­tor is tak­ing some off, cel­e­brat­ing the mem­o­ry of his wife. Back soon.

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