Salary Ranges

4 Reasons to Include Salary Ranges in Your Job Postings

By Rebecca Hawk

When you’re creating a job posting, you want to attract the best candidates possible—and including a salary range can help. In a 2016 SHRM study, 74 percent of surveyed applicants said they want to see salary ranges in employers’ job postings. Applicants who don’t see a salary range might not even bother applying for your position: A SMART Recruit Online study found that postings that included a salary range received 30 percent more clicks than those without one.

Every organization is different, and yours might have parameters around publishing salary ranges. But if you hesitate to include salary details because you don’t want to weaken your negotiating position or be upfront about less-than-competitive pay, you might want to reconsider. Here are four reasons why it’s a good idea to include salary ranges in your job postings.

It improves the candidate experience. There are few things as anxiety-inducing to candidates as the phrase “Depends on experience” or “DOE” in the salary field of a job posting.

Although your organization may have good reasons for not disclosing a salary range, the message you send to applicants is often negative. At worst, a candidate might think you want to get the best “deal” possible on a new hire and might assume you will not consider applicants who demand a higher salary. At best, candidates may hesitate to apply for a position because they are concerned the salary might not meet their family’s basic needs.

Consider posting a salary range along with “DOE” to demonstrate that, within this range, applicants of different experience and skill levels will be given different salary considerations. This will help candidates set their expectations. 

Although your organization may have good reasons for not disclosing a salary range, the message you send to applicants is often negative.

It saves time for the applicant and the employer. The recruitment process takes time—and, if you’re like most association professionals, your time is precious. Job seekers are conscientious about their time, too, as many of them are conducting their searches around their existing work schedules and must arrange childcare and transportation to attend interviews.

At the very least, listing a salary range on your job posting allows you to save some time. Only applicants who are comfortable negotiating from your posted salary range will apply, and you’ll only interview candidates whom you can afford.

If you find that the applicants you bring in don’t have the experience or demonstrate the skills necessary for success in the open position, this might be a clue that you need evaluate the position’s responsibilities. On the other hand, if you bring in a top-tier candidate who’s embedded in your community, you stand to lose face if the compensation you offer isn’t competitive and the applicant is surprised.  

Being transparent from the beginning both saves you time and protects your brand’s reputation.

You’ll be in control of the organization’s narrative. When you include a salary range in your job posting, you take ownership of your organization’s compensation and benefits narrative—even if your salary range is lagging behind the going rate in the market.

Today, applicants can easily access salary data for various organizations before even starting a conversation with an employer. A large majority of applicants check online employer reviews before making decisions about their careers, according to Glassdoor. You can count on candidates to research your salary data before they click “Apply Now.”

Publishing a salary range shows that your organization takes a structured approach to compensation and that you’re open to conversations with candidates about pay within that defined range.

It might start a conversation about your total compensation package. The nonprofit sector isn’t necessarily known for its stellar compensation, but many associations offer excellent benefits. Make sure to highlight these in your job posting so that applicants think about the total package rather than focus narrowly on the salary number. This approach also conveys a message about your organization’s culture and respect for employees’ well-being.

Additionally, your postings should highlight the career paths possible at your organization and in your industry. In interviews with promising candidates, address salary concerns and demonstrate room for growth by discussing the kinds of salaries top performers and higher-level employees can earn.

A job posting often shapes a candidate’s first impression of your organization. By being open from the start about your compensation structure, you’ll build your employer brand and attract the candidates who would best fit your organization.

Rebecca Hawk is the product manager for ASAE Business Services, Inc. Email: [email protected]

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