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Only 7.8% of US Job Postings Currently Include Salary Data

In our last post, we discussed how to optimize job posts for Google for Jobs. The other key party to optimize for, of course, is job seekers. Job boards can do a lot to improve UX for job seekers who come to their site – but for best results, they need employers to provide key information that applicants care about.

Maybe the most important piece? Salary data.

Unfortunately, most employers still aren’t including salary data in job listings. In fact, we recently analyzed more than 6.8 million jobs in our JobsIndex and found that only 7.8 percent included salary data.

The good news: employers can stand out from the pack by adding salary information now. Here are three key points to communicate to your customers to encourage them to include salary information in job listings so they can attract the best applicants.

1. Workers Want Salary Information

In a survey of more than 5,000 job seekers conducted last fall, 62 percent said that salary data would persuade them to apply for open positions. In fact, salary information was the most important thing to online applicants – ahead of waiving a cover letter and offering a sign-on bonus.

That’s particularly important given that the US currently has a four percent unemployment rate, which is what economists consider “full employment.” Combined with the ongoing “Great Resignation,” in which many employees are rethinking what they want from a job – and leaving their current roles to get it – employers should take the desire for pay data seriously.

Employers are often hesitant to publicize salary data for many reasons. They may think it lessens their negotiating power or forces them to pay candidates more than they might have otherwise. And in recent years (starting during the Great Recession) keeping salary ranges private was the norm.

But the employment landscape has shifted. Unemployment is low and workers have more negotiating power than they did a decade ago. If your customers haven’t yet recognized this reality, you may want to highlight a few points about the value of posting salary data:

  • It saves time. No more lengthy resume reviews, interviews, and test projects only to find out that employer and applicant aren’t aligned on salary expectations. 
  • It signals that you’re a transparent organization. Employers know what a given position’s work is worth to their organization. They can signal that they value employees by being upfront about it.
  • It attracts busy jobseekers. Your client’s ideal applicant may already be employed. If a recruiter reaches out with a listing, that candidate is much more likely to engage if they see a salary number that meets their expectations.

Beyond these benefits, though, including salary data helps organizations achieve bigger goals.

2. Posting Salary Info Improves Equity

Studies show over and over that keeping salaries secret hurts women and BIPOC workers, who are less likely to negotiate for higher salaries and, when they do, are likely to ask for less money than their white male counterparts.

That’s really important given that companies with more diverse teams – and especially more diverse leadership teams – outperform their more homogenous peers.

The takeaway: posting salary data can help companies attract and retain the kinds of teams that lead to better bottom-line performance.

What’s maybe most compelling here is that including salary ranges in job postings is easy. While much of the work of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout an organization is complex and ongoing, adding salary data to job postings is a simple, immediate way to make progress.

3. Posting Salary Data on Job Listings May Soon Be the Law

While there’s a clear business case for including salary data in job postings, some companies may also be legally required to do it.

In Colorado, employers have been required since January 2021 to include salary data in their job postings. That’s probably why Colorado has the highest percentage of job listings with salary data (see Figure 1), but employers still aren’t universally complying. In fact, only about 27 percent of live Colorado job listings actually include salary data.

Starting in April, New York City will require salary ranges in all postings of jobs, promotions, and transfers.

And many other states (including Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Washington) require disclosure of salary range upon applicant’s request. Nevada employers must provide salary range regardless of whether a candidate asks.

Make sure your clients are aware of these regulations to help them avoid fines and penalties.

Figure 1: Percentage of jobs that include salary data by state

Guide Your Clients to Better-Performing Job Postings

Job boards help their clients fill vacancies by formatting listings, attracting applicants, and promoting open roles. To really deliver what job seekers want, though, they need key information from employers – including salary data.

If you’re looking for ways to communicate to your clients how including salary data in their postings can help them stand out among the millions of listings out there at any given time, feel free to pass along this post.

If you’d like to learn more about our JobsIndex tool, which delivers tailored feeds of jobs information to populate job boards, get in touch.

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