Over the past few years, the game has changed, as candidates have begun demanding greater transparency – specifically around compensation. A recent survey by Adzuna reports 28% of respondents find the lack of salary details in job ads their biggest frustration, with 33% reporting that they would not attend an interview without knowing the salary.
There are multiple competitive advantages. For starters, it improves the candidate experience, and promotes diversity and inclusion, while bolstering trust. Conversely, when employers withhold compensation details, candidates assume the company is hiding something (32%), believe the company is biased in how they pay their employees (31%), or that the company would underpay them (30%). “When you disclose the salary upfront, you start off on the right track – earning the trust of potential employees before they’ve even joined. Thus, including salaries in job descriptions helps build credibility, save candidates’ and employers’ time, and attracts the right talent,” states Kshitij Jain, Founder and CEO, Joveo.
Politicians and legislators are joining the movement, too. Beginning in January 2023, California and Washington will require employers to publish salary information in all recruitment ads. And the trend will only continue.
This blog delves into the advantages of pay transparency and how organizations can navigate it in 2023 and beyond.
Implications of Salary Disclosures in Job Ads
Disclosing a salary range and benefits makes an employer more attractive and will draw in talented candidates. In an Indeed survey, 75% of candidates said they were more likely to apply for a job if the salary range was listed.
Enhances employee experience and performance
In the same Indeed survey, 83% of employees reported feeling more loyal to their company when they felt their wage was fair. Moreover, 84% are more engaged with their work, 84% are more productive, and 83% said they feel more confident at work.
Promotes diversity and inclusion
In the United States, women are paid 83 cents for every dollar a man makes, while Black and Hispanic men earn 87 cents and 91 cents, respectively. Similarly, Black and Hispanic women earn less than White women. LGBTQIA+ and workers with disabilities are also affected.
One aspect of this disparity is that both women and minority workers often ask for less money. This can be reduced with increased transparency. When standard salary rates are published, there is less scope for negotiation. If organizations are compelled to display salary information, they are more likely to refrain from discriminating or taking advantage of individuals who may not be aware of their worth.
So, why aren’t companies more transparent about salaries?
For one, companies worry about resentment and disappointment. In addition, the process might be intimidating for organizations. It requires leaders to take a close look at their pay structure and the rationale of what is being paid to whom, and why. This may lead to some uncomfortable truths about just how fair and equitable that structure is.
But, positive changes – such as increased transparency – lead to improved workforce performance and DE&I outcomes. Who can argue with that?
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Preparing for Pay Transparency
Despite the fact that several states’ transparency laws will go into effect in January 2023, many organizations are still not ready. According to the 2023 Workplace Equity Trends ReportSyndio, although many employers plan to post salaries on job ads, only 35% of respondents are fully ready or already including pay in their ads. Similarly, according to the 2022 Pay Clarity Survey, 30% of organizations say that their pay programs are not ready for pay transparency, while another one-third cited administrative challenges.
Here’s a quick guide to planning your compensation strategy for 2023:
- Understand compensation in your organization
Take time to understand the current salary structure. Here are some questions to consider when evaluating:
- How much are the people across the organization earning, at all levels?
- Are there any discrepancies/gaps between people in the same roles?
- Do people from different backgrounds earn different salaries?
- What is the current compensation formula? Is this based on previous salary, candidate expectations, or arbitrary numbers from superficial research?
- How are promotions and raises determined?
This data can then be used to generate salary benchmarking reports in order to better understand what peers are paying and how your company compares. Here, it is crucial to ensure that your data is reliable and accurate.
- Develop a comprehensive compensation strategy
With a detailed overview of the current compensation structure in place, tweak it to develop a more sustainable strategy. Opencomp and Charter recommend defining a compensation philosophy underlining how you plan to pay and reward your employees, based on four main aspects:
- Market position: determine market rates for specific roles and levels
- Pay mix: understand the ideal combination of cash, equity, and variable incentives
- Segmentation: decide on a singular pay strategy vs. variable pay for different groups
- Geographical location: develop variable pay based on location
This is an excellent way to start building a compensation strategy. With these fundamentals in place, you can design a sustainable and adaptable plan for long-term success.
- Start talking about money
The last – and often most challenging – part is to convey the strategy to employees and candidates. Having standard communication guidelines for discussing compensation in the company is ideal.
Managers will be responsible for conveying and implementing the plan. Train all managers to communicate effectively, accurately, and fairly. These initial conversations will set the tone, so it is vital to get it right. Make time to address questions and concerns – in private, if necessary.
Finally, keep talking about money. Not just when there is a change, but regularly. Provide employees access to information like salary bands, rewards, and promotion criteria, and hold open conversations. When employees are able to speak freely, they are also able to raise issues that concern them.
Developing a Culture of Pay Equity
Pay transparency and equity are often conflated, but they are two distinct terms. Pay equity refers to the process of eliminating pay disparities by compensating people equally for their work of equal value. But does being transparent about pay really lead to equitable compensation? Does it close the gender wage gap?
Well, research makes a strong argument that pay transparency does indeed promote pay equity. In fact, PayScale found that transparency closes the gender wage gap completely. Women who agreed that their organizations were transparent about pay earn USD 1 – USD 1.01 on average for every USD 1 a man makes.
In a more recent study, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that pay transparency measures could help address the gender pay gap and reduce broader gender inequalities in the labor market. When employees are equipped with information, they can negotiate and challenge pay-based discrimination.
Regardless of how individuals and organizations feel about it, pay transparency is no longer a matter of debate. As the government adopts a proactive stance, organizations will need to mobilize and build a culture of trust, transparency, and equity in the upcoming years.
As more states push for pay transparency, it will become increasingly commonplace to not only share salary ranges in ads but have a transparent internal policy, as well. However, pay transparency also holds a lot of promise for organizations in states where it is not mandated by law to disclose salary information. It helps you stand out as an employer of choice, while reducing the cost per hire. For employees, pay transparency has a positive impact on employees’ perceptions of trust, fairness, and job satisfaction, and has been found to boost individual task performance.
In order to prevent pay transparency from becoming a moving target, companies need to move beyond simply providing access to pay information and take a more holistic approach to reward-related human resource practices, ensuring that managers and employees understand the logic underlying pay and performance management processes, and that these processes operate in sync to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives.
Joveo works with companies of all sizes and across industries globally. Request a demo today and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see how Joveo can help you get the most out of your recruitment advertising.