Dear recruiters, HR professionals and bosses - we need to talk. I've been going through all the jobs on the tbd* job board. And more than three quarters of the jobs don't disclose salaries. Only 24% of the advertisements state how much money one would earn. At Talents4Good and Gesine's Jobtipps it doesn't look any different.
Instead of stating a salary, they fall back on phrases like "salary at a competitive NGO level", "reasonable payment" or "fair remuneration". If it's so competitive, fair and adequate, why is pay a secret?
We need to finally change this. It sucks, it takes time, and it cements existing inequities in our society.
Here are eight reasons why salaries in job postings must finally be made transparent:
1. Transparent salary information is fairer. If the salary is not stated, it is usually negotiable. But salary negotiations are always unfair. There is plenty of evidence of this. Women, people with disabilities, people of color - they are all statistically paid less. Salary information in job advertisements can ensure that people are less disadvantaged.
2. Transparent salaries encourage more applications. A study in the UK found that more than twice as many good people apply when salaries are disclosed. I no longer apply for jobs without salary information, nor do I share such jobs in my networks.
3. Transparent salaries save time. How many times has it happened that you have had the perfect candidate who ends up dropping out because the salary wasn't right? Hiring people costs time and money. With transparent salaries, you reduce the likelihood that candidates won't take the job at the end of the process because the money isn't right.
4. Transparent salaries show respect for the candidates' time. See point above. No one wants to waste their time on an application if the salary is not right at the end.
5. Transparent salaries create trust. Trust is an important basis for further cooperation.
6. Transparent salaries encourage more diverse applications. Advertisements often include the phrase "We value diversity in our team." If this is really important, transparent salaries are an important step in the right direction. People with experience of discrimination have various reasons for not asking about salaries - and, in case of doubt, do not apply.
7. A budget is made beforehand for every job advertisement. Why not give a salary range then?
8. Be the change you want to see in the world: We as a civil society have a special responsibility to implement our demands for a better world in ourselves as well. How can we fight for a just world, but at the same time allow so much injustice in tenders? There really isn't a single good reason not to disclose salaries. If you do think you have a good reason, see if it's listed here.
What can you do now?
You're convinced and want to help bring more transparency to salaries? Great. Here's how you can help:
As an employee:
→ Share this article with your HR team and/or your boss.
As a decision maker in an organization:
→ Join in and publish the salaries. At the end of this article is a list of organizations that make their salaries public in job postings.
As a recruiter:
→ Advocate for transparent salaries by sharing this article with clients and asking them to disclose their salary information.
The UK and the US are way ahead of us. For example, the European Campaigning Forum recently decided to only publish jobs where salaries are disclosed. The battle for talent is fierce. Most organizations have big problems filling their positions in the first place. If you want to attract great candidates to your organization, publish salaries. Take a small step to make the impact sector a little more fair and equitable.
*Organizations where I found salary information in postings on tbd* are:
ThinkTank for Sustainability and Transparency International.
If you work in an organization that publishes salaries, feel free to write tbd* and they'll add you to the list: firstname.lastname@example.org