Should I include salary in my job description

    If the goal is to hire the best talent, should you disclose the salary in a job description?

    Why you should disclose salary on a job description

    You won't waste time with candidates that you can't afford

    It's never a good idea to spend 4 hours with a candidate, only to discover they want 2x what you can pay. It's a waste of your time and theirs. If you are upfront on the salary expectations, you won't end up seeing unaffordable talent

    Attracts candidates

    Linkedin data does suggest that salary is an important (not the most important) consideration when changing jobs. Some candidates will consider salary more important than others. If you have an attractive salary package, why not shout about it!

    Candidates want to see it

    Linkedin research suggests that 89% of people believe that the salary range is helpful when deciding to apply. In fact, 91% of people suggested that seeing the salary range impacts their decision to apply for the job


    It establishes a culture of transparency and openness

    Michelle Cheng, Talent Director of Notion Capital explainsA company that embraces pay transparency conveys so much more than just the salary itself. It's the subtext in treating everyone like an adult and establishing a culture of openness. A company that's happy to publish its salaries is more likely to compensate its people fairly, manage performance consistently and communicate on other matters clearly. Increasingly, top candidates are looking for companies that align with their personal values, so it's no surprise they're looking for companies that prize transparency.

    It's on the internet anyway

    Glassdoor and various other websites (eg have anonymised databases of salary levels. So candidates can just see for themselves anyway.


    Why you shouldn't disclose salary on a job description

    The salary is only a small part of the benefits package

    We put more importance on data that is in front of us (Attentional Bias). By providing the salary, you are subconsciously making the salary the most important part of your role when in reality, the benefits may lie elsewhere. Maybe you have rapid progression, perhaps your training is the best in the industry. Maybe your company is the fastest growing and so will have better opportunities. Perhaps you have numerous other benefits including equity options, or medical insurance.

    It puts money ahead of match

    It encourages candidates to think about the money as opposed to how well-suited they are to the opportunity. A study from Linkedin found that candidates cared more about career advancement, new challenges, and how well-aligned the job is with their interests. Candidates are more likely to be flexible with compensation with companies that they want to work for but by outlining a salary up-front it may stop you from even having at conversation.

    It may upset current employees

    Employees may compare their salaries vs those on offer for other positions and use these data points as bargaining chips. It's rarely advised to try and have a rational discussion about why one role has a salary of X and another has a salary of Y. By trying to be transparent with salary processes you may unknowingly create dissatisfaction.

    The candidate will automatically assume the top of the range

    If you say Circa $80k, or $70 - $80k, then the candidate will be expecting $80k. This may have not been your intention but it could damage the end of a process.

    You will have an increase in the number of underqualified applicants

    If you are paying $80k, you may see an increase in applicants for whom $80k would be a step up. It doesn't take much time to apply for a job these days so why not!

    You don't have the option of stretching your budget for A players

    Let's say you have an ideal candidate that goes through the process. You love them, but it turns out they want 20% higher than your initial budget. You may decide that because of the role's importance, paying up may be worth it. If you put the salary on the job in the first place, that person may never have applied and then you wouldn't have had the option for increasing the salary for that A-Player



    What do we think about disclosing salary?

    From our experience, putting salary bands on a JD when they are uncompetitive reduces applicants. Putting salary bands on JD's when they are competitive increases both relevant and irrelevant applicants.

    If the goal is to hire the best people, we try to maximise the number of applicants which means we do both.

    When we don't outline the salary on a job description, we will discuss salaries at the beginning of an interview process.