Your Job Post Might Be Missing the Most Important Piece

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Updated May 7, 2024 | Ben Hastil

On Jobs That Help, about 25% (in 2021; 34% as of 2022 and 46% as of 2023) of the employment opportunities we list include details on the wage or salary that the opportunity offers (either a specific amount or a range). Because of compelling research about the benefits of disclosing salary information, and the results of our own analysis of job posts and their performance, both of which are detailed below, we encourage all employers to include salary details on their job posts.

As noted by Vu Le in his well-known blog on the nonprofit sector, Nonprofit AF, disclosing salary information:

Reduces gender and racial wage gaps

Listing a specific salary or range reduces the need to negotiate pay, which research shows women and people of color are penalized for pursuing. As Laura J. Kray wrote in The Washington Post, “Researchers have repeatedly documented that people react more unfavorably to women who ask for more money, compared with men who do. A woman who negotiates is seen as especially demanding and therefore a less-than-ideal new colleague. In a series of controlled experiments in the 1990s, a Rutgers University study found that women risk being passed over for hire if they engage in self-promotion in job interviews, defying expectations of ‘feminine modesty.’ More than a decade later, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon researchers found that the effect persisted, with women facing backlash when behaving assertively in negotiations.”

Salary negotiation also perpetuates a racial wage gap. For instance, Valerie Bolden-Barrett and Katie Clarey wrote in HR Dive that studies find that “black job seekers are expected to negotiate less than their white counterparts,” and when defying those expectations, are still given lower starting salaries as a result of the hiring team becoming more resistant to giving better salaries to black job seekers than white ones.

The research is so clear that Susan Sturm, Professor of Law and Social Responsibility at Columbia Law School writes that “it is now well understood that negotiations can operate as powerful engines of inequality at work. Recent work shows that women and people of color frequently operate at a disadvantage in the negotiation process and fare worse in the results.”

Saves time, energy, and effort

As Vu Le writes in Nonprofit AF, providing salary details on job posts saves time, energy, and effort for both the hiring team and candidate. This is because it reduces the likelihood of candidates applying who -after the hiring team and candidate go through the application review, interview, and offer process- will end-up declining the offer due to a lower than expected salary, forcing the hiring team and candidate to start the hiring and job searching process over from the beginning.

Starts a relationship with transparency and shared expectations

When salary details are disclosed in the listing, it promotes transparency, reduces or even eliminates the stress of salary negotiation, and prevents a situation where a new hire joins the team feeling disappointment or resentment due to accepting an offer that was lower than expected, which Vu Le also points out in Nonprofit AF. As one job seeker who recently used Jobs That Help to find their next job shared with us, “salary information definitely made a job more appealing for me, because I didn’t have to worry about the negotiating piece.”

…and these aren’t the only reasons that Vu Le lists, either!

Correlates with improved performance of job posts

We also recently did some research of our own, comparing the performance of job posts on our Job Listings that include salary details, as compared to those that don’t, and found meaningful differences in performance.

We analyzed the performance of all 600+ job posts published between January 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021 on Jobs That Help to see how job posts that included wage or salary details (either a specific amount or a range) performed as compared to those job posts that didn’t include any wage or salary details.

We found that job posts that included wage or salary details saw, on average, the following improved performance:

  • 12% increase in clicks to apply
  • 29% increase in page views
  • 59% increase in entrances*
The impact of disclosing salary details on job posts.

*Entrances are the number of times visitors entered the site directly to the job post, indicative of how much the job post is being shared and then visited directly by job seekers.

More data! See our post on Our Most Popular Jobs of 2022 & More for performance data on job posts that included wage or salary details or included a mention of benefits in 2022 and Our Most Popular Jobs of 2023 & More for performance data on such job posts in 2023.

So, including the wage or salary details on your job post may not only reduce the gender and racial wage gaps, save time and energy for your hiring team (and candidates), and help start fulfilling employer-employee relationships, but it also may help increase the effectiveness of your job posts and recruitment of skilled candidates!

If your organization doesn’t list wage and salary details on your job posts already, starting to do so may be a simple change, or may be a complex one. Vu Le suggests referencing a wage and salary survey for the area, creating a uniform set of rules for determining salaries and raises, analyzing wage gaps, and more. We hope that our blog post on Figuring Out Nonprofit Compensation is useful for organizations considering this change, as well as the Wisconsin Nonprofit Compensation & Benefits Survey conducted by the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Milwaukee in 2021.

What has your experience been with including or omitting salary information on job posts? We would welcome learning about your experiences, and if we can support your organization in furthering salary transparency or provide any other assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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