4 In 5 Workers Say They’re Unlikely To Apply For A Job Without Salary Range

Dive Brief:

  • The trend of workers demanding salary transparency shows no signs of slowing down. According to a recent survey from ResumeLab, 80% of respondents said they likely wouldn’t apply for a job if salary range information was lacking, 77% said it should be illegal to not include a salary in job postings and 80% said employers should always explain how pay is determined.
  • Workers continue to mistrust employers’ reasoning for not disclosing salary information; 79% of respondents said omitting salary information was likely due to employers not wanting current employees to know they were underpaid.
  • Responses varied slightly by demographic groups. For example, 89% of respondents with master’s degrees agreed employers should disclose salary information, while only 66% of respondents without college degrees agreed.

Dive Insight:

As recently as last September, one-third of employers viewed pay transparency as something their company was not ready for. But talent acquisition pros still balking at the trend may soon find themselves left in the dust, with employees increasingly saying they will not entertain job descriptions that withhold salary information.

Many employers haven’t had a choice, as pay transparency laws continue to spread across the nation. California expanded its pay transparency law Jan. 1, while Rhode Island and Washington also enacted laws. In total, that makes eight states (in addition to a number of localities) with pay transparency laws — although some, like Nevada and Rhode Island, require disclosure only after certain criteria are met.

For employers, there are some obvious — and not-so-obvious — benefits to pay transparency. Those that embrace the practice may find themselves moving more quickly in the direction of pay parity, for example, which is a prime DEI goal for many companies. Salary ranges and policies can help make pay parity a reality for companies, experts previously told HR Dive.

Among its lesser-known benefits, research indicates including pay ranges in job postings can reduce recruiting costs, as applicants are more likely to pay attention to such postings — perhaps reiterating ResumeLab’s findings.

But salary transparency has certain drawbacks as well. An October panel on the topic hosted by Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations noted that transparency can sometimes increase worker envy and cause employers to compress pay and focus instead on employee benefits.

A November survey by ResumeBuilder also found that given pay transparency, most workers would demand the top of the salary range — an amount typically reserved for those with the broadest skill sets and top experience. More than half of respondents also said they feared it would be “problematic” to know their co-workers’ salaries.


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