I was talking with a business professional recently who was lamenting his company’s inability to hire and retain quality talent. People come in and are often highly touted, he said, but they either flame out or leave far sooner than what is good for the business.
I offered to look at the company’s job postings to see if I could tell what was going on, and it took me all of two seconds to spot one key problem.
“Pay range unavailable.”
The Great Resignation — or, more aptly stated, The Great Reshuffling — has served up a variety of lessons for business leaders, many of which are too frequently being missed. Perhaps the most important big-picture item is that workers are extremely tired of having no work/life balance and are willing to bolt for places that provide them better conditions, pay and benefits.
- Knowing that, why does a casual glance through the LinkedIn job boards for marketing positions show that the overwhelming majority of companies seeking rock-star talent still hide what is a vital part of the job to candidates?
Listen, after all this time in the field, I as a marketer can do just about anything you need me to do in the field, and I’ve got the data to show that what I do works. All I ask in return is to be fairly compensated for it based on independent data that shows my value in the area. Not providing even a broad salary range sends the message right away that you as a company are far from transparent. With the shift in power from employer to even modestly talented employees, you don’t want to be sending that message. Bottom-of-the-barrel talent might let it slide, but the top talent doesn’t want to even consider a company that is putting frosted glass on what is essentially the front door to its company — the job posting.
People searching for jobs are often as busy as those looking to fill them. The main purpose of business communication — which is what a job posting is — is to be efficient and effective. Not providing a salary range for the job you’re looking to hire is anything but efficient and effective. You’re asking candidates to not only take the time to apply (which is often unnecessarily arduous — a topic for another day) but proceed through interviews for a job that might not even cover the bills.
What then? You’ve not only wasted your time in interviewing someone and perhaps generating excitement about the possibilities at your company, but you’ve wasted your applicants’ time that could be better served finding what works for both the individual and the company. Simply put, you’re being arrogant and evasive by not posting a salary range. You’re setting up your company as a place anyone would want to work at any price, and I’m sorry, there’s no such job. So when you do have a job that would fit into a candidates’ salary needs, they’re going to pass it by because you’ve sent such a horrible message about what working for you is like.
What’s happening now as The Great Reshuffling rolls on is that some employers have realized “Pay Range Unavailable” is counterproductive and, frankly, dumb and are becoming more forthright with what they’re offering in pay and benefits. Top talent is flocking to them. Evasive, secretive employers are getting the leftovers, and it shows, not only in their inability to retain good workers but their inability to find them in the first place.
The fact that these employers are mystified as to what’s going on and what’s wrong with their recruiting efforts is an even bigger red flag. This isn’t rocket science, folks. The Great Reshuffling shifted the balance of power such that employees expect to be treated less paternalistically by Father Employer and more as colleagues on board the same bus in transit to a mutually agreed-upon destination.
So before you even think of posting a job, ask yourself this question: Why would I hide what I’m paying? If it’s because you pay below industry standard for that job, shame on you. Be better and don’t seek a unicorn when what you’re offering is more in line with hiring a donkey. If it’s because you have a mindset that anyone would die to work for you and shouldn’t even be asking about money, shame on you. People work to provide a quality of life for themselves and, if they’ve got ’em, their family. If you don’t want your competition to know what you’re paying so they don’t Price-Is-Right you and take your most desired talent, cool. Then put in your job description that the pay range will be shared immediately with all those whom you pre-qualify for interviews.
And if you’ve got another reason not listed here, please, feel free to share it with me. I’m interested in hearing if there’s a justifiable, logical explanation for this.
John Agliata is a marketing professional with more than 30 years of communications experience. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 226-5852.
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