How to Navigate Pay Transparency in the Workplace

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According to a recent report , 61% of people are more likely to apply for a job with the salary listed in the job postings. In addition, 27% of people think that employers should put the salary in the job description. 

With the Great Resignation happening, many employers are grasping ways to attract candidates to job boards and retain new employees. Statistics suggest that increasing the pay transparency at your company might be one way to do it. 

Keep reading to discover how pay transparency could elevate your employer branding, attract new employees, and retain current ones. 

The Rise of Pay Transparency

With many people looking for new job opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are now demanding higher salaries. However, some job seekers have found it challenging to find the right job when they don’t know how much the job they’re applying for pays. 

This is why some states are taking matters into their own hands and requiring some states to put the salary band in the job description. Some states require interviewers to disclose this information during the interview process instead of in the job post. 

However, with diversity at the center of the conversation, many are using pay transparency to argue that it would help diversity initiatives and close any pay gaps. 

Tanya Jansen, the co-founder of beqom, said that “When you’re a small company, it’s easier to just have those one-off discussions and do what you need to do to attract people to the company. But if you don’t have that part of it automated [as you grow], you’re just going to have bias come out of it one way or another.”

Why It’s Important

Pay transparency is essential to help reduce bias and close pay gaps, but it’s also important for retention.

“Transparency is probably one of the number one reasons why employees leave a company,” Jansen said. “They don’t feel that they’re being paid fairly because they don’t understand. So it’s this problem that never goes away, and it continues to be something that’s solved with having the right processes and right technology in place.”

In addition to retaining employees, incorporating pay transparency into your company will also let you control the narrative and mold your employer branding. Thanks to Glassdoor and PayScale, there are many ways employees can share salary and determine if they’re being underpaid or not. 

Employees always want more information on their salary, and many candidates will seek out these sites for salary information during their job search before applying to your company on job posting sites

If you don’t control the narrative, your employees will, and it likely won’t be an entirely truthful story simply because employees may not fully understand your pay structure. 

Include Salary Bands in Job Posting

So how do you take hold of the narrative and incorporate pay transparency at your company? It starts with the hiring process

As employees start demanding more, Jansen thinks that it will become more normalized to put the salary in the job description. However, it might be more difficult the higher you go up in the organizational hierarchy. For companies that don’t post the salary in the job posting, she suspects candidates will quickly bring it up in interviews.

You can start by defining salary bands for specific positions at your company before you post jobs on different job sites. It would be best to communicate that information to the right candidates. 

“Making sure that your job positions have a structured approach with how you define the position and how you link that to a pay grade and benchmark data. By taking the right steps upfront, not only are you being transparent to the people that you’re trying to hire, but you’re also ensuring that you don’t have any issues down the road with pay gaps that might occur because of unintended bias,” Jansen said.

Posting the salary bands in the job ad can be a great way to draw people into applying for your position. While some companies argue that it will also drive away qualified candidates, it could still save you time. That way, you don’t fall in love with a perfect job candidate only to have them discover that the job doesn’t meet their salary expectations. 

Then you still have to use your time and resources to find another qualified candidate, when you could’ve found the perfect one by including the salary band. 

Train HR Staff

You should also ensure that your HR team, including recruiters and hiring managers, know how to negotiate salaries. They should also understand how vital pay equity is and the best compensation practices to follow. 

They should also be aware that they should not ask the candidate what their compensation at their previous job was. Many states are now making it illegal for interviewers to ask that question. 

In addition to that, your HR staff should learn how to conduct pay audits to figure out if current employees are being paid fairly and equally. Doing this can help you catch gaps in pay before your employees do.

Create a Company Culture Around Pay Transparency

While the interview is important to drawing in candidates, you have to make sure you retain them. That’s why it’s crucial to create a culture surrounding pay transparency. 

However, that’s not the case at some companies. One survey  found that 55% of employees felt pressured by their employer not to talk about the salary. But employees will always talk about their salary, whether employers want them to or not.

“Make sure that employees really understand that they’re comparing the same thing. Because if not, employees will get this feeling that someone always has more that than [they] do. And they start taking it personally, and then that impacts their performance on the job, their behavior on the job, and then they eventually they’ll leave and go someplace else,” says Jansen.

“Be very transparent about what they’re getting and why, and if you can go down the road to include benchmarks for the position related directly to the employee, that’s the best you can do.”

Learn More About Attracting Qualified Candidates to Your Job Postings

This trend towards pay transparency in the job posting and company culture is only growing, and employers will have to learn how to get on board or risk losing out on top talent. 

Introducing salary transparency will require some training and some organizational change, but it is possible. 

If you need help finding talent, contact us at We have talented recruiters and an advanced talent subscription to send qualified candidates right to your inbox. 


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By Alyssa Harmon