Why Show The Salary?

There are whole heap of reasons you should #ShowTheSalary when you recruit and we share some of them below.

1. You’ll stop perpetuating pay gaps and ensure everyone can access a fair wage

Often, when salaries are hidden, they are based on current salary. That means that those who are currently under-paid for their work stay that way. There is ample evidence that this is a discriminatory process.

For example, when asking current/previous salaries was banned, pay increased for Black candidates by 13% and for women by 8%. We also know that substantial pay gaps exist for other groups, such as candidates with disabilities and the LGBTQIA+ community, meaning that asking current salary discriminates against these groups too.

2. You’ll make it a fairer process

There’s ample evidence that salary negotiation is not a fair process. For example, negotiation behaviours are perceived very differently depending on if it’s a man or a woman doing the negotiating. And Black candidates are often discriminated against and secure far lower salaries than their white counterparts. We’ve also heard direct stories from working class and LGBTQIA+ candidates that they have been discriminated against during the negotiation process.

So by hiding the salary, and relying on negotiation, you’re immediately putting these candidates at a disadvantage.

3. You’ll get more applicants

Tons of research has shown that you’ll get MORE applicants by showing the salary on your job ad. With CharityJob, the UK charity sector’s biggest jobs board, recently sharing you’ll likely get twice the number of applicants if you show the salary. And JobSite shared they see a 25-35% drop in candidates when salaries are hidden.

And a whole lot of those extra applications are likely going to come from those groups who are discriminated against when salaries are hidden.

4. You’ll show you respect and value candidate’s time

Applying for jobs is stressful and time consuming. Finding out, during the process, that the salary on offer isn’t appropriate for you makes it all that much worse. If you value and respect candidate’s time, then stop wasting it.

5. You’ll be living, not just writing about, your values

If you have brand values/claim to have a culture built on “fairness, openness, inclusion, transparency, respect” etc. then live those values and #ShowTheSalary when you recruit. There is nothing fair, open or transparent about salary secrecy and we believe it shows a lack of respect while working directly against inclusion.

6. You’ll be letting staff see for themselves if they’re being paid fairly or not.

We know from research by the Fawcett Society that the majority of women in the UK either don’t know what their male colleagues earn or believe they are earning less than men doing the same job. This is undoubtedly true for other groups for whom pay gaps exist too.

By showing the salary, they’re able to see for themselves if their pay is fair compared to others doing similar work.

7. You’ll be joining a growing movement looking to make the sector a fairer and more equitable place

Over 200 organisations how now signed our pledge to always #ShowTheSalary when they recruit, CharityJob has now made it mandatory, and more are joining every day.

You can see the current list of charities here, and the sector partners (including recruitment agencies, membership bodies, job boards and more) here. And you can join them and sign our pledge by completing this form.

There’s a growing expectation from candidates that organisations will #ShowTheSalary, do you want to get left behind?

8. Why wouldn’t you?

Here are some of the reasons we’ve been given by orgs who don’t #ShowTheSalary, and our responses to them…

“We have internal pay disparity and don’t want staff seeing other’s salaries”

We’d suggest dealing with the pay disparity rather than adding to it.

“We’re going to Show the Salary but not until we’ve done some internal work”

You really mean you have internal pay disparity, don’t you? So see above, and make it a priority. An actual priority, not something mentioned in a quarterly report.

“COVID has led to new challenges related to salary disclosure”

We don’t know what this one means. Oh, wait, it means absolutely nothing.

“We don’t want to put off higher earners who we’d pay above market rate for”

Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about when we say white men end up getting paid more for the same job. So stop doing it.

“We’re not convinced by the evidence”

Well, unlike you we value the voices of the people impacted by salary secrecy. We also value those charities working tirelessly to undo the work of recruiters who hide salaries – charities like Young Women’s Trust, Equality Trust and Fawcett Society (all of which have signed our pledge). And we actually read through all the evidence linked above and on other sites.

“Candidates can call us any time to find out the salary”

Well, firstly, if you’ll tell anyone what it is, then why not list it? Secondly, this just doesn’t work in practice. You hold all the power and dozens of candidates have told us they don’t feel comfortable approaching recruiters to ask for the salary. You can read a few of their stories here.

“The low pay will put people off”

Then pay a fair wage. They’ll be put off once they find out the salary anyway.

“The high pay will put people off”

You’ve benchmarked the role? Then it’s a fair salary, not a high one. And if you genuinely believe the pay will put people off, then maybe your job description / person specification isn’t clear enough on skills and experience needed. If you’re coupling a higher-level salary with a request for someone’s current salary then, yes, some people might not apply because, on paper, they won’t look like the right fit. But if your JD is right, you don’t ask for salary history then we don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about – remember, ads with salaries get around twice as many applicants.

“What about the media? We don’t want them to see our salaries”

If you listened to the media then none of your staff would be paid, you wouldn’t work with any agencies, you wouldn’t ever ask anyone for a donation in any context… It’s not a helpful lens to look at anything through. Plus, the great news is that plenty of charities are advertising their salaries, and standing over what their people are worth – that’s quite nice isn’t it. So, join them and reframe the narrative. Even Martin Lewis is doing it.

“The role’s open to different locations/we might be flexible with location”

If, like some, your location varying means you realistically have to be within x miles of Head Office then just #ShowTheSalary. If candidates could potentially work from different countries then simply list some indicative benchmarked salaries (this is often Head Office and 1-3 hubs or key locations). This shows there’s a fixed scale for the role (it’s not “competitive” and wholly negotiable), you’ll cover the vast majority of job-seekers with your key locations, and you can include a statement making it clear that salaries will be benchmarked based on local context so it’s clear from the start.

“We had to recruit urgently and didn’t have time to benchmark”

So you recruited people without knowing what you’d pay them or how they’d fit into your existing team structures? And this urgent need has repeated numerous times? You need to get better at planning.

And if you’re still not convinced, here’s what our good friends at The Equality Trust have to say:

“The Equality Trust is proud to support this campaign for all organisations to Show the Salary. We believe that pay transparency is vital for accountability and a key component in the fight against pay discrimination in all forms. We are looking forward to working with Show the Salary to help tackle income inequality.”

The Equality Trust

Want to know more? There’s more on our resources page – we’re currently updating it so keep checking back. And you can follow us on Twitter.

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