During the past two years, power over the labor market has significantly shifted toward workers. Skilled employees, particularly those in tech, have experienced increased pay, more flexibility, better benefits and more choice in the job market then perhaps ever before.
But an aspect of job hunting that's remained relatively unchanged is salary transparency. Being left in the dark about how much a job will pay continues to be a top frustration of jobseekers and employees trying to negotiate a better salary.
In response to this frustration, New York City recently passed a new law that requires all companies with at least four employees to disclose how much they will pay an employee.
Such legislation and conversations about salary transparency can encourage more people to talk about an issue that's gone unspoken for so long. Job hunters spend hours revamping their resumes, typing cover letters, and completing extensive applications, and to do so only to find out a role is paying far under your earning expectations is a major bummer.
According to a study of 2,000 US workers by Adzuna, 54% of job applicants declined a job offer after learning about the position's salary. The same study says that 33% of job applicants would not attend an interview before knowing how much the job would pay.
So, why do companies keep such vital information to themselves? And how can they be more honest with applicants about their compensational intentions?
According to Paul Lewis, Adzuna's chief customer officer, companies wait until the last minute to disclose an open position's salary because they think it will result in more applications.
But Lewis says this way of thinking is not necessarily accurate. An influx of applicants who will eventually decline the offer leads to more work for recruiters and hiring managers. Plus, data suggests that job ads with a salary range receive six times more applications than ads without a salary range.
"Employers need to accept that jobseekers are ultimately going to find out about their salaries and delaying the news until the end is not going to make jobseekers, who usually have already made up their mind about their salary expectations, reverse their decision," Lewis tells ZDNET.
According to Lewis, most current practices around keeping salary expectations under wraps give companies a financial advantage over applicants. He says that companies want to maintain flexibility over how much they pay a candidate based on their location, seniority, and ability to negotiate their wages.
But those advantages are slowly being eroded by workers demanding more equality and their propensity to find another opportunity, should it arise. "Financially speaking, this can be an advantage for the employer. But we're living in a world where equality and fairness matter, and employee experience has become companies' priority," Lewis says.
Read the full report here