One key job ad element that’s often overlooked or ignored is the salary or salary range, but the data shows this is something that’s incredibly important to candidates. In fact, job ads on SEEK that display salary receive on average 42% more applications than job ads that don’t.
Research also shows 62% of candidates find it frustrating when salary isn’t included in a job ad, more than 25% won’t apply without a visible salary, and 69% say they would be more likely to apply for a role that has a salary range listed. SEEK’s Laws Of Attraction also reveals that salary is one of the top three drivers of attraction to a role, along with work-life balance and working environment, across all industries.
So as such an important factor, it’s worth asking: how much is it costing you to leave out salaries from your job ads?
The benefits of including salary in your job ads
Setting expectations early on
A great job ad doesn’t just attract talent – it attracts the right talent. As recruitment consultant Urvish Kahar explains, one of the main benefits to including a salary in a job description is that you can set a necessary expectation early on.
“In most circumstances, it’s a good idea to include salaries so that candidates know what the company is expecting to pay them,” he says. “[That way], if their expectations are too high, they will not consider those opportunities.” And, this bodes particularly well for roles offering a salary higher than the market average. Job ads on SEEK that include a salary and are offering more than the market average, receive up to 94% more applications than job ads that don’t show a salary.
Elise Maki, recruitment lead for Orchard HRO, says listing salary helps candidates make an “informed decision” before applying, and can also significantly lessen the negative impacts on both candidates and companies.
“If a salary isn’t shown and the candidate applies for the job and is identified as a good fit, the company will feel excited by the candidate,” she says. “Then after a screen, it may be discovered their salary is above budget and they cannot proceed.
“The candidate could feel their time has been wasted and may then have a negative impression of that company. Likewise, the company has invested time and resources on a candidate that they like but can’t afford. The likely result of this is the company needs to go back out to market to find new candidates who are ‘in budget’, thus extending the time to fill.”
Differentiating yourself from the market
In a competitve job market, being able to stand out from other companies is essential. While it’s not always possible to compete on salary, that doesn’t mean you should forgo mentioning it. Coupled with advertising the other benefits you can offer within the role, it can still be hugely beneficial.
“Including other benefits that aren’t remuneration-based can differentiate one job from the other,” Maki says. “For example, if the base salary is the same for two opportunities but Company A has added benefits such as a bonus or car allowance, there would likely be more applicants to Company A.” Kahar echoes this sentiment, explaining that it’s more beneficial to list a salary if it’s accompanied by other incentives and job descriptors.
“Undoubtedly, for most candidates, money and salary are essential motivators,” he says. “However, I truly believe that the work environment and culture are incredibly important for candidates, and that information should be provided in job advertisements as well.”
How to include salaries in your job ads
When it comes to listing a salary in a job ad, it can be tricky to navigate whether it’s best to provide a range, a fixed budget, or even display salary bands. Maki says this decision really depends on the role and the company.
“Some companies may prefer to advertise a range so they can assess through the recruitment process what salary best fits the candidate’s skill level,” she says. “Other companies may have a fixed salary.”
Whatever route you go with, Maki says the most important thing is being completely open and transparent, as early on as you can.
“The more information companies can give candidates at the beginning, the more efficient the recruitment process will be,” she says.
And, in a job market that’s highly competitive for companies and recruiters wanting to find the best talent, creating a streamlined and positive experience for candidates can make all the difference.
- SEEK ANZ job ad data, Jan-Jun 2023
- Independent research conducted by Nature of behalf of SEEK, interviewing 4800 Australians annually. Published October 2023.