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78% of jobseekers won’t apply if no salary shown in job ad

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Salary secrecy culture is detrimental to hiring

New research commissioned by Reed.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading jobs and careers sites, has revealed that that 78% of jobseekers are less likely to apply for a job vacancy that does not display a salary.

Amid labour shortages and a cost of living crisis, a culture of salary secrecy is limiting hiring managers’ ability to secure the best talent. The research revealed that 22% of jobseekers will only apply for jobs with a listed salary, with recruiters admitting that they still either don’t include the salary, or only sometimes include it, on nearly half of all job ads.

Money talks, but employers remain silent

With more than 42% of companies currently finding it more difficult than usual to generate applications, the research indicates that there is a clear need for businesses to update their salary transparency protocols.

With jobseekers stating that salary is the number one reason to apply for a job, almost two-thirds (62%) of hiring managers believe a lack of salary transparency on job ads has no negative impact on applications, and less than half (46%) of employers have a salary transparency policy. There seems to be a disconnect between hirers and candidates despite data from Reed.co.uk showing that ads that display salaries receive 27% more applications than those that don’t.

Furthermore, almost half (48%) of all jobseekers say the absence of a salary on a job advert negatively impacts their perception of the hiring company with a quarter (26%) reporting that the word “competitive” in a salary description is likely to put them off applying for the role.

Transparency enables greater diversity

Improving salary transparency could contribute towards solving the nation’s hiring challenges, as well as widening the candidate pool for employers.

A high proportion of hiring managers found that providing salary details delivered more applications (42%), greater relevancy of applications (38%), and saved time in the recruitment process (35%).

More than a quarter (27%) also said showing salary generated more applications from diverse candidates. This is supported by data from the study which found that women (81%), disabled (81%), LGBTQ+ (81%), and black people (87%) were much less likely to apply for a role without a salary being shown, compared to the national average (78%).

Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk made comment: “You wouldn’t shop in a supermarket that doesn’t list its prices, so why should we expect people to sift through job ads that don’t advertise salary? From our research, it’s clear that jobseekers want to apply for roles at businesses that are open about what they pay.”

“Not only will [revealing pay] generate more applications, you’ll likely improve relevancy and save time in the process. You’ll also be able to attract from a wider talent pool and avoid any negative impact to your employer brand. Businesses need to be more open to salary transparency or risk losing out on the best candidates.”

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