Three reasons to start posting salary ranges

Posted In: Blog

We are talking about the words …“Salary: Depends on Experience or Pay Commensurate with Experience.”

I wanted to know the history of when and why employers stopped posting salary ranges. What I found is that 15 years ago when the economy was booming and unemployment rates were low (think 2000’s) employers posted salary ranges with job openings– they had to if they wanted people to apply! Fast-forward a few years to a changing economy (2008-2009) when employers began taking every measure to save money and cut employees’ salaries. As employers laid people off, the unemployment rate shot up. This created a situation where employers were inundated with high-quality applicants. So what happened? From my research — recruiters realized they did not have to commit themselves to any type of salary for these new employees and they started using the phrase “depends on experience” to cast a wide net and see what types/levels of candidates would apply. The trend was set and pretty soon applicants became comfortable applying for jobs without knowing the pay. With hundred of applicants per job, employers were confident knowing only those that were SO passionate about their organization would apply regardless of the salary. I have to admit that, as a recruiter in a beautiful mountain community, I held those same expectations for the people we were hiring. But times are changing.

I am now a firm believer in posting salary ranges to attract the best candidates.

Consider this fact. Unemployment rates in Colorado are the third lowest in the nation, 2.9% as reported by the US Department of Labor in March 2016. What does this mean for employers looking to hire? It means hiring is going to get harder and companies will need to start competing for the best employees. The focus needs to be on attracting passive candidates; candidates that are already happily employed and may contemplate leaving their job for another great opportunity. But how can these passive candidates consider an opportunity without knowing the pay? Let’s face it; salary is a big part of the package. The trend now is called Salary Transparency. Do you still need more convincing?

Here are three crucial reasons for employers to start advertising salary rages with job openings:

1. Increase number of qualified applicants: Applying for a job today takes a lot of time and effort. Recruiters have high expectations and look for tailored resumes, engaging cover letters, updated LinkedIn profiles, follow–up, networking (the list goes on)….all while the applicant holds down a full-time job. It can be very discouraging to spend time and energy applying for a position only to discover that the compensation offered is less than expected. Put yourself in the applicant’s shoes. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the salary range?

 The bottom line — if you want to attract the most qualified applicants post your salary ranges.

2. Join the 21st Century: The Internet, social media, smart phones, they have all made us accustomed to having all of the info at our fingertips. With sites like the Glass Door, applicants can go online and see salary information that current / past employees post anonymously anyway. So why not make the process easy plus everyone wants to work for an organization that values transparency so why not show them up front.

 Our advice — if you want to attract the next generation share your salary ranges. 

3. Internal pay issues: Yes, posting your salary ranges may expose some internal equity issues. But is that so bad? With the EEOC and State governments strongly fighting for pay equity why not give these employees a chance to speak up. Andrew Chamberlain states, “salary transparency helps expose pay gaps between otherwise similar workers, encouraging underpaid employees to renegotiate” (2015, Glassdoor). Furthermore, studies have shown that “providing more information to job seekers about job application processes improves the diversity of applicant pools by boosting the number of female job applicants”(Chamberlain, 2015, Glassdoor).

Let’s get ahead of the trend.  Join Mountain Careers in encouraging employers to post salary ranges (smile).


Chamberlain, A. (2015), Is Salary Transparency! More Than a Trend? Retrieved from:

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