Is your salary offer ‘competitive’?

Those of you who have worked with us for a while already know our views on job listings that do not include salaries; our data shows that job listings without salaries attract fewer candidates and we feel that leaving salary details off a job listing is disrespectful of the time and attention of our worldwide academic audience.  It’s a bad idea.

Let’s think for a moment about the messages you are sending to candidates when you write ‘Competitive’ in a box that should include a salary.

  • ‘We’re waiting to see what your previous roles have paid to decide how much you are worth’
  • ‘We don’t know what the going rates are for this position and we can’t be bothered to figure it out’
  • ‘We’re hoping you don’t know the going rates for this position, with your skills and experience, so we can get you onboard at a discount’
  • ‘The selection committee couldn’t make a decision and/or get an answer from HR’
  • ‘Our job listings are written and posted by someone too junior to make these decisions’

Are these truly the messages you want to send to potential applicants?  Probably not. 

Our suggestion is that you do enough research to at least post a starting salary range on all job listings.  If this is open to negotiation for outstanding candidates, likely to change soon, or will depend on the experience of the appointees, then say so in the text. 

No one can research accommodation and travel costs in your city based on ‘Competitive’. Your customers, partners and students probably don’t expect to see ‘Competitive’ on your invoices or fee statements either.

So why would you write it on a job listing?

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