3 Ways to Convince Leaders to Get Down and Dirty With Salary Details

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Apr 26, 2018

You might remember my post on “How to Ensure Top Talent Won’t Ever Turn Down Your Salary Offer.” In the comments, someone wrote “I’d love this, but I have yet to find a company willing to be transparent about salary. A great follow up would be getting mindshare from leadership for pay transparency.” I’ve put some thoughts on that below.

Getting company leaders to reveal potential salaries for open positions isn’t a task for the faint of heart. Many companies keep those numbers locked up tight — and they have every reason to conceal this information.When it comes to a cutthroat industry like sales, competitors could use any combination of their base pay and commission structure to steal top sales reps right out from under them. No industry is immune to these talent sourcing tactics.

Thanks to today’s impressive job market growth, talent is more selective about career opportunities. This makes salary transparency even more crucial during the recruitment process. Yet, salary isn’t only important to talent during the job search. It impacts their satisfaction throughout their entire career cycle.

In fact, my company, MedReps’, most recent Best Places to Work Report revealed 76 percent of respondents are very or somewhat satisfied in their jobs. The No. 1 reason for high job satisfaction is competitive compensation.

With so much weight placed on salary, hiring pros and recruiters, alike, should find ways to convince company leaders to meet them in the middle. Gaining new insights into salary information will result in attracting and hiring the very best talent.

Determine a Pay Range

Many company leaders are reluctant to commit to a set salary prior to interviews. While sly competitors play a big role in this hesitation, it isn’t the only reason salary info is off limits. Leaders, understandably, want to assess a candidate’s skills, education, and experience level before locking into a starting salary.

If the company’s leaders are adamant about not divulging a set number, ask them for a pay range. This keeps the power of pay negotiation — and salary secrecy — in their hands. At the same time, job seekers can identify the encouraging possibilities for growth at the company.

Clarify what determines where candidates fall on the pay scale. Is it years of qualified experience, degree of education, specialized skills, or even location?

Also, if a candidate falls into the lower end of this pay range, on average, how long will it take for them to work their way up to the top or beyond? With these answers, you can give candidates a taste of salary transparency without promising a specific number.

Discuss a Minimum

A minimum salary listing is concrete, but it’s still vague enough that leaders can feel comfortable giving you a number.

Explain how salary transparency through a minimum pay rate gives the company a competitive advantage. Job seekers will understand there’s potential to make more than listed. Also, simply showing a potential salary sets them above competitors who don’t list any salary specifics.

Most importantly, find out what special qualifications could lead to a higher offer so you’re able to honestly reassure candidates of opportunities.

A 2017 Glassdoor survey revealed that 95 percent of job seekers say it’s important to be thoughtful and informed about a company’s pay philosophy prior to accepting a job offer. Even though you can’t tell candidates the upper end of the salary range, you’ll be prepared to help them understand how to go beyond the minimum.

Disclose It Flat Out

Be blunt with leaders about spilling the beans on salary. Full transparency is, ultimately, the best way to attract candidates. In fact, almost all of the respondents (98 percent) in the previously mentioned Glassdoor survey said it would be helpful to see pay included in open job listings.

While showing employers the importance of sharing salaries upfront, ask them to consider the negative repercussions when candidates look elsewhere for salary information. It could be sites with inaccurate estimates or even their own employees. And if employees aren’t satisfied with their current pay, attracting top talent will be an impossible obstacle.

Salary transparency gives leaders room to show off positive benefits aside from pay. Simply saying “competitive commission structure” or “monthly bonuses” attracts candidates — even if the company is offering the lowest competitive market salary.

Further entice leaders to share salary information by explaining how they can use it to filter out candidates. If they share salaries, job seekers will know whether the position is best for them before getting into the talent pipeline, saving valuable time and money in the hiring process.

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