Oct 03

Job Advertisement Lacking Salary Range

download.  One of the biggest frustrations of the job market is employers who refuse to disclose what a position pays.  Why do employers keep salary secret?

  1. They are hoping to catch a deal.
  2. They don’t want to discourage overqualified candidates from applying.
  3. They don’t want an applicant to assume that they will be offered the higher end of the spectrum.

.  While most job ads will fail to disclose any salary range, some job ads will actually include a ‘provide salary history’, ‘provide salary requirements’ or even ‘ failure to disclosure salary history/requirements will automatically disqualify applicant from consideration’.

.  An applicant has to make the difficult decision as to whether to disclose their confidential salary history and decide how to determine their required salary range.  This is the ultimate head game.  The applicant is forced to micro-analyze:

  • ‘Did I short change myself?’,
  • ‘Am I asking for too much, causing my application to enter the circular file?’,
  • ‘Was the employer going to pay more, but I just low-balled myself into a lesser amount’, etc.

.  In the nonprofit sector, the salary range of the position has already been dictated by the terms and provisions of the grant contract and yearly budget.  In these cases, I do not understand why a nonprofit would fail to disclose what the true amount is.

.  Recently, I was talking with an alumni attorney.  He expressed annoyance at a nonprofit “wasting his time” for a position that he never would had applied to if the salary had been originally disclosed.  He disclosed that he had underwent four interviews with this organization over the course of three months.  After calling his references, they called him to extend an offer and for the first time finally disclosed the salary.  According to this applicant, he was insulted by the salary range offered.  The position was for a Staff Attorney, but my classmate stated that he could “make more as a store supervisor at Walmart”.  He seemed extremely perturbed at having expended significant time, gasoline, interview prepping and suit dry cleaning costs in pursuing this position.

.  By the same token, this employer has also spent considerable time and energy pursuing a candidate that their budget could not afford.  Once this candidate rejected their offer, the employer was back to square one in the process.  If this was a position that has been vacant for the three months, the delay could frustrate current employees who have been pulling the load.

.  What about the runner-up?

  • Perhaps after selecting applicant #1, the employer had already sent a rejection letter/email to the runner-up.  It could be quite awkward to contact the runner-up and re-express interest in hiring him or her.
  • If significant time has passed, the runner-up may have already found another position.
  • In addition, would the runner-up be offended by being chosen by default?
  • Would the runner-up accept the same salary that applicant #1 turned down?

.  Yes, the job market is still saturated with candidates desperately seeking employment; however, due to high student loan debts and the high cost of living, not all candidates have the financial ability to work at a lesser rate of pay.  Moreover, not all applicants are unemployed.  If an applicant is already employed, the interviewer is definitely on notice that this talented applicant will never leave their current employer for a pay-cut.

.  My recommendation would be for an employer to disclose salary either in the advertisement or at a bare minimum when contacting the applicant for an interview.  Why go through the entire interview process, especially as some interviews can last as long as one hour or more, for an applicant who will never accept your salary range?

© Reina Ashley Canale, Esq., My Advice Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Reina Ashley Canale, Esq. with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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