Why do we require salary information for our Job Board?

We recognize that not every organization or company posts salaries publicly for open positions-- and in fact, ELP didn't used to require it on our job board either. Staff members had differing opinions about whether this was necessary, whether it would reduce the number of opportunities shared with our community, and other questions about potential impact to our community and the value of the job board to seekers and posters. But over several years, we've been repeatedly asked about this by the community we serve, who have shared a number of resources with us about why this is important from the perspective of equitable hiring practices. We've also done our own research into pros and cons, including consulting with HR leads in several organizations. (We've included links to some of those resources below, in case these are useful to others.) 

Commonly, we hear from employers that they prefer not to post salaries because they are open to considering applicants who bring a range of abilities-- so the finalist pool for a manager position, for example, might include Rebecca, who has not been a manager before, but has the capacity to rise to that position; Aje, who has been a director elsewhere but has great experience and mission alignment for this role; and Jorge, who currently holds a manager-level role very capably. Employers want the flexibility to be able to consider a variety of applicants (which is great from an equity perspective!), and to offer Rebecca the job, with lower salary and growth potential for her, while making a higher offer to attract Aje and acknowledge the skills and abilities they bring to the role, and somewhere in the middle to Jorge in alignment with his level of experience. We understand employers wanting to have this flexibility, and we've definitely been part of hiring teams at organizations in the past where this was the reasoning in not posting salaries. But we think employers can retain flexibility while offering some salary visibility. In this situation, for example, the hiring team could explain to Rebecca that her offer is at the lower end of the range based on her lack of past experience and that the role will be scaled to her abilities, and highlight the growth opportunity and support she will be given to advance in the manager role towards the higher salary. 

Other employers may take the approach that not posting a salary gives them greater leverage in negotiating with employees at the point of hire. (We don't support this rationale, which seems to put employers and applicants in an adversarial position. We believe it is best for employers to decide what is the value of a specific position based on factors like the work required, the level of responsibility and experience, and cost of living. Research also shows that salary negotiation is impacted by a range of factors not related to qualifications for the job, and that these factors advantage some applicants over others.) Some employers, especially in the nonprofit sector, want applicants to apply solely based on their attraction to the organization's mission, and believe that posting salaries will attract people just to the pay rate. We believe that there are other good ways to screen for mission alignment, such as asking applicants to address this directly in their cover letter or a short-answer question.

Based on our community's feedback and our own research, ELP has determined that we believe the benefits of posting a salary --for both applicants and employers-- outweigh the downsides, and we've adopted a policy that requires this information for postings on our jobs board. 

Some employers who would like to use our jobs board still elect not to post a specific salary, but opt instead for a range, which gives them flexibility in scaling salary offers to the abilities of the candidate, as in the example above, but still offers applicants a good sense of whether the job would meet their cost-of-living needs as well as being a good professional alignment based on the position description. Our jobs board accommodates posting a range.  

A selected handful of related resources