Companies that are recruiting a new employee might be unsure of how to disclose the salary information on a job advert.

The options are to share the exact amount on offer, or to suggest a salary bracket which is the range of monies that you are prepared to pay, or the final option is to lead with ‘competitive salary’ on the job advert.

Offering a job’s salary at the right level is important, this will help generate interest from candidates, but also to aid you in securing the best person for the job. Not offering a salary at the right level will reduce your chances of securing suitable candidates, and you run the potential risk of recruiting someone with an inferior skill set.

Firstly, look into what salary you should pay. When adverting a job, in some cases you will need to be confidential about the salary on offer.

If the job advert is viewed by your workforce, then sharing salary information may disgruntle employees who do a similar job and you obviously want to avoid upsetting and demotivating hard-working, loyal employees. Therefore, in this situation disclosing ‘competitive salary’ might be your only option.

When choosing the best options, another key consideration is how tricky it is to find candidates, and how quickly you need to recruit this person. Including a higher salary in the job advert will probably help you to generate more candidates; however, this may well be challenging to manage later in the process.

Choosing the right strategy regarding salary information when placing your job advert will have an impact on who applies, how many people apply, possibly the quality of the applicants you receive and it will impact on the overall recruitment process, so it is important to evaluate each option.

When you place your job advert the three main options are:

Share the Best Salary on Offer

Present the very best salary on offer, and be clear about this. Taking this approach may lead you to miss out on certain candidates who are looking for a higher salary, as a large percentage of candidates will evaluate a job immediately on the amount of money on offer and use this to determine whether they are interested.

If you pitch only the best salary on offer, there will be a percentage of people who are well suited, but who you won’t even have the chance to meet. So, if you feel that the position, your company, its people, and the company culture are the main selling points then maybe this isn’t the best approach for you.

However, a significant advantage of being clear about the salary on offer from the offset, is that there are no grey areas. This means that during the closing stages, when offering the selected candidate, it will be more of a formality. By sharing the salary at the start means giving clarity on salary would have increased your chances of driving a more efficient recruitment process.

Share a Salary Bracket

Suggesting an array of monies that the candidate could potentially expect to earn can be helpful, as it will help you to engage with a wider audience of candidates; these candidates may have varied skills, with different types and levels of experience and this comes with the advantage of you being able to consider more applicants.

Meeting more people in your recruitment process will help you to understand more about what can be achieved in a position, and helps you learn about what is possible in the position, and who is available.

When you are recruiting, it’s not just about finding someone with certain skills and specific experience – recruiting someone who is culturally the ‘right match’ can be more valuable, and by offering a wide salary range you have the chance to review even more candidates and give yourself an advantage.

When it comes to offering the chosen candidate the job, hopefully you will have seen a good selection of people, with different attributes.

As you start to gather your shortlist, and start the interviewing process, it is wise to start having conversations around monies. Have theoretical conversations to make sure that the candidate/s are affordable.

It is important to note that by addressing this early on in the process, you will not only put yourself in a strong position to secure the candidate, but in addition, the salary they are looking for probably won’t increase, which is a possibility if the salary is only discussed towards the end of the process.

Display Competitive Salary

Stating ‘competitive salary’ on your job advert means you will get the attention of most people. There will, of course, be some candidates who immediately disregard the job, however, if the candidate is targeting specific jobs, and is focussed on your specific sector, or on a particular job title, then you are set to gain their interest, and these candidates are often better suited and more relevant overall.

By advertising ‘competitive salary’, you are often shaping the candidate’s mentality. The person may initially focus on the job itself, knowing that the right money is available, and they are therefore quick to share their CV, so up to this point the job advert and plan has worked.

Typically, a candidate will apply for a job advertised with a ‘competitive salary’ knowing that the position will pay a similar amount to similar jobs in the market.

However, this can sometimes change the candidate’s mindset. Leading with ‘competitive salary’ on a job advert can lead the candidate to think that more money is available.

At offer stage, if the candidate knows the requirement has been hard to fill, or if they are aware that they have some special skills that you are in need of, or that there aren’t many other suitable people available, then some candidates may have an over-inflated option of their worth, and believe that the company are willing to pay over the market value to secure them.

If this is the case, and salary hasn’t been discussed earlier on in the process, it might mean that negotiating, and agreeing, on a suitable package can become challenging.

You can avoid any salary problems earlier in the process by tackling this directly, and clearly set out the amount that you are willing to pay. This will reduce the chances of frustration for both parties later on in the recruitment process.

Once you have decided your salary strategy, consider writing your job description and how you wish to advertise the job.