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August 4, 2022
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August 4, 2022

Error 404’ Provide salary details – or not?

By Pasha Hussain, Managing Director

In our last piece (CN July 10), we weighed in on the need to develop and post a clear and honest job description. In this column, we’re discussing the disclosure of salary and full compensation packages for each job being posted—measured against the job seeker and employer’s best interest.

There are two sides of the story—each weighing its very own pros and cons for the employer and the job seeker/potential candidate for hire.

Pasha Hussain, Managing Director

For anyone looking to make a career change or even being headhunted, one important factor is the salary description associated with the role. While there are considerable factors such as location, benefits, organisational culture and upward mobility, salary remains central to the acceptance or declining of an offer.

To this end, the JobsTT and the Progressive team looked from outside the box and contextualised the hot topic dominant at home here when posting vacancies in Trinidad and Tobago.

A quick search of job opportunities in North America on the LinkedIn platform show that they would give a detailed job description and the golden line; ‘Salary and Benefits.’

Diana YK Chan, an executive career coach, job search strategist and CEO of My Marketability, points out that if a company “discloses everything upfront, it encourages the candidate to negotiate for more if they aren’t being offered at the higher end of the compensation range”.

Equally she reiterates that “Job seekers should do their own due diligence and market research to understand salary ranges, compensation and benefits, as it varies by industry and company size.”

The New York City bill requiring employers with four or more employees to include salary information in job postings for positions within the city became law on January 15, 2022. The law came into effect on May 15, making it mandatory for employers and recruiters to disclose wages for each vacancy posted.

In the perfect world, both the job seeker and the employer should benefit from the sharing of this detail which can sometimes prove to be a deciding factor for both parties.

Similarly, the Eater Chicago in its news post in April 2022, wrote Chicago is considering fining employers US$500 to $1,000 if they don’t include salary ranges in job postings. The new ordinance in February forces all employers to post a salary range in their job posts.

The article further confirms what job seekers in Trinidad and Tobago face here locally, a continuous build-up of frustration and lack of transparency.

Several workers are fed up seeing what they perceive as incomplete listings. Many postings are hastily made without basic information such as pay, location, and hours for positions including server, bartender, and cook.

This is an issue of particular concern for the restaurant industry, where, since the pandemic began, owners have had difficulty finding workers.

Importance to the jobseeker

  • Salary is clear to jobseekers, and theoretically all applications should be within the salary bracket and therefore more relevant applications
  • The company’s employer brand is improved because jobseekers and LinkedIn activists feel that company transparency is ethically the right thing to do
  • While the salary offers a monetary band for the work required, upfront it automatically saves time for the recruiter and shortlisted candidate. How awful would it be to spend two weeks undertaking a recruitment process only to fall short when the ideal candidate opts out when the salary is disclosed
  • Transparency and trust are improved with the potential employer.

However, in our combined 60-plus years of experience in recruiting and as a job board company, we have always advocated for the posting of salaries. Where some clients may be hesitant to do so, we often suggest in the very least, the inclusion of a salary bracket that may offer some comfort to the job seeker.

 

Importance to the employer

Posting of job vacancies is not void of challenges but we have noted the concerns from the employer’s end who have opted not to disclose the compensation package. However, there are very valid reasons to do so.

  • Flexibility to lead salary negotiations with shortlisted candidates
  • Prevention of competition from knowing the salary range offered
  • Attraction of more applicants with varying levels of experience and sought-after expertise
  • If there is a worker in a similar role working within the company earning less than the advertised rate, this becomes complicated
  • The company could potentially price themselves out of the market – i.e., the perfect candidate earning slightly more than the advertised salary may not apply. Thus, the quantity and quality of the applicant pool may be reduced from an average expectant rate
  • The salary advertised may generate social media attention and commentary. We’ve all come across a few; “that company real cheap”, “they pay below market”, “is better I stay home”
  • Compensation data is historically considered confidential information where the company makes a conscious decision not to have advertised. Think about it, does every employee in a company know what every other employee in their company earns? Should they? Do you disclose your salary to your colleagues with ease?

Culturally speaking, regarding jobs in Trinidad and Tobago, it has not been the adopted practice to have the compensation packages disclosed. On average, at best, this critical factor is usually offered up to the shortlisted candidates at this later stage. Collectively, there must be a middle ground for both the applicant and employer for this disclosure, while offering the best use of time in the recruitment process from day one of the job being advertised.

Our team continues to support employers in the best way possible during the recruitment process. Feel free to reach out to us for any additional support on compensation and job description development at carolyn@progressivett.com or duval@progressivett.com

Photo by PiggyBank on Unsplash