What about companies that don’t disclose salary on job postings? I’ve wasted huge amounts of time applying for jobs that fit me, only to find out after several interviews that the pay is not high enough! If you ask me, that’s false advertising. Do any companies list salaries in job ads?
While employers demand to know all your salary information prior to an interview, they don’t disclose the salaries of jobs they post. They want you to apply blindly, hoping to snag you into rationalizing lower pay after you’ve invested hours filling out forms and interviewing. (This is the old “foot-in-the-door” sales method.)
Get ready to negotiate
I think there has never been a better time or a better job market for job seekers to exercise their negotiating leverage to get exceptional salaries — and to get the information they need before they apply. If you’re a good candidate for a job, now is the time to negotiate assertively for more money and other desirable terms of employment.
Few companies disclose salary in job postings
It turns out only about 12% of all job postings tell you what a job pays, according to an analysis done by Emsi Burning Glass and reported by SHRM. In today’s economy, that’s a recruiting scam of epic proportions. As a job seeker, you need to consider how much you sacrifice when you go blindly into a job interview.
While it’s up to each job seeker to decide what information they absolutely need before applying for a job, all should bear in mind that we are unequivocally in a job seeker’s market. Employers are literally dying — going out of business — because they can’t hire the workers they need. This puts you in a very powerful negotiating position.
Ask first, apply later
If they won’t tell you, I’d seriously consider moving on — after explaining to them that you will not apply without knowing first what the job pays.
You can ignore my advice, but my prediction is that you’ll waste a lot of time and experience a lot of frustration. If you push back, however, you’ll get salary information some of the time — and those are the companies worth engaging with.
The job market lets you be bold
It’s such a job seeker’s market that a bold applicant can go another step and use the foot-in-the-door approach for their own benefit.
Once you know the salary, at the end of your first interview (assuming you’re still interested in an offer), ask what the last person in that job was paid and how much others on the team are paid. If you’ve already impressed an employer that can’t afford to lose another good candidate, you just might get the information and improve your negotiating position further.
I’ll repeat again: We are in a job-seeker’s market and you should not discount your negotiating leverage. Do it professionally and gently, but do it firmly: Don’t be afraid to make reasonable demands. There has never been a better time for the best talent to get the best salary deals.
How to Say It
If employers push back at your request for salary information, educate them. Here are some suggestions about how to say it:
- “Why would I share my salary information if you won’t tell me what the job pays?”
- “Do you really want to invest hours in interviews only to learn your job is not in my required pay range?”
- “I know you prefer honest, candid job applicants. I prefer honest, candid employers. What’s the pay?”
- “If I can’t demonstrate to you how I’m worth the salary we’ve discussed, then you shouldn’t hire me.”
These are pretty assertive examples. Tune the wording to suit your own style.
Everything has changed
Employers can get ahead of the curve by disclosing salaries with every job posting. I think they’re fools if they don’t. It’s time to drop the attitude that they don’t want to over-pay someone who might take a job for less, or that publishing salaries will give their competitors an edge.
Colorado now requires job postings to include pay information, according to SHRM. California and Maryland require the employer to disclose wage ranges when job applicants ask. More employers are including pay information on job postings, but their numbers are still paltry — under 20% in most sectors.
This means it’s up to job seekers. Everything has changed. As more employers realize what it means that 11 million jobs are vacant, we’re going to find the playing field is on a new level. Don’t sell yourself short. Seriously consider applying only for jobs for which you have pay information — even if you have to inquire to get it.
Did you know the salary of the last job you applied for? Have you ever asked what a job pays before you applied? At what point do you consider it crucial to know what the pay is? Would you walk away from a job whose salary you don’t know?