Why it’s Important to Include Salary Information in Your Job Descriptions and How to Do It Well

As the tech job market becomes increasingly competitive, companies are searching for ways to bring quality talent to their organizations. For technology startups, having well-written job descriptions that include salary information is table stakes for attracting top talent.

Many recruiters and companies are hesitant to include a salary range in job descriptions because they fear it may lead to negative consequences. One of the most common fears is that their current employees may ask for a raise if they see the salary range being offered to potential new hires. Another fear is that candidates may only consider the high end of the salary range, making negotiations more difficult and potentially leading to the loss of a top candidate. 

While these fears are understandable, there are many benefits to including a salary range in job descriptions. By addressing these fears and understanding the benefits, recruiters and companies can make more informed decisions when it comes to including salary information in job descriptions.

In this article, we'll explore why including salary information in job descriptions is essential and share a few tips for doing it well.

State Laws Requiring Salary Transparency in Job Descriptions

A well-written job description provides job seekers with a clear understanding of the position, its responsibilities, and the qualifications required to succeed in the role. Additionally, job descriptions help recruiters and hiring managers identify the best candidates for the job and ensure that all applicants are evaluated consistently.

In recent years, many states, including California, New York City, Colorado, and many others have passed laws requiring employers to disclose salary information in job postings. This isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. The European Union's Pay Transparency Act went into effect on August 1st, 2022 requiring  EU employers to include a salary range in all job posts to end salary discrimination.

The goal of these laws is to promote salary transparency and reduce wage inequality. However, the specifics of these laws vary by state. Some states require employers to disclose a specific salary range for the position, while others require employers to provide an estimate of the salary range or disclose the salary if requested by the applicant.

Why it’s Important to Add Salary Information to Job Descriptions

Below you’ll find six reasons for why it’s important to add salary information to your job descriptions, even if your state isn’t requiring it yet.

Attract More Qualified Talent

One of the primary benefits of including salary information in job descriptions is that it can help attract top talent who may not have applied otherwise. By being transparent about the salary range, you can pique the interest of candidates who are seeking jobs that pay within their desired range.

Increased Transparency in the Hiring Process

Providing salary information upfront can help candidates feel that your company is more transparent and trustworthy. This can be particularly important for candidates who have experienced salary discrimination or other forms of bias in the past.

Saves Time and Resources in the Recruitment Process

Including salary information in job descriptions can also help save time and resources in the recruitment process. Candidates who are not interested in the salary range you offer are less likely to apply, reducing the number of unqualified applicants you need to sort through.

Improve Candidate Experience

Candidates are more likely to have a positive experience with your company if you are transparent about salary information upfront. This can help build trust and increase engagement throughout the hiring process.

Increase Diversity and Equity in Hiring Process

By providing salary information upfront, companies can ensure that all candidates have access to the same information and are evaluated based on their skills and qualifications rather than on their salary expectations. Research has shown that women are often paid less than their male counterparts for the same job, in part because they may not negotiate as aggressively for higher salaries. By providing a clear salary range in job descriptions, companies can eliminate this negotiation gap and ensure that women and men are offered fair compensation for their skills and experience. This can help promote fairness and equity in the hiring process, and ultimately lead to a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Reduce Turnover

Providing salary information upfront can help reduce turnover rates. When employees know what they can expect to earn, they are less likely to leave for a better paying job, reducing the cost of turnover for your company.

5 Tips for Adding Salary Information to Job Descriptions

1. Research the Market

Before including salary ranges in your job descriptions, it is essential to research the market to determine what the going rate is for similar positions in your industry and location. You can use salary surveys, job boards, and online resources to gather this information.

2. Don’t Just Give a Figure

Instead of providing a single salary figure, use a salary range that reflects the market rate for the position. This allows for negotiation and provides candidates with an idea of what they can expect to earn.

When deciding on a salary range, it's important to consider the total compensation package, which includes not only the base salary but also benefits and any potential commission or bonus structures.

If the position includes a commission or bonus structure, you can indicate that in the job description as well. For example, here’s a format you can follow to include each aspect of a candidate’s pay structure

Salary Range: $X - $Y per year + Commission Pay + Bonus Pay

Including information about benefits and commission in the job description provides candidates with a more complete understanding of the compensation package and can help to attract top talent. 

3. Be Specific about Benefits

In addition to salary, be specific about the benefits that come with the position. This can include health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks that add value to the compensation package.

4. Avoid Using Phrases Like "Competitive Salary"

Instead of using vague phrases like "competitive salary," provide an actual range or a specific figure. This can help set expectations and avoid misunderstandings.

5. Update Salary Ranges Regularly

Salary ranges can change over time as market conditions and the economy fluctuate. Make sure to update your salary ranges regularly to reflect these changes and ensure that your compensation packages remain competitive.


Following the above best practices when it comes to including salary information in job descriptions, can help you to attract more qualified candidates who may not have applied otherwise, create transparency in the hiring process, and ultimately lead to better retention rates and employee satisfaction. 

If you're ready to take the next step in finding the best candidates for your open positions, we invite you to try Consider's talent sourcing software, which does all of the work to find the perfect talent from many sources, and gets you referrals from your colleagues.

Our platform helps you connect with top talent and streamline your hiring process, so you can focus on what you do best - growing your company. Reach out to book a demo today!

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