The Pros and Cons of Posting Salary Ranges

Jan 25 / Steve Lowisz
Salary ranges are one of the most divisive topics in recruiting. Some recruiters swear by posting them, while other companies won’t post a range under any circumstances.

The reality is that there are advantages and disadvantages to pay transparency. Ultimately, it’s a decision every company has to make for themselves.

Here are a few pros and cons to posting salary ranges to consider:

Pro: More Candidates Value Transparency Today

In today’s day and age, more and more candidates expect you to share a salary range before they consider the opening.

The common stereotype is that if a company isn’t willing to post a salary range, they can be expected to underpay. While that’s not true, it's worth considering that some candidates will hold this perspective.

Additionally, younger generations are much more likely to openly discuss their salaries, meaning they may be more attracted to companies embracing transparency.

Pro: Some Candidates Won't Apply Without Knowing a Range

Going a step further, some candidates simply won’t apply without knowing a salary range.

Oftentimes, recruiters will share the salary range in the initial conversation about a role – meaning that if you post the salary range upfront, you may save both the recruiter and candidate’s time.

Pro: It Minimizes Bias

By posting a salary range upfront, companies can demonstrate their commitment to equal pay.

Since you’ve already committed to a specific range, it’s harder for subconscious bias to enter the equation when you extend an offer.

Now for the downsides...

Con: It Puts You at a Disadvantage While Negotiating

One of the biggest disadvantages of posting a salary range is that it hurts your ability to negotiate. Most candidates expect salary negotiations for mid and high-level roles.

If candidates know upfront what you are and aren’t willing to pay, they can use that to their advantage to negotiate for the highest possible compensation.

Con: Some Candidates May Not Apply

Some candidates may not apply if you post the salary range - but the flip side is that some candidates won't if you do!

If your posted salary range is low or just average, some candidates may not apply at all.

On the one hand, this may save your recruiters time – but on the other hand, you may lose candidates who could otherwise be convinced to apply after a phone call.

Because this is both a pro and a con, it's a bit of a wash.

Con: Existing Employees May Feel Slighted

Inevitably, posting a salary range means existing employees will see it too. If your current employees are being paid less, this can easily cause resentment, trigger them to ask for a raise, or jump ship for a competitor.