Put the damn salary range down!

Whenever I see other people advertising on job boards and the like, one thing that bugs me is when people don’t put down the pay range and benefits.  Note that my annoyance level goes up with the maturity and specificity of the position.

For instance, one employer put down that they wanted a person with 15 years of Human Resources experience, a SPHR, a Bachelors (but preferably an MBA) and seven years of management experience.  What did they put for the salary range?  Depends on experience. Uh, dudes, you know what their experience is going to be.

Pay is such a taboo topic and I like confronting it head-on. You’ve got to though and that’s why I think job seekers should also be very honest about salary if the prospective employer is being honest. I know what I want to make and what I am unwilling to work for so I would say “optimally I would like to make this much per year but I will absolutely not take any offer below this much.”

The poor argument I always hear is that we don’t want to disqualify candidates who might overlook the position based on salary range. I say that if the perfect person walked in today and you aren’t going to pay him or her more than 60k plus 10k in bonuses, we might as well advertise that as our upper limit. Because if someone comes in with a minimum of 80k and 20k of bonus, it is just going to be a big waste of time trying to reconcile those two numbers.


  1. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We can talk about any darn thing but leave the $$$ out of it.
    Change is a slow process, but if we start now, maybe the working world
    will be better for our grandkids.

  2. The worst thing about the salary taboo is that you can set your price too low from the start and never recoup the difference.

  3. Why would you set your price too low?

    I am not saying that to be accusatory but along the lines of why would you not do at least a little bit of research and see where you should be paid and what you feel you deserve to be paid and start above that mark?

    Job seekers either need to take Negotiation 101 or be satisfied with the salary that is offered. Why would a company offer more than is necessary to satisfy you and get you on board? That’s really poor business and I wouldn’t want to work for that company.

  4. I’m not convinced there is actually a taboo on posting
    salaries in job listings. When a notebook computer is
    advertised without the weight or batter life information
    included, I assume it is because those are not its
    most attractive features. Likewise, when a position is
    posted sans compensation information, I assume it is
    for similar reasons and move on. In my view, the practice
    falls just this side of bait-and-switch.

  5. Negotiation 101 … could you do a post on that? Thanks, just discovered your blog but it looks fascinating.

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