Majority of UK Workers Want More Transparency in Job Ads

A recent study by Adzuna has revealed that almost half of UK jobseekers (48%) think no salary information or lack of salary clarity is the biggest turn-off when applying for a role when on the job hunt. 

The research comes as 69% of UK workers believe employers need to be more transparent in their job ads, with a third (31%) believing salary transparency should be the number one priority on postings, ranking it more than the job role itself (18%), the location (11%) or any work benefit schemes. 

More than a third (36%) declined a job straight away after they found out the intended salary after going through the interview process. Applications have become more and more time-consuming with many jobs or graduate schemes only accepting their own application forms online which can take hours. This is then followed by psychometric tests, written tasks or multiple interviews. Adzuna found that over the last five years, UK workers have wasted over 70 million hours applying for jobs with the ‘wrong salary’ - that’s 7991 years btw. 46% of workers won’t attend an interview if they don’t know their expected salary beforehand.

Imagine the roles were reversed:

Employer: “We offer a great, competitive salary!”

Interviewee: “Can I ask how much it is?”

Employer: “I can’t tell you, but believe me it’s good. Back to you. What makes you think you’re suitable for this role?”

Interviewee: “I have plenty of reasons…”

Employer: “Great, what are they?”

Interviewee: “I can’t tell you yet, but they’re amazing.”

Employers have given plenty of reasoning behind why they don’t disclose salary in job ads. This could be something as innocent as just not knowing how much they are going to pay, to prevent getting into a wage war with competitors or wanting to avoid resentment amongst staff. 

However, withholding salary information can actually add fuel to much larger issues such as discrimination. In terms of gender, women are much more likely to find a lack of salary transparency an issue (33%) when compared to men (21%). Time Magazine argues that salary transparency can help close the gender pay gap which currently shows women earn roughly 12% less than men. 

It’s not really surprising that charity and voluntary jobs are the most transparent (88%), followed by social work (76%). Ranking amongst the least transparent are IT jobs (43%) and energy jobs (39%) with creative and design jobs being the least transparent (32%).

Many feel uncomfortable asking for salary details even after a second interview, thanks to years of society telling us it's gauche to ask how much someone gets paid,  how much they paid for their house, even how much their coat cost. But these days people are much more open about financial situations.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the best talent, why not:

  • Research salary expectations: A common issue is that some employers just don’t know how much they’re willing to pay for the role. Do some research to find out what others are being paid doing similar job descriptions. Companies like Glassdoor have been an excellent tool for encouraging workplace transparency about salaries and work culture, plus it’s free to use!
  • Provide a salary range: When advertising a role, you don’t necessarily have to be super specific and put the salary down to the penny. You might want them to accept £32,799 because that’s your ideal budget, but providing a range, for example, £28-£35k, shows your being transparent and allows the candidate to determine whether this suits them before they spend time on their application. It could even give you some wiggle room.
  • Use a recruiter: If you’re still hesitant about sharing salary information online and are worried about causing conflict with staff or sharing pay with competitors, use a recruiter! You may not have to advertise your job publicly and they’ll take care of asking about the salary expectations and can adjust depending on the candidate’s experience. There’s incredible video recruitment software available (ahem, us) which saves time and effort on your end too, plus you have complete salary transparency without advertising online.

Ultimately, not discussing salaries until an offer is made can disgruntle the candidate and not only waste their time but also yours, so let’s start talking more openly about money!

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