Should you add a salary to your job adverts?

Adding a salary to job adverts helps both the company and job seekers viewing your advertisements (

Many companies make the mistake of not including salary figure on their job adverts. Jesse Green from Adzuna explains necessity adding salary details.

Writing the correct online job advertisement is key to finding and placing the best talent within your ranks. Some online job ads contain a salary figure, while others do not. With organisations putting forward their reasoning both for doing so and not, this article explains which side wins in the end. 

When your company decides to recruit for a new vacancy, one of the first things the firm does is define what is needed, usually on a traditional “job description”. This is then sent to the recruitment companies or recruitment division, who then advertise it. But very often the salary for the position is not communicated to the public, for a number of reasons.

Companies mainly state the following 4 reasons when they omit salary details on an online job ad:

1. We don’t want current staff to see what the new hire is going to earn!

This is a rather concerning worry for a company to have. Are all your staff earning different salaries, even at the same level? Are they trawling job websites to find out this information? How do they know that the new hire hasn’t negotiated a better or worse salary that they have? This is a fear that shouldn’t affect how you place a job advert.

2. We don’t want our competitors to know what our people earn!

While there is some merit in this, competitors can very easily find out what your staff earn by checking on CV databases that they either have access to directly or through their recruitment partners. They are also making headhunting calls to your staff through recruiters and finding out salaries that way. So in reality this is not secret information.

3. We want to have a better negotiating position when we offer candidates.

This is one point that companies don’t want to change their minds on. And research actually shows that making salary available does see the company end up hiring at higher salaries, but also that they hire better candidates. This trade-off is better for the firm in the long run, especially if extra salary expense is funded through a more efficiently operating recruitment division.

4. Because we can!

You can, but should you? Let’s find out…

Some companies say that adding an exact salary is not in their favour. Meanwhile, job seekers are facing more and more choice and a greater array of opportunities online. In addition, they have to fill in more forms and take longer to apply now than when they had to simply fax or email in applications many years ago. Thus, one of the main considerations good quality candidates have in choosing to apply to a job advert is whether or not they fit the job, a decision for which they need as much information as possible.

In other words, theoretically, the more information you put in your job advertisements, the better the quality of job seeker you will find applying, overall. Thus, if you add a salary to your job advertisement, you will see more of the right person sending you their CV. You will create a better quality of recruitment funnel, helping your recruiters to sift through less CVs that are more tuned to the vacancy at hand. To test this, Jesse Green from recruitment advertising company Adzuna completed in-depth research using a large dataset. And the research showed clearly that the above is true - you will receive more applications from more relevant candidates.

As Green explains: “The research done recently was with data from a South African job portal, which when dissected showed clearly that online job advertisements that stated a salary figure had more applications or a better quality.” In the research, quality was defined as a having a higher qualification and more experience.

The message is clear - adding a salary to your job adverts will help both you and job seekers viewing your advertisements, earning you more, better quality applications and hires. Whether one of the above-mentioned reasons to not show a salary truly overshadows these benefits is up to the individual company in question, but overall, it is better to state a specific salary or range on your job adverts.

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  • How to effectively recruit job seekers online
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  • Jesse Green is Country Manager for Adzuna, a South African online job aggregator, who regularly writes on the journeys of job seekers and employers, focusing on how to better recruit talent. He is very passionate about online recruitment and has spent many years in both recruitment consulting and working for some of South Africa's top classifieds websites.