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Only half of employers include salary details on all job ads

Companies with transparent job adverts reported a smaller gender pay gap

Only 50% of firms include salary details on all of their job ads, research by XpertHR has found.

Less than a third (29%) of employers included salaries on ‘some’ job ads.

The research reopens a longstanding debate about whether UK employers should disclose salary information, or whether they should hide it from competitors.

Salary transparency in job ads reaches six year low

In Europe, salary information will be mandatory for all eligible companies from 2024.

According to the data, just 50% of employers include salary information on ‘all’ ads, while 29% include salaries on ‘some’ job ads

Zara Nanu, director of fair future of work strategy at XpertHR, argued salary transparency in job ads was important as it meant these organisations were more likely to have systems and pay equity analytics to identify pay gaps, meaning they perform better from a diversity, equality and inclusion perspective

According to the data, companies with transparent job adverts reported a 9% gender pay gap, as opposed to the 19% pay gap amongst those without transparency in their job adverts.

The worst-performing sector for salaries being posted on all job ads was the private sector – where only 26% of companies put salaries on all their job listings.

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This compares to the public and not-for-profit sectors, where organisations embrace salary transparency in all job adverts at rates of 83% and 79%, respectively.

Yet Doug Baird, founder and CEO of people advisory firm New Street Consulting Group, said salary transparency is a divisive subject in recruitment.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “The truth is that, in most businesses, salary is more flexible than a range one might put in an advert.

“It’s rare that a business would not be open to negotiate for the right candidate. However, at the same time, risk comes in not giving any steer on salary either.

"Not only could candidates be left thinking a role may not pay enough, but as transparency becomes an ever more important consideration within employer/employee relations, it can provide insights into the business’ employer value proposition.”

Ensure you have a transparent approach to pay or risk disruption later on

The worst thing HR directors can do is advertise a competitive salary, according to Virgile Raingeard, CEO of compensation management platform Figures.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “Hiring managers defend its use by saying it weeds out candidates who are only after pay and benefits. But at best, the term is inherently vague, and at worst, it can perpetuate pay disparities and inequalities in the workplace.”

He added: “HR directors need to look at pay inequity, in particular their gender pay gaps, and assess how their team currently makes compensation decisions.”

Show us the money! Is the UK falling behind on pay transparency?

The research comes after it was revealed the gender pay gap in FTSE boardrooms still stands at 70%, with average pay for female directors at £309,000, compared to £1.04 million for men.

XpertHR’s analysis job ad data also revealed there was a higher proportion of females in top paying roles in organisations that disclose salary in all job adverts – with a median of 65%.

This figure dropped to 33% in organisations with partial pay disclosure, and 24% in those with no salary information in adverts.

Matt Russell, CEO at employee benefits company, Zest said: “In order to attract the best talent in a competitive hiring landscape, salary transparency should be standard.”