The #1 Thing Keeping Job Seekers from Applying to Your Role

Spoiler alert: it’s salary-related
The #1 Thing Keeping Job Seekers from Applying to Your Role

If your job posting isn’t getting enough traction, look at what you’ve written next to “salary.” Are you simply sharing that the salary is “Competitive”? “Depending on experience”? Or “Negotiable”?

Often, it’s not how much you’re willing to pay that stops job seekers from applying to your role. It’s that you’re keeping the salary a secret altogether.

Now more than ever, candidates gravitate to job postings where the salary info is upfront. Let’s break down what’s happening:

Salary is the biggest thing candidates look for in job ads. 

We tested a feature on Otta that let hundreds of job seekers ask companies for more information about their jobs. Overwhelmingly, they asked for the salary range more than any other topic.

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People are ready to talk about money. 

Like politics at the dinner table, talking openly about salary was once a pretty big no-no. That’s no longer the case. In fact, a few months ago our social media post about salary transparency went viral. We asked for just 1,000 likes and instead got 50,000, and launched billboards in London and New York City.


“Strong candidates for technical roles have multiple options in the market at any given time. By including the salary range when we first reach out to candidates, response rates have changed from 20% to over 50%.

Similarly, if you’re not advertising salaries on your jobs, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by losing out on inbound applications from great talent.”

— Lewis Deeley, Lead Talent Partner @ SyncD

What are the benefits of salary transparency?

1. Salary transparency makes attracting great talent easier 

Scrubbing out salary secrecy unlocks more applications from the right people. Those put off by the salary won’t apply— saving you on hours spent on the screening calls that crumble once you mention pay.

At Otta, we ask candidates to share their salary expectations and then recommend the roles that fit their requirements. They’re also able to filter and prioritise roles with their ideal salary ranges.

For companies, that leads to even more views and applications from the most qualified candidates - who are often the most selective in choosing which roles to apply to.

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2. Salary transparency shows you care about pay equality  

Women and underrepresented groups are often paid far less and are less likely to negotiate than white men. If they’re coming into an interview with lower expectations (and flying blind thanks to no salary ranges on jobs), you’re reinforcing the pay gap. And word gets around.

Major companies like Google, Uber and the BBC have all become embroiled in public scandals around gender pay gaps. Your company can avoid a similar fate by listing salary ranges in your job ads.

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3. Salary transparency builds trust with future employees

When you’re open about salary ranges, you’re displaying a level of trust right off the bat. And establishing that trust early on can be key. Research shows that workplace trust can increase productivity by as much as 50%.

A candidate’s experience during your hiring process is a lens into their future employee experience.

Organisations that show salary transparency upfront are indirectly demonstrating other values, like respect and fairness, which are critical. 

There are hundreds of disruptors and start ups trying to get the attention of top candidates, so if you’re not willing to offer this, other companies will. Beam has a great conversion rate from offer to acceptance, which is driven by the experience we provide to candidates during the process.”

- Ziyad Ibrahim, Talent @ Beam

It's time to include salaries in your job listings

Sharing the salary range doesn’t have to be that complicated. 

It’s as simple as adding a quick bullet point in the job description. You can specify a range, or share the minimum salary. You may wish to highlight factors that influence pay (e.g.remote vs in-person, level of experience).

If you host your jobs on an applicant tracking system (ATS), we can seamlessly sync these with the Otta platform and automatically add in the numbers around pay. Alternatively, you can add the salary ranges directly to your job listing on Otta.

Did you know? Putting salary ranges on your jobs is a key step towards being Otta Certified.

At Otta, we care deeply about supporting and celebrating companies put their best foot forwards when it comes to candidate experience. Learn more about how we're doing this.

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Supercharge Your Hiring with Otta

While talking openly about money was considered “taboo”, today, it’s one of the most professional things you can do. 

Streamline your hiring process, boost your inbound applications, and help close the pay gap by posting the salary on your next job ad.

If you're looking for new ways for your brand to stand out with candidates, our Product Experts can walk through how we can help.