Yeesh! This is a terrifying concept to many of us that “grew up” in leadership roles being taught that compensation discussions are the LAST step in the process of hiring a new employee. Let me count the jobs I’ve applied for, interviewed for, only to make it to the final stage to realize the pay they were offering was not at all what I expected.
There is a philosophy change occurring that is shifting us to talk about pay as the FIRST step. This can be done by posting the pay in our job ad and/or talking about it in the initial screen with candidates. In fact, it is more than just a philosophy in some municipalities. Many state and local government are changing the law that the salary range must be posted within the job ad. We are not there yet in Oklahoma, but I believe it is coming for us.
Why does this make me itchy? Obvious answer, what if my dream candidate says no or doesn’t apply? What if they were a rock star and I would have made pay concessions if I had just been able to get them to apply? What if I could win them over with my brilliant personality through the process and then, after they are sufficiently dazzled, pay wouldn’t matter that much?
Here are my answers to my own questions…
If I am able to make pay concessions for my dream candidate that are outside of my posted range, then my range is wrong. If I choose, up front, to not waste anyone’s time, including mine, by being transparent, that is efficient and respectful. If I am transparent with pay at the very beginning of the process, by the time I get to the end, I have much more confidence that they are going to accept my offer. Also, sad to say, no one’s personality is brilliant enough to offset what candidates need to pay their bills and support their families.
I know pay transparency in hiring feels uncomfortable for many of us, but give it a try. Doing this at the beginning leaves a better overall impression with candidates and is a much more efficient process. And also, chances are high that we will have to move towards this eventually so we may as well get ahead of the law and be proactive. Let me know how it goes for you, and, of course, if we can support you in any way.