A Founder's Practical Guide to Networking.

When you are reading a job advert, what’s the first thing you look for?

I recently put this question to my LinkedIn network, interested to understand what people are drawn to when browsing job adverts. The results are below.

Job Title                                             11%

Working Pattern – hybrid etc              15%

Duties/Responsibilities                      12%

Salary/Benefits                                  62%

What can we take from this?

Firstly, salary/Benefits received the most votes by a considerable margin. More than the other 3 options combined. This result didn’t surprise me. It emphasises the importance of communicating what salary the role offers or at least a banding. In a candidate short market, you need to be doing all you can to entice people to apply. Certainly, salary isn’t everything but it is very often the number one consideration for job seekers, which has been exacerbated by the cost of living crisis, rising energy costs etc. Regardless of how attractive the advert or the company, not many of you reading this would apply for a role if it meant a 20% pay cut!  Salary can also often be an indicator of seniority or experience expectations as well, which again only helps good candidates decide this is the job for them and make an application…which is the sole purpose of a job advert after all!

Why don’t all job adverts show a salary, then?

It wouldd be naïve not to acknowledge some of the reasons for not advertising the salary of a role. People in the same grade may be on slightly different rates of pay, because of experience level, competency, length of service etc. An existing employee could see an advert and ask why they aren’t being paid at that level? You could see this is a problem but you could also see it is as an opportunity to have a frank and open conversation between the employer and employee. Furthermore, this would allow you to communicate clearly the steps needed to reach the level they are looking to attain. People are becoming increasingly more transparent about what they earn, hence it is not the taboo subject it once was. People being on different salaries at the same level can be ok, so long as the reasoning is fair and justified.  I might even go so far as to say that if this imbalance is the reason for NOT stating a salary on a job advert, then is it not time to also think about your retention strategies, or indeed check there isn’t any unconscious bias creeping in!?

Good employees are hard to come by, so maybe ensure you keep those you’ve already got.  (And I’m a recruitment consultant telling you that!)

Not sure you should change your job adverts?

To put this in a different context- if you were selling a house, what would happen if the estate agent didn’t display the asking price? How would this impact the number of enquiries? Or to flip it completely, how would the employer feel if the employee didn’t know (or wouldn’t share) their existing salary when they applied for the role?

Overall, you could read this and conclude this is people being entitled or demanding. In 2023 I don’t think this is the case. If you think of this like a game of cards, the employees increasingly hold the aces and some employers are still adapting to this.


Written by Gareth Spowart, Public Practice Manager.Click here to email Kirsty, or click here to meet the rest of the team.
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