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Ask HN: Are you more likely to apply for a job that discloses salary upfront?
154 points by finspin on Dec 6, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 136 comments
I started to work on a job board to improve my Node.js / MongoDB skills and I'm thinking of actually launching it. But how do I make my board different from all others? I'm thinking of having a mandatory salary field so that each job would contain a salary range.

Stack Overflow data shows that job ads with salary receive 75% more clicks. https://stackoverflow.blog/2016/07/salary-transparency/#75. Other job sites are reporting 20% - 30% increase in job applications for ads with salaries.


Especially right now, you need to attract candidates who are "passively looking": people who have a job, but would move given a good offer. I do freelance development and consulting, and I'm basically happy with that. I wouldn't turn down a great opportunity, but I'm not going to start the application process unless I know you can beat what I'm already earning.

Almost every single time I've decided to move to a new job I was passively looking at best. Every person I know, even the ones who are happy at their jobs, would be willing to move if an opportunity cropped up that interested them more than their current gig (money is important too, of course, but not 100% of the equation).

I'm only speaking from anecdotes but I feel like finding a way to cater to the passively looking engineering job area could be HUGE if done well. Trouble is I don't entirely know how to do it well and not come off as spammy.

I agree about it being huge. But from an employer perspective, even if it's not huge, what counts is the margin, and if it gives you a few more good candidates than everyone else trying to hire, that is a big advantage. All the things Joel Spolsky wrote about the developer hiring market change, if you are reaching these passively looking people.

> finding a way to cater to the passively looking engineering job

Isn't that what SO does, quite well?

An idea I had that I have never implemented but would happily subscribe to is a weekly or monthly newsletter with jard data about salaries. Not self reported salaries, or salaries from job posts, but honest to goodness salaries, anonymized.

I don't know how you would get the data, but I doubt you'd have trouble attracting subscribers and attention if you had good data.

This is a great angle I haven't thought of. I'm guessing passively looking candidates might be quite a big chunk of the market. Given a financially interesting offer they might apply for a job which they would otherwise just skim through.

Potentially they are better hires. They found a great job and they are happy. If they take your job it's definitely for the right reasons.

I tried for a while putting in big letters "Please do not offer me jobs for less than $n" (with n about 80% of my salary at the time) on my LinkedIn profile, but it had absolute zero effect on recruiters. Presumably they don't manually read the profile at all, rather just skim for keywords.

I did the same with location and had much the same result (the entreaty was ignored).

I doubt you'll get anyone who says that salary range disclosed in a job advertisement is not a good thing, from the perspective of the job seeker.

The question you may want to ask instead is: "Does the benefit to the job seeker of having a salary range specified outweigh the loss of potential advertisers who do not want to disclose a salary range?"

If you're just doing this as a side project, with no expectation of making a business out of it, then you may want to lean more toward what benefits the user.

If you're trying to run a business and pay the bills, you might need to think more about how it decreases your potential revenue, assuming the job advertisers are the ones who are paying for your service.

One other thing: Salary range is inherently a fuzzy concept. It's possible to set limits (e.g. the range must not span more than $20K, or the range must not constitute more than 20% of the lower-end number) but then you have to take into account that an advertised salary range is not necessarily the same as what they're ultimately willing to offer you. And then you have to factor in benefits, etc., which can make salary ranges misleading.

Edit: One possible way to make salary range disclosures more palatable to advertisers is to borrow a strategy from matchmaking systems: The advertiser discloses a salary range, and the job seeker discloses a minimum required salary, to the website, which does not make any of that information public. When the job seeker submits an application for a job, they receive a notice if the advertiser's specified salary range does not meet their minimum requirements. This keeps the actual salary range out of public view and at least slightly difficult to estimate, but it prevents the job applicant from wasting their time.

I'm thinking that launching just another job board won't get me anywhere. I'll have to either a) spend heavily on advertising (which I can't afford) or b) differentiate myself from all other job boards out there.

I live in Finland (5 million habitants) and based on my research only about 5% of job ads include salary. It's not part of the culture to discuss salaries publicly so it's very well possible that companies won't be willing to go public.

On the other hand, I think it's quite promising that there are even a few companies that are already publishing their salary offers, despite most of the competition not doing it.

I see it as my job to convince them it's good for their business and start a little revolution. Maybe others will join the bandwagon?

The grandparent post is making an important point though: consider carefully which side of the market makes the rules and embrace their rules as constraints.

I spent ~8 months working on two different startup ideas in the hiring space, one with a cofounder who'd been researching it for close to a year before I came along. We also started with grand ideas of making hiring easier for the jobseeker. The problem is that jobseekers do not have money - hence why they need a job - and so all the money in the hiring space comes from the employer. Like any other competitive market, hiring is subject to the Golden Rule: "He who has the gold makes the rules."

That's why getting a job sucks so much. It's a process that's entirely designed to benefit the company offering the job, not the person seeking the job. And lest you think you can just force companies to make their hiring processes more employee-friendly (we did), consider what happens if they say no. You'll have no listings, and without any listings, you have nothing to offer the jobseeker.

I feel like the job board (yours, Monster, Dice, whoever) is in a unique position to solve this problem. You can ask each side for their salary range but then don't disclose it to the opposite side. You can then match candidates to compatible jobs and everyone knows up front that the desired ranges overlap.

This is a really interesting idea. I would expand it further... OkCupid for employment. Outsource algorithmic and language knowledge measurement to something like TopCoder and add that as a potential dimension on which to match. Education, clearances, experience: these could all be match dimensions.

Offer and demand explain a lot of phenomena. Companies only disclose sallaries when they need to, in order to seduce enough talent. Industries with a large talent pool to choose from will never do it.

Offtopic for original question, but yeah, us Finns should be more open about salaries since our tax records are already public information. But some Finnish companies are worried about publishing salaries because they think foreigners won't even apply for certain jobs if they see that e.g. Swedish companies are giving a better salaries.

...wait, if tax records are already public information - could you create a job board that doesn't require the employer's cooperation at all? Just scrapes tax return information, correlates the "employer" field (there is one, right?) with the "income" field, and displays the average salary for every job title at every company? That'd be hugely valuable information; it's not possible to build in the U.S. since our tax records are private, but it'd give a great picture of the economy and which sectors are in demand.

I nosed around the Finnish tax authority website and couldn't find a way to download the returns.

Even if it wee anonymized I think it'd be a fascinating dataset to play with.

Hey, I live in Finland as well, and this sounds very interesting, I'd love to discuss about it. Shoot me an email :)

Great, I'll be in touch! :)

Multiple users could collude to determine the top of the range for a position, if that were the case.

In any case we are discussing passive job searches. I'm not going to take the time to apply to a great job if I already have a great job, in the hope that they might meet my salary requirements. I might however use salary as a metric in initial search.

The best data from a job seeker's perspective isn't a salary range, which is a signal about what to expect that you chose, it's making public but perhaps anonymous what your developers actually make, which are facts.

It's a market. Efficient markets don't have secrets.

It depends heavily on your target market and whether you can successfully influence that market. If you get a substantial number of users, and job postings on your site have a high success rate and faster responses than anywhere else, then companies may not be able to ignore your site, even though they'd prefer not to disclose salary up front. Do some trials, get those numbers, and use them prominently in your pitch to companies.

A range helps to know if it's even worth applying. If I see a range, from X to Y, and my prefered salary is Y + 20k, It's probably worth talking to you because there's a chance I can make the needle move.

If I'd have to make the needle move by 100k, then I'm not going to bother.

If the range is not shown at all, I'll still apply, but I'll usually start with "While I negotiate salaries later in the process, my range is usually around X-Y, depending on the role".

Too many times I went through a phone screen, and when talk of salaries came up, it was just way off. And sure, phone screens are quick, but at that point I already had to deal with the silly pointless puzzles for 30-60+ minutes.

I've been through entire interview processes (multiple hour long interviews over days) to get to this point, so a phone screen doesn't seem so bad. Anyone have hints on how to gracefully breach the salary topic? I've also had technical interviews where the interviewers are attempting to gauge my "seniorness" because apparently resume and work experience isn't enough to determine this. It's possible that many companies want to adjust salary based on perceived interview performance.

One time an hr person called me to schedule an interview (after I'd submitted my resume thru stackoverflow iirc) and I just asked her; can you offer at least X? She put me on hold, talked to the hiring manager and said no. I replied thanks, not interested. Ymmv

"Anyone have hints on how to gracefully breach the salary topic"

My tip is: don't be graceful. It's stupid, but the subjective perception people will get when you approach the topic straight up and say "I run 250k/year, is that within your range, before we go any further?" is powerful.

The first thing that happens is that you get slotted for the higher level positions right away, will talk to more important people, and do the more interesting interview (that is often not any harder than what they ask college grads. It's just less "please write a hashmap on a whiteboard!"), so you'll get the job anyway, but make 100k more a year or whatever.

It's dumb, but it's how the industry work.

What is your X-Y that 20k seems to be a trivial percentage of your salary?

You can negotiate a non trivial percentage of a stated salary.

Lacking a salary range in a job posting tells me that "competitive salary" really means "below market rate" in most cases.

I've found the best postings list their minimum ($70k+ or whatever). Maximum is irrelevant, as you can assume it's around 20% of that minimum. It shows what salaries and skill expertise they're after.

I've seen ads that list a salary range of "$100-200K." Not sure what skill level they're aiming for there.

We do this when the candidate pool is very small. If we get someone fresh out of university with very little experience they'll earn the bottom of the range. If we get someone more senior with relevant experience they might be worth a lot more.

Not sure I'd want to work for a company with such... broadly defined roles...

They should split into roles with smaller bands. They probably just want to hedge their bets and try to land a 100k rockstar. But with the option to hire a 200k monkey if they get desperate!

Too many employers think on one hand that they need hours of interviews to verify that I'm a top candidate, and on the other think that 70k is a competitive offer for me to waste my time applying to jobs without salaries.

If you want to quickly verify that a potential employer is willing to pay a 'competitive' salary, why don't you take the initiative and tell them not to consider you if the position pays less than $x?

Because that usually turns into you getting an offer of $x when in reality, they may have been willing to pay much higher.

I think this risk is a lot more prevalent early in your career or in the bay area.

I can't imagine this happening in the Houston market to someone with 6-7 year of experience.

Honestly I just haven't had to. The job market hasn't gotten that bad and there are enough jobs where I can pre-filter based on salary(recruiter/job board/etc) that I've haven't had to write specific e-mails asking for compensation.

I also imagine the response rate would be low. Some wouldn't respond, some would respond with no, and some would respond it depends. And of the ones that responded yes it could mean yes, but it could also mean they are only willing to pay their purple unicorn candidate that amount.

Or they request you to state your expected salary first, assuming you'll go low due to the pressure.

As a current job seeker, its certainly helpful to see the range I can expect when the process gets that far. I might suggest that you offer two modes for input: exact and range. In the case of range, maybe, warn them if their range is crazy big. I've seen jobs recently in the market I'm searching in on StackOverflow advertising a range with the low end being 50% of the high end. That doesn't actually help me when deciding on whether to contact.

If you really wanted to go crazy, make a publicly advertised email field mandatory, also. If I find a job posting and can't send an email to apply for it. I, most of the time, skip applying for that job. I might fill out a form that asks for just, like, my name, email and has a file field for my resume, but, it still rubs me the wrong way to fill that out. Give me an email address and let me write a small personalized note with a link to my resume. When you present me with a form to apply it makes me feel like I'm just a new datapoint in your recruitment database rather than, like, a human being just trying to start a conversation about how we can help each other.

Absolutely! Public company email is mandatory, I didn't even consider having a job ad without it. Good point about the application form, it sure makes the applicant feel like just another record in a database.

More than once I've gotten to the negotiation phase of the job offer only to find the employer won't meet my salary requirement. It's very frustrating and a huge waste of time for everyone.

There's a big problem with salary ranges:

Everyone wants the highest number listed. This prevents employers from being honest, because that max range should be the MOST They want to spend, but to the applicant, it's the least they think they should accept.

It's frustrating as an applicant, and having been on both sides of this fence, I've stopped listing it because it's a very easy question to ask on a first contact: "Just so we're in the same ballpark, what kind of salary range are you looking for? I'm not going to hold you to whatever number you throw out because we've still got a lot to learn about each other, but I don't want to waste anyone's time"

We just list our budgeted amount. Candidates will get at least the bottom number, so they can be sure we're not going to low-ball at offer time. The highest number indicates what we won't be offering above as that's the maximum for the budget. Candidates who want more then know it's unlikely to be a good fit for them, so know not to apply. There's no reason to be dishonest.

The problem with not posting it is this: most candidates who would have been a good fit for the position won't even bother applying. I'd prefer to post it and get the odd annoying candidate trying to negotiate up than not get any decent range of applications at all.

Personally, I'll just skim right on over a job advert that didn't bother posting the range. There are plenty of other good jobs from companies who do post it.

> it's a very easy question to ask on a first contact

It's also very easy to list in the ad so that everyone can not waste anyone's time in the first place. If you're going to answer it in the first phone call, just put it in the ad.

> This prevents employers from being honest, because that max range should be the MOST

The range is what is budgeted for the position.

It has nothing to do with stopping the company from being honest. Putting the range out there in the first place stops the company from setting the range by squeezing the applicants current salary as they try to get someone qualified for much less.

That also a dangerous question to answer on first contact. If I was applying I would not believe you and just avoid answering anyway. Time will still be wasted and this whole process will continue to be non-ideal.

Why would you not believe me? It's not like I can force you to take a job either way.

I expect people to want to either make more money than they are now (I never ask that question, btw.. I think that's offensive IMO) or have a better experience in coming to work at a new job, and any manager worth working for should too.

Absolutely. Job hunting is an intensive task. Knowing the salary range before you apply for a job, is extremely important . Cutting out jobs that aren't applicable from the salary perspective saves you time and effort.

Having a clear salary expectation up front just saves both parties time and effort. One of the big reasons salary ranges aren't always public, is because it benefits the company, by maintaining information asymmetry. By but doing that, you're at least in a small way, telling me that you don't want to play that game and are more likely to be transparent with me about other parts of the process.

Absolutely. If I currently have a job (probably the people you want), the most companies I actively interview for at any given time is ~4, give or take. Any more takes way too much time and is difficult to prep for. I simply can't waste my time with companies that may take a significant chunk of my time and end up not being able to offer an acceptable salary. There's a big enough pool of jobs I know for a fact are within my salary requirements, so I don't need to have doubt. Some of these usually come from job postings including salaries, and some of them come from a recruiter (a good recruiter is a valuable asset for me) who know my requirements.

Of course, one of my terrible experiences was interviewing after a company pinged and showed strong interest. Only to be offered half of what I was making and been begged to take it because they are about to go big and shares.

I wish to know the salary upfront. I'll never take another interview without discussing the salary range beforehand.

For the most part, yes.

Given that job titles aren't able to help me discover whether an opportunity is right for my next career move, salary ranges help me to gauge whether I'd be moving up a ladder and save me time from having to schedule something only to find out that they were really looking for juniors.


It's a colossal waste of half a day or so plus all the conversations.

No salary range usually implies generic ad from some half assed agency trying to get people on their books

Total compensation is the first and only thing that I ask before even learning about an opportunity.

I make $240k / year. And, that's a jaw-dropping figure for companies that only seek warm bodies to fill seats. It's better to get that out of the way immediately.

Awesome! Where / what do you work on?

"Big data analytics" (lol). Hey, in this business it pays to ride the hype curve for as long as you can...

But, basically, I just crunch PiBs of data, build platforms that inexpensively scale to 100s of billions of writes a day, and generate astrological reports that get sold for much, much more than I make.

My first mentor once told me two lasting pieces of advice to making money:

1) Do not try to know everything. Instead aim to know 5-10% more than everyone else in the room.

2) Learn to negotiate. Essentially, understand what the other party needs and how much they need it. Then, ask for the maximum that they're willing to pay plus the amount that it would cost to replace you.

That advice has been on target for over 15 years. Believe me - are way more rooms out there than you'd think.

His 3rd piece of advice (somewhat unrelated): Find a boss that you love to work for and make them successful. And, if you don't like your boss, run from them as politely but as fast as you can.

I see the issue as information symmetry, the more the employer asks, the more he should quote the salary and detail other "advantages" (if any).

To add some humour, from:


"This is how most job ads sound nowadays:

We’re looking for a person with more than 100 years of experience in software development, coding everything from BIOSes to cloud applications, knowledge of all past, present and future operating systems and setting up secure networks. The applicant must also be able to juggle up to twenty balls and read hieroglyphs, be fluent in Swahili and dance like Michael Jackson (especially moonwalking – nice to have at corporate Christmas parties)."

So, this is what is expected from you, it is only polite to list (including fringe benefits, in detail) what you can expect from the employer.

The gitlab confidence gap disclaimer is a refreshing break from this trend.


There's no point in wasting either side's time applying to a company that can't afford me.

On the flip side, if they're got very nitpicky requirements and are offering a huge salary, that's a good signal that they really are requirements and not just a description of the pie-in-the-sky ideal candidate.

Here's the problem though -- often times, someone may have an open position or two, for a range of skill levels. So they interview, and determine what skill bucket the candidate falls into, and makes an offer based on that.

So the only way to solve that in a job listing, is to either give a wide salary range (50k - 150k, for example), which then becomes useless. Or to have one posting that lists a number of positions (systems admin level 1, programmer/analyst level 3, etc) with a set of skills required for each bucket.

If that's the case, then they're simply cheaping out on paying for separate ads. Which is a red flag to me.

Except they may not have 3 positions open -- just one position, but they may be willing to hire a more junior person with the hopes of training them and given them an upward career path. (Unfortunately for the employee, the pay doesn't typically increase as their skill increases).

It really is 3 positions though, it's just that they can only fill one.

Putting an ad out for all three, means better tuned applicants, and leaves the company the ability to make an offer of a different position. From the company's position, that's 1.5-3x the number of applicants, for the price of 2 additional ads.

When our company is looking for mixed positions (either a mid-level position where we'll also accept a junior position, or a mixed role such as dba/sysadmin), we'll put out two ads for the position that focus one aspect, then mention the other as a nice-to-have. Then we get candidates who are strong in one area, and average in another, or sometimes (when we're lucky), someone who is strong in both. But either way, we get to choose the best candidate, rather than having good candidates self-select out due to "you must have everything" or super-vague posts.

Well it's not like they couldn't take the other ads down once they hired someone.

Having enough salary is important, but it shouldn't drive your decision (as the employee). Not having enough money definitely matters, but at some point there are diminishing returns on how important salary is to your motivation, and future success in a role.

You know what I wish I had in a job search? Let me post a profile, not a resume, but give me a survey. Let employers search for me based on what I'm good at... where my strengths are. Focus the hunt not on "who has the best skills" but rather "who's going to round out my team". The idea that specific technical skills can be acquired easier than personality traits.

So here's the traits I'd look for. Every engineer has a mix of motivations, some care more about tech problems, others care more about business problems. Then honestly some are just more concerned about growing their career. All 3 personalities have equally important traits that are essential to a team. A good team should have a tech guy to make sure what it builds is maintainable, it should also have a guy who is always making sure what the team is building is valuable, and then frankly if you have both of these guys they're going to constantly disagree with each other... so you need another guy who will take both viewpoints into account and determine what's better for the company.

While the salary thing isn't everything, it still is a very important thing. And unless there's significant upside, most people I know aren't going to be interested in a job where they have to take a 30% cut. Especially if they already have a family.

> Not having enough money definitely matters, but at some point there are diminishing returns on how important salary is to your motivation, and future success in a role.

The only time this is the case is when you aren't listing the job opening and instead are hiring someone specifically to recruit someone. If you are posting the job on your site or on some external site, you are not at that point yet.

I'm a tech recruiter and job boards are one of the worst sources of candidates both for agency recruiters and companies. The best candidates aren't looking for jobs and hence will rarely visit job boards.

Companies like Hired & AngelCo are taking a marketplace approach to the hiring process. Arguably, the biggest issues with these processes is that you can't attract passive candidates.

If you can figure out a process that attracts passive candidates, you will win the recruiting industry. I think companies like HackerRank are in the right direction by being a platform for recruiting, but not in an overt way.

A lot of developers use HackerNews, but not for the recruitment aspect, but YC companies have an advantage because they can post to the job board.

As a developer, why would your job board be a massive difference to recruiters/companies? Chicken and Egg problem, but with subtle differences.

I think it may depend a lot upon the candidate. I personally feel like I make a pretty good salary, and with many jobs I would otherwise consider applying to, I don't feel like it's worth the time to go through the interview process just to find out their max salary they can offer is a pay cut for me. Similarly if there is a job that looks interesting to me, but advertises it's range and it's in the ballpark of what I want, I would be MUCH more likely to apply.

It also provides a lot of information about what the job will be expected to do. With what I do, people are not going to be willing to give me the salary I want, while also wasting my time on remedial work when they could get someone much cheaper that could do those tasks. So by keeping my interest in higher salary jobs, I can try to limit it to jobs which hold more interest for me personally.

I tend not to consider roles with no pay / range disclosed. Applying to roles is time consuming and why waste time on it to be told the salary is far lower than expected.

Absolutely, even if the salary doesn't imply any commitment from the employer, and that it's not one salary, but an interval (like, $150k-170k). When I was looking for a job recently, I exclusively focused on Hired.com and AngelList, exactly because their postings have salaries.

Why does it matter? To me, it's actually not about the money, but about ensuring that what I understand of the job title is what the employer understands of the job title too. Job titles are currently very loose in the industry, and if I see a posting for a "Lead Full-Stack Software Engineer" for $80k, I will immediately understand that this title does not mean to me what it means to the employer, and will save everyone a lot of time.

Even though the wording of the question is great, I think most people will take it as "Do you think disclosing a salary is a good thing?" Everyone would definitely be more likely to apply if the salary is good, but less likely if it's bad. The answer depends on the amount disclosed, not on the fact it's disclosed. It automatically makes you imagine the "happy case" and say that YES, it's awesome if I see a big salary and I would definitely apply more. But reality is different.

I think it's an interesting point, but any results or replies are destined to lead to wrong conclusions. It's like doing UX research by asking people what they want instead of observing their behavior (i.e. prone to bias). So I wouldn't take any of the answers here as relevant.

Absolutely. I am sick of having my time wasted by companies that pretend to want above-median employees, but whose pay scales max out at below-median dollar amounts.

When I say I want $120k to move to your city, because you asked me to give you a number, and you say "Uhhhhh... we can't even negotiate from that as a starting point," you had better start putting your maximum number on your call for applicants. Because I just found out you were lying when you said you pay competitive market salary for the job requirements you chose to publish.

I am also very unlikely to budge for less than the annual salary than I earn now times the change-in-cost-of-living multiplier for the best school district in your metro area.

It saves time on both sides for the employer to disclose up front.

All things being equal, if I had to choose between applying to two jobs, and one of them explicitly offered the salary that I believe I'm worth, then yeah, I would apply to that one.

On another note, one thing I've been thinking of doing, (and I'd be delighted if you did it!) is a job board that only shows positions with take home interviews instead of in-person coding exercises. I think this is a growing trend as people realize that they're missing out on good developers who suck at coding under pressure with someone looking over their shoulder. I've come across several threads on HN with people saying the same thing.

The take-home system is great if you actually use it. I won a prize in a programming comp from a well known hedge fund - lots of interesting (and frankly hard) problems and I learned a lot. The competition was essentially take home and submit a bunch of numerical answers. Several questions were pinched from Project Euler, but I won't hold that against them... Small cash prize and offer of an interview for an internship. I assumed that they would take into consideration the submitted code, perhaps discuss some of the solutions.

So what do they ask in the phone interview? "How would you reverse a linked list?". Yeah, no. They didn't even bother to call back after I'd bombed it. It struck me as a bit weird that they went to the effort of coming up with a competition and then chucked the winners through the usual loop.

Genuine question, but what is so difficult about reversing a linked list? I don't have the algorithm memorized, but i can deduce in 10 minutes at most.

It's not, at all, but it took me by surprise and I made a mess of it. In hindsight the answer was less than 10 lines of python. The next time I went round an interview loop I rote learned all the CS101 stuff, because that's what you have to do (I'm not a computer scientist).

The issue was that the comp contained a lot of stuff that you couldn't deduce in 10 minutes. For example, all-shortest-paths graph search, performing huge calculations (e.g. stuff that blows up extremely fast), monte carlo simulations and other bits and pieces. It would have made for a much more interesting interview.

Not everyone can come up with an answer under a pressure situation when put on the spot. I've managed it in an interview but it was quite stressful.

I had a very similar experience. The interview guy most likely first saw my resume a minute before the interview. Clearly did not see the code I wrote for them.

Just to expand on this, maybe a job board should tell you what the interview process is like. Whether its take home test, whiteboard, in person project, etc.

Yes, and this being a field that you can filter by.

Unequivocally yes.

I need to know that I'm not wasting my time pursuing what may become a low-ball offer, and I'm wholly unwilling to take a pay-cut, regardless of promises from the prospective employer.

Once bitten, twice shy, as they say.

Hired.com does a good job of this, you look at candidates on the board (as a potential employer) and you put in what you think you would pay that candidate. They can decide if they want to interview for the job or not. As an employer nice bit is that you already know that they would already consider working for you at that salary. For the candidate they can see multiple 'bids' from different companies and get a sense of the market and also see if their own expectations are under valued or over valued.

Knowing the range is definite incentive to apply for a job or submit an application. Too many times a company will not list it and then the range is well below what I would be looking for. I will say glassdoor has helped a bit, because usually that is my first stop when an interesting company has an opening, that gives me at least some degree of what to expect.

I'm not looking for 200k but if you're budget is about 70k then I don't want to waste their engineers, managers, whoever or my own time.

I definitely prefer knowing up front what the salary for a role would be. I go to work to get paid, so it's pretty a significant factor that should be communicated early on.

Not just more likely, I flat out won't cold apply anywhere that doesn't have a range listed. I consider any company that isn't upfront about compensation as having something to hide.

Note: if you do this, mandatory salary field should be only numbers and dashes, because everyone will just do what craigslist does: "DOE", "Competitive" etc. See angellist for a good example of how to do this right.

Add EXACT salary for the job - very often final salary is equal to min. wage mentioned in range.

Also, used technologies at company - because another job offer for front-end developer that uses Angular1, Angular2, React, Redux, Preact, Ember, Backbone, Node.js, MongoDB, Photoshop, Gimp and has 10+ years of experience is just dumb. Let the companies write about their flow, exact tech stacks etc.

I think addressing the salary too directly e.g this is how much money give or take $5k makes the hunt overly focused on financial benefits, which as has been commented has substantial downsides.

I think that a standardized band should be selected. Substantial sized bands, to dissuade purely financially driven people. You want them, but also as has been pointed out you don't only want them. You need a range. Bands give security that we are having the same conversation. I have also been interviewed for roles where the salary being offered is substantially below market value. What a waste of time tbh.

Also some way of getting at the intangibles would be great. For employees knowing whether this manager fires regularly, his feedback in the industry, etc would be helpful when selecting a role.

Cultural questions with answers are also good.

There is a great deal not be done to help the two seekers find the right connection and it's quite shocking really how prosaic the tools are for recruiting when you consider the money involved.

> to dissuade purely financially driven people

Financially driven... like the for-profit company you work for?

> to dissuade purely financially driven people.

Is there any other kind of job hunter?

Yes, we're all supposed to be passionate and love what we do. Working for money is gauche! Why, the very suggestion sent my monocle flying across the room!

It depends -- if the salary is less than my minimum then it reduces the chances. If it is far more than what I expect, that also reduces the chance. The ideal range covers 10-20% more than I'm currently making -- that will increase my likelihood of applying.

The good thing about disclosing upfront is that it will save both me and the employer time down the road.

Absolutely yes. Interestingly, just today I contacted a possible employee through StackOverflow who didn't provide salary upfront specifically asking them to give some indication of their budget.

My reasoning (which got me their expected salary range) was that without this, it could well be a pointless exercise for all parties involved

I don't consider most jobs and companies because I don't think they can pay the same or more than I already make. A good problem to have.

That said I think most companies are genuinely looking for more inexpensive candidates. Or maybe not? I don't know. I can never really tell what people are willing to pay.

Yes, but only if the salary is in my range.

I get so many recruiter spams, LinkedIn junk mail, contacts from former associates, etc. - most of which have absolutely no salary range - those that do and are high enough tend to stand-out in my mind, while a lot of the other ones are simply mass deleted every few days.

I even if the ranges are listed I still think brain dead recruiters are going to send you an entry level help desk position even though you have 10 years of dev experience. I'm not sure how you solve the spray and pray nature of some recruiters. Especially the ones who tell me "i'd like to submit you for this req" after I've just told them I'm not interested.

I typically only send personalized emails to developers. Do you only respond to emails if salary range is listed?

I try to use my judgement on the skill set to see if it's where I am in my career. If it's actually personalized then I will probably respond either. A range just gives both of an easy yes or no and saves time. Maybe I'm different but I cannot imaging taking a pay cut to go anywhere in this market. If it's even in my ballpark for skills you will be the top 5% of recruiters.

I'll get things like contracting gigs. I'll take one for a significant increase to offset stability. Recruiters offer my current rate +$5 and expect me to travel weekly and cover that cost... We're not even talking at that point.

On job searches I generally ignore any position with no range or "excellent compensation". I just feel like it's too low to list.

A range is helpful but if the company is unwilling to put their actual max dollar value up for highly qualified candidates (read: the range is not the real range) it might result in fewer high quality applications.

If a range is not listed but the job is something of interest to me, I would not hesitate to apply and then ask the recruiter / HR contact about the range and whether expectations line up. It's one call and might help make a connection or refer you to a different gig.

As an aside, anything that indicates "we're an awesome bunch of rock star ninja people with competitive pay and benefits packages" typically results in a tab close.

Most of the times, yes.

Sometimes good benefits (NOT equity and soda, but 401k, healthcare, etc.) are so much better than the norm that I may overlook the salary being omitted and treat the interview as a discovery process.

If the company's Target is noticeably low, then I really want them to put up the salary. I do however want them to be very honest about there range. This allows for me to be much more particular about what my other needs are from the company.

If they are paying market rates for their employees, then I don't particularly care. I'm comfortable with negotiating at the higher levels.

It looks like a company's range is dishonest, then I'm comfortable with having wasted their time when I am searching for work.

Indeed, otherwise there is a cost time and sometimes money based on that time to the job seeker to find out what the salary is.

For the employer this may suck because existing employees will see rates/market and if they don't have an open salary policy it could cause issues.

For the job seeker, you might also want higher and not go to a place that may decide to pay you higher based on experience and skills.

A range is probably the best but a number puts job seeker and employer closer to the deal just by seeing the numbers.

If I see a job that I like with a salary that I like, I could apply.

If I like the job and don't see a salary, I could apply only if the job description hints to a salary that I like.

In other cases, I don't.

That means that if the salary is hidden and there is a mismatch between my expectation and the salary, I'll apply and everybody will waste time.

If there are many people like me the number of applicants could be higher but the effectiveness of the hiring process will be lower. I support the mandatory salary field.

I would only apply for a job that doesn't have salary information if it was a large established company, where I could feel reasonably comfortable that they have a clue about what salaries should be, and a budget to actually pay it.

If it was a small business, especially if the position is the only one of its type at that company I would not bother making any contact at all without salary info - it's a total waste of time.

Nope. I'd most likely apply for something I believe will be enjoyable 8-10 hours a day, Monday to Friday from January to December. It's called employee retention and you should evaluate that metric yourself. If you let your employer handle that part it'll be about knowing how much will be your next salary increase. Which falls back to your question. Short term versus long term.

No, because I've literally never seen a posted range that is at or above what I expect to be paid, and what I've been making for 5+ years.

I have to feel super passionate about applying for a job opening that doesn't list a salary range.

And maybe that's a good thing for both sides.

This is the one nice thing about going through a recruiter (that you trust). You can give them the range that you are looking for (a lower number plus other benefits, or a higher number if it is a higher stress place), and they can filter the positions ahead of time.

No ... but I would only apply to a job that didn't list salary if I had a ballpark range in mind for what it would pay.

I'm MUCH more likely to spend time browsing job postings (and hence applying) that give a salary range though.

When I was younger I'd apply regardless. Now, I won't even bother without a minimum being listed.

I'm far enough in my career that I won't allow my time to be wasted. And if you're hiding your pay scale, you're wasting my time.

Why on earth would someone apply for a job if they don't know the salary up front? When I recruit people I always disclose the salary, it signals the level of applicant I expect for the job and saves wasting anyone's time.

AngelList shows salary (and equity) ranges. They are pretty wide but still preferable.

I often don't even bother to click through if there isn't at least an idea of salary. (Using words like 'competitive', or 'DOE' don't count, and earn the posting minus points)

The problem is everyone always throws up like "30-180k depending on experience". Standardize that by making like 3 "sample" levels and nake them say what they would give for each.

With such a wide range I wouldn't apply. And when a headhunter comes to me and just says "are you interested in a job?", without giving me any details. I don't even bother to ask what it is about.

If you want to be interesting make an detailed offer with detailed informations. And when it fits the person reading it, he eventually will respond.

Location matters. Jobs being offered on the west coast almost always beat my salary here in the midwest. But when you take into account the cost of living, it usually ends up being a significant paycut.

100% believe that Salary should be a mandatory field on your job board. It means the hiring team needs to have a budget for a role; plus has at least thought about the market rate and what they can pay.

I'm okay with no posted salary range as long as it's discussed with either the recruiter or HR early on.

That being said, I apply for jobs based on what looks interesting, not based on the pay.

It seems logical that more people would apply to jobs that include a salary in the post. I'd be far more interested to know what % of employers are satisfied with their hire if they included the salary or not. Additionally I'd want to know how many people they found were outright unqualified if they included the expected salary. My suspicion is that lots of [un|under]qualified people see a great salary and apply just hoping to luckily land the position. That's not say well-qualified people shun seeing the salary in a job post (as is obvious from the comments here) but how much signal:noise do companies get.

The vast majority of innovations using the Internet here have been to service employers. I think adding more information for employees is a great benefit.

A range YES absolutely. I will ignore most that don't because if they're going to not even get near my currently salary it's not even worth my time.

You should also require job posts to state what the steps in their interview process are and an estimate for how long the whole process should take.


Put another way: A job posting that doesn't disclose at least a salary range has to be much more interesting for me to apply.

a good salary is definitely appealing, but if I like the job (and I am searching) I am going to apply no matter if they disclose the salary upfront or not

Question to job seekers: Do you disclose your current salary to employers or recruiters during the job search process?

Yes, especially for those who already have a comfortable salary and a nice job.

Traditional salary negotiation, which generally hurts the applicant, heavily favors a salary black-box. So, a job board like this would help people who are not interested in negotiating their salary but want to stay competitive.


However, you should not go forward with this silly job board project.









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