There are numerous factors that contribute to what pay ranges to advertise in a job posting and subsequently many more factors to consider before you offer a qualified candidate the position.
Many companies use broad pay ranges in jobs advertisements, giving them maximum flexibility depending on candidate selection. Still, in our ever-changing market, it’s hard to know if the expectations you’re setting are on point.
Many job seekers go into the application process with a number in mind. They know their current rate, and they have resources to find out what similar roles are paying. What they don’t know is how the role may differ in your organization from other roles with similar titles at other companies. They also most likely don’t have an understanding of your organizational structure and how the role fits within it.
In the same vein, you may start the process with nothing more than applicant resumes, and until you get a better understanding of the applicants’ qualifications and how these individuals might fit into your organization, it makes sense to keep salary ranges broad.
No one knows your organization better than you
That said, you know your company better than external candidates or anyone else outside of it. You’re familiar with your organizational structure and generally what your employees are paid. You understand the culture of your organization and how a job role fits within it. Therefore, most of the information you need to determine a competitive pay range is already at your fingertips.
You can’t control all pay factors
There are some exterior factors that will always have an effect on your pay rates. You have no control over things like the cost of living, labor unions, government legislation, and so on. However, you certainly need to keep all this in mind before setting and advertising pay ranges.
No two organizations are the same
Just like your organization is different from the organization down the street that does pretty much the same thing, so are the roles within each organization.
Both organizations may advertise jobs that appear to be more or less the same, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of role responsibility, one job may actually be very different from another and require different compensation. It’s important to be aware of these differences going into the hiring process. Knowing what sets your company apart can give you a leg up in determining the right pay for the best candidate. Depending on your company size, for example, a role that you consider entry-level may be viewed as management somewhere else.
No two candidates are the same, either
Anyone can do an online search for a job title and find out what people in that role make across the country. While some of this information is helpful, some of it creates problems for hiring managers, who then have to explain to ill-informed candidates why X pay isn’t appropriate for the candidate’s level of experience or skill set. This is another reason it’s important to consider the duties of your job and properly portray them in your job posting. A savvy candidate will know his own qualifications and generally be able to weigh those against the standards you set forth, thereby accurately determining where he might fall in the pay range you’ve disclosed.
Sometimes you need an experienced candidate for a role, while other times a greener candidate might be a better fit.
In still other cases, you may have the option to fill a role with an experienced candidate OR one who has a lot of potential, which is another rationale for a large pay range.
If you want to attract the most qualified candidates and limit sticky conversations about pay, be sure and carefully consider all the factors discussed here before advertising pay ranges.