We all remember Jerry Maguire right? One of the better performances Tom Cruise has given in his career. One of the things that made the film so memorable were two great catchphrases. “Show me the money” was one of course, and another less quoted but equally brilliant phrase “you had me at “hello.”
One of the great Australasian HR/recruitment mysteries is why we don’t put salary ranges on job ads here. Why are we not showing people the money? It’s standard practice in the UK for example. Look at any job ad or job board and 95% of roles have a clear and narrow salary range so you immediately know as a job seeker whether it is something you are prepared to consider and whether it will meet your expectations.
In little old New Zealand, we don’t talk about salaries in 95% of job ads. One of the most frustrating things I’ve found when I have been a job seeker is that you always have to ring up and ask what they are paying, to which you usually get the standard answer “it depends on the skills the person brings to the role.” This is of course bullshit. No one ever advertises a role without first having a good idea of the range in which they are prepared to pay. And even when they tell you, they will only give the information away after finding out who you are and your level of experience. It’s like they have to be satisfied you are a serious contender before they will share that with you.
Is it a national trait? We do the same thing with houses. Everyone has an idea of what they want when they are selling, so why not just say so? Why have all this “buyer enquiry over” nonsense? Put a fixed price on it. If there is demand for the house, buyers will offer more anyway to secure it. People waste far too much time house hunting as a result of this sort of nonsense.
So why are we so coy about saying what we want to pay? Is it fear of missing out on a potential candidate? Giving too much away to competitors? It baffles me so I asked around and sought comments on LinkedIn. I thought surely the benefits of giving this information away outweigh the negatives?
So what did I find? Here is a summary of the comments:
• Showing a salary range will make the responses to the ad more relevant. Over-qualified candidates are less likely to apply as are way under-qualified candidates (this from a company that actually includes ranges who consider it’s working for them)
• It gives people a better sense of the level of role and whether they are the target profile for a position
• It avoids getting a long way through the recruitment process only to realise the person’s salary expectations aren’t going to be met (it happens a lot here and then you just get turned down or people withdraw from the process – wasted time and effort for all)
• You get an idea of the value the organisation itself places on the role being advertised against the responsibilities
• Recruiters currently waste too much time fielding calls and talking to candidates who aren’t right for the role. This would allow them to work smarter and narrow the field quicker.
No one mentioned any negatives and all said the same thing “I always wonder why we don’t do this.” Is this sort of information really that commercially sensitive? It’s not hard to find out what your competitors are paying anyway.
So as a job hunter might say, if you want me at “hello”, show me the money. Say it with me Jerry “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!”