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Five Ways Salary Transparency Can Improve Your Hiring Process

Salary transparency.

Cultural shifts to share experiences in our personal lives – from visiting a destination to dining at a restaurant – are changing norms around sharing workplace information as well. People are more openly sharing their workplace experiences with others, in person and online, and this includes compensation information. In a similar likeness, career review sites may now even feature payroll information that was once considered proprietary. As a result, HR professionals should become accustomed to relaying salary information during the hiring process – and answering informed questions from candidates about compensation. One study reported by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 55 percent of HR executives favored some degree of salary transparency. Here are five ways you can prepare for increased transparency during the hiring process.

Share Salary and Compensation Details as Early as Possible

Increasingly, talent acquisition teams and companies at large are sharing more information about salary and compensation early in the hiring process. Where that may have once been a conversation that happened only during the offer stage, compensation is often being disclosed in job ads or during the screening process. There are numerous benefits to this: Companies don't waste their time on candidates who will never take an offer that's in the budget, and candidates go through the hiring process with clear expectations. A successful interview process may be less likely to be hamstrung by compensation issues when transparency plays a core role in discussions.

Where that may have once been a conversation that happened only during the   offer stage, compensation is often being disclosed in job ads or during the screening process.

Use Business Intelligence to Understand the Compensation Landscape

A candidate can often research your company culture, compensation, and the competitive landscape with a few minutes of searching online. As a result, candidates often come armed with market salary data and information about what your competitors are paying for similar roles. If your HR team doesn't have the same information, they are at a disadvantage. Consider using data sources and HR software to understand what's competitive for the specific roles you're hiring for, and ensure that your recruiters, HR managers, and hiring managers are armed with that information for discussions with candidates.

Understand Your Perception in the Market

Along with knowing the budgeted salary range for a specific role, your HR team should also understand perceptions of your employer brand. For example, does your company have a reputation for offering poor benefits or "low balling" candidates? Take the time to research what people are saying about your brand online. Knowing the perception – whether it's grounded in reality or not – gives your team the ability to address concerns before they're raised. For example, a concern over benefits can be quickly addressed with a one-pager that is shared early in the process or posted to your careers website, which can provide a high-level overview of what your business offers. Certain concerns may be based in reality, but the right knowledge can help you proactively address them.

Candidates often come armed with market salary data and information about   what your competitors are paying for similar roles.

Train Your Talent Acquisition Team to Discuss Compensation

An increase in transparency may lead to more discussions around compensation. As a result, it's important that your talent acquisition team is trained to handle these conversations. Typically, successful companies can offer structured training and guidance, including role-play scenarios and scripts to help ensure an aligned message across the organization. It's also helpful to give talent managers the tools to navigate difficult discussions and to recognize when they may need additional support.

Consider the Impact on Company Culture

More transparency throughout the hiring process will likely also impact your existing company culture, particularly if you've historically had a more closed-book policy. Consider what the impact will be on your overall company culture. Do you need to revisit your company's policies around discussing compensation or evaluate whether internal communications should be handled differently? Embracing transparency during the hiring process can provide an important opportunity for companies to ensure that their overall compensation policies are fair and equitable as well.

Increased transparency is becoming more prevalent, especially among tech-savvy younger workers. HR teams that find a way to gracefully navigate a more transparent compensation landscape may have an advantage in recruiting top talent.

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