Recruitment & Hiring

Australian employers less likely to include salaries in job ads: Should you advertise how much you’re willing to pay?

Eloise Keating /

Less than 20% of Australian job ads specify the salary for the position, according to data released this week by online job search engine Adzuna.

Of the Australian jobs advertised through Adzuna, 19% indicate what the position pays, which is a similar level to jobs ads in France and Denmark.

However, it is far less than in the UK, where 73% of job ads include information about the salary for the advertised position.

More than half (55%) of Russian job ads include a salary, while 32% of job ads in South Africa specify a salary. In Brazil and India, the percentage is 26%.

It’s more rare to find jobs ads that include salary information in Canada (3%) and Poland (2%).

According to Adzuna, job seekers are three times more likely to click on an online job ad that includes a salary, compared to ads that do not mention pay.

But is it a good idea to spell out what your business wants to pay a job candidate before you even meet them?

Sue-Ellen Watts, founder and chief executive of Wattsnext HR, told SmartCompany it doesn’t surprise her to learn that Australian employers are less likely than some of their overseas counterparts to specify salaries in job ads as Australians in general tend to be less open to talking about money.

However, she says for a small business owner, specifying salaries in job ads does have its benefits.

“Firstly, if you do advertise the salary, it can reduce recruitment times as it cuts out anyone who is not in that salary band,” she says.

“If you have a strict band [that the business is willing to pay] I don’t think it is an issue, it can reduce screening time.”

However, Watts says employers should also consider the other elements of a position that will attract the right candidate, including training opportunities and flexibility, and ensure these are also prominent in the advertisement.

“We’re looking for so much more than just money so allow for that,” she says, adding this is an area where smaller businesses may have an advantage over larger corporates.

Despite this, Watts says advertising salaries can also have drawbacks for businesses.

She says specifying a salary range may deter some people from applying for the job and in turn, the employer may miss an opportunity to hire someone that brings value to the business.

This can be especially true if the advertised role is a new position and the employer does not yet know the skills the role will need.

“It depends what you are recruiting for and the circumstances,” Watts says.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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