HR Manager Position that Pays $364,000! Want it?

I ran into an age old issue last week, which for some reason hadn’t come up for a very long time, but there he was staring me right in the face, and I still don’t get it!  Here’s the issue, should you post the salary (or your desired salary range based on experience, yadda, yadda…) for the position you are hiring, or not?

My guess is you clicked on this post because you wanted to find out which kind of HR Manager position pays $374K! Well, none, but you clicked, I win! But, while you’re here let’s take a look at the issue at play because it’s a polarizing issue amongst HR Pros.

I say, post the salary right out in front for God and everyone to see.  It will create most interest, which gives you a larger pool of candidates, which gives you better odds at filling your position with the type of talent that fits your organization.  It allows you to eliminate many candidates who won’t accept your job, because you’re too cheap. Sure you’ll get some people who see $98K, and they are making $45K, but they want to make $98K, so they send their resume, hoping.  But we’re smarter than that, plus, maybe Mr. $45K would be a great fit for me for another position, or in 3 more years when I have the same position open.

Posting the salary on a job post creates 137% more candidate traffic, than those posts which don’t list salary, or at least it feels that way to me when I do it that way!  I’m sure my friends at CareerBuilder can probably come up with some more precise figures on this exactly, but I’ll bet my made up math isn’t too far from correct.  It’s common sense. You walk by a store and see “help wanted”, and no one goes in. You walk by the store and you see “Help Wanted $12/hr”, and they have a line out the door asking for applications.

There are only 3 reasons you wouldn’t list the target salary for the position you are hiring for:

1. You know you’re paying below market, and you don’t want to the competition to know, because they’ll cherry pick your best people

2. You can’t find the talent you want, so you’ve increased the salary target, but you aren’t going to increase the salary of the poor suckers already working for you at the lower amount.

3. You don’t know what you’re doing!

Look, I get it, I’ve been there.  You don’t want to list salary because your current employees don’t understand that while the position title is the same, you are “really” looking for someone with more experience.  Or, we just don’t have the budget to raise up everyone already working for us, but we really need some additional talent. Or, we’ve always did it this way, and we want people who are “interested in us” and not money.

Well, let me break it to you gently, you’re an idiot.  People are interested in you because the value equation of what you are offering fits into their current lifestyle!  Otherwise, you could just move forward as a volunteer organization now couldn’t you?!

Do yourself a favor and don’t make recruiting harder than it has to be.  Just tell people what you have to offer. “We’re a great place to work, we have these benefits, they’ll cost you about this much, and we are willing to pay “$X” for this position”, if this is you, we want to speak to you. If it’s not, that’s great to, but check back because we might have something for you in the future.

Also, let me know if you find an HR Manager job that pays $374K. I know the perfect candidate!

7 thoughts on “HR Manager Position that Pays $364,000! Want it?

  1. Thank you Tim for sharing. Agree completely with your rationale on the importance of declaring the salary when advertising a job position. However, in my country (Albania in Europe) it is a trend of broad labor market to not be transparent about the salary. I would copy paste you by breaking it kindly to them and by using the epithet, they are insane 🙂 (it made me laugh, thanks 🙂 to not practice posting the salary thus making the recruitment process more fruitful. Thank you again, Diana

  2. As a customer, you walk into a store to purchase a product and, many times, don’t even think about price when considering your purchase, because the price is there for you and all to see….every time. You have an underlying sense of the range of prices you might pay so you can focus on the quality of the material, sustainability of the manufacturing practices or whatever is important to what else you value beyond affording the product.

    As a candidate, it is clear from the start that the firm has something to hide. First, they drive you to Glassdoor to get the best guess you can find. Next, they insist you provide a history of your compensation before going further -let alone responding with a thnak you and btw here’s what we would pay. No visible means to ask a question prior to applying and even after the folks involved are mostly hidden from view. Vague notions of ‘competitive’ are provided when you do connect – even when interviewing as a “great candidate” and, finally (if you are among the 1 in 100) you get an offer that is ‘amazingly’ about 5% higher than your last proven salary. While there is exaggeration in this sequence, it’s not that much so it’s no wonder candidates believe they are being had. (Women, btw, going in with, on average, a lower salary will start with an even larger gap-
    but that is just one more landmine firms fail to negotiate when keeping salary hidden)

    Recruiters and employers that advocate their ‘transparency’ and, at the same time deny upfront listings of salary range and compensation philosophy are simply doomed to a deadly dose of cognitive dissonance in order to justify their behavior.

  3. Great article Tim! I’m no HR expert, but as someone who’s had to apply for a job (who hasn’t), this is a much appreciated approach for all of the aforementioned reasons. Keep up on the common sense! ?

  4. Great points, Tim! I enjoyed reading your post.

    It would be wonderful to know the salary range of the position(s), which can save valuable time for both the job seeker and employer.

    I am not too sure how many people would stand in line for $12 bucks an hour (these days), most need a living wage. As for me, I would inquire about the position that does not have the salary included unless I know the company pays below market.

  5. We experimented with doing both – some postings we included it, others we didn’t. We wanted to be able to show an impact either way to hiring managers. Guess what – no real impact, so we’re going back to including it. Candidates need to self-select out if it seems completely out of range. BUT recruiters also need to set expectations about what, if any, negotiation is possible.

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