Show me the money | Should job ads without salary info be illegal?

Should job ads without salary info be illegal?

Job adverts which don’t list a salary range should be made illegal, as should questioning job candidates about their salary history, according to the leaders of an ambitious new campaign.

Technology-led talent platform, Liberty Hive, a dedicated technology platform for media and marketing specialists, has called for a ‘salary reset’ and demands that it becomes illegal for companies to ask a candidate’s salary history and makes it a legal requirement to list salary details on job adverts.

The campaigners say that the failure to list salaries on job adverts, as well as asking a candidate’s previous salaries, are two processes that uphold inequality and slow the pace of change, especially for those who’ve been historically underpaid, mainly women and those from underrepresented groups.

In the UK, a salary transparency pilot scheme was launched in March 2022, where participating employers list salary details on job adverts and stop asking about salary history during recruitment. The scheme, run by Baroness Stedman-Scott, indicates that legislation change may also become a reality in the UK soon.

UK HR leaders can look to their counterparts across the Atlantic for guidance on the matter. In November 2022, New York became the latest US state to enshrine salary transparency in law (November 2022).

Back in 2018, Iceland introduced the first policy in the world that requires companies and institutions with more than 25 employees to prove that they pay men and women equally for a job of equal value. Beginning in 2020, certification became a requirement and companies without certification incur a daily fine. Countries that have taken this step are reporting a narrowing in gender and ethnicity pay gaps by as much as 13%.

Candidates view salary transparency as the number one indicator of an employer’s long-term potential and 75% of candidates would be more likely to apply for a role that included a salary range. 62% of candidates believe they should not be asked about their current or past salary in an interview and this figure increases to 73% amongst Asian workers and 75% for Black workers. 57% of women and 54% of men felt less positive about a potential employer when they were asked the salary history question.

Founders, Kate Merritt and Laura Braithwaite have a combined media experience of over 50 years, working at Dentsu, Omnicom, Havas, WPP, Publicis Zenith, ITV and The Telegraph, industry knowledge which they feel confident sets them apart from the pack.

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They commented on the announcement: “Do we wait for legislation or become leaders of change? At Liberty Hive, it became increasingly clear that as leaders of a talent business, we had a choice: we could be part of the problem or a part of the solution.

“Every role we post will have a salary range guide, we won’t ask our candidates the salary history question and we will work with our agency partners to share best inclusive recruitment practice.

“We will leverage our platform to advocate for change. We’re also introducing new technology to our portal, which will provide us with a broader data set that we can use to provide clients with benchmarking for specific roles as needed.

“We believe if you do one thing in 2023 to demonstrate your commitment to inclusive recruitment – salary transparency – a salary reset – is the most powerful action you can take.”

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