Sky Betting & Gaming’s focus on salary transparency


Earlier this year, the gambling company introduced salary bandings on job adverts. Below, the firm’s Head of Talent Acquisition explains why...

Words by Sophie Parrott


Clive Smart

Head of Talent Acquisition

When applying for a new job, salary is often an important factor (if not the most important factor) for prospective talent. CV-Library data revealed that a huge 81.6% of people view salary as their top priority when looking for a new role. Given the importance that candidates place on salary, it is perhaps surprising that some companies don’t offer up any salary information when posting a job advert online. By not doing this, employers and recruiters could be cutting themselves off from a significant portion of prospective talent.

In fact, research from Hays’ latest Quarterly Insights Survey revealed that more than one-quarter (26%) of employees would not consider applying for a role that didn’t have a salary listed within the job advert. Whilst 47% of employers said that they always include salary information in their job adverts, 36% said that it would depend on the role, whilst 17% said that they would never include salary information. Gaelle Blake, Head of Permanent Appointments (UK&I) at Hays, said that in a challenging market, employers “can’t afford to alienate potential talent. Considering over a quarter of professionals wouldn’t consider applying for a role without knowing salary expectations, employers need to think carefully if they aren’t making this information available,” Blake added.

Salary bandings at Sky Betting & Gaming

Some employers, including Sky Betting & Gaming (part of Flutter which is the parent company for some large sports betting and gaming brands), appear to be taking note and, earlier this year, the Leeds-headquartered gambling company started to advertise salary bandings on its job adverts. Including the range of salary (or even a fixed figure) shows your potential hires that your company is committed to transparency, that you have nothing to hide, and that you believe in trusting your prospective joiners to make the best decisions for themselves from the start of the process.

When asked why Sky Betting & Gaming had decided to advertise salary bandings on job adverts, Clive Smart, Head of Talent Acquisition, told myGrapevine magazine: “It’s hard enough in this game trying to hire people at the moment anyway and you make it so much harder by hiding that [salary] information from candidates. I know all of the reasons why companies sometimes can’t do this but we have done a lot of work behind the scenes with internal benchmarking and we were at the point where we could start to trial it and then we went to fully advertising salaries.”


Clive Smart

Head of Talent Acquisition


It’s hard enough in this game trying to hire people at the moment anyway and you make it so much harder by hiding that [salary] information from candidates


As Smart explained, it first off started as a trial before it was rolled out across the company. He continued: “The frustration over the years has been that, as a business, Sky Betting & Gaming was a competitive-paying employer, but we never had the confidence to advertise the salaries and there were lots of internal reasons why we couldn’t do it. But then as recruiters, it made this job so much harder for us. We had the reputation of being a good [paying employer] but people didn’t know that from just going on the careers site. So, I wanted to get to the point that, if you went onto the careers site, straight away, you could see what that salary banding was so you can opt in or opt out [of applying for the job] at the start.”

Smart said that, often, candidates will put a lot of time and effort into completing a job application. And he’s right – 2016 polling from Cranberry Panda found that 38% of people spend up to 30 minutes on a job application.

The journey at Sky Betting & Gaming

Smart admitted that one of the issues the firm used to have was, when candidates applied for a job, there were a couple of questions that they were asked including ‘what is your current salary’ and ‘what are your salary expectations’. Given that candidates wrote this out in a text box, Smart said that “people will put any figure”.

What would happen is that a recruiter would look at a candidate’s salary expectation and think “’you’re nowhere near what I’ve got in the budget’ and we [would] reject people blind without picking up the phone [to speak to them].”

After getting and replying to lots of questions received via the general enquires box – after candidates had been rejected based on their salary expectations – Sky Betting & Gaming decided to scrap asking the above two questions.

Smart explained: “One of the reasons for removing it is that, in terms of your current salary, that is the current salary that your company pays. [It] is based on their own internal mechanisms for grading that role and the banding. It doesn’t mean it’s a reflection of your actual worth or your skillsets or experience and what we can afford to pay you.”

After scrapping this, he said that the firm did a recruiter upskilling exercise and found that they were having much better conversations and there was a lot less noise coming to the general queries box “because people weren’t getting rejected blind”. This was the first step, with the next part of the journey being to get to the point where salary bands could be advertised on roles.


Since we’ve done this, I’ve had a number of people who have come up to me internally and have said ‘I’m really proud that we are actually doing that’


Positive results

So, rather than wait until the interview stage and find out the candidate and company aren’t on the same page with regards to salary, jobseekers can decide whether the salary suits them ahead of applying.

Smart added: “I’d rather have a great conversation [where] we can afford to take it further rather than [find out] we don’t meet your expectations....” With the above data from Hays suggesting that some candidates wouldn’t apply to a role without an indication of salary, it’s unsurprising that Sky Betting & Gaming has witnessed some positive results since being more transparent. In fact, the gambling company has seen a 30% increase in users visiting the careers site since they began including salaries on job adverts. Internal talent also appear to have praised the move too. “Since we’ve done this, I’ve had a number of people who have come up to me internally and have said ‘I’m really proud that we are actually doing that’,” he added.

Top facts about Sky
Betting & Gaming

  • Chief Operating Officer: Steve Birch
  • Staff headcount: c.1700 (majority work for SBG although there are colleagues working for UK&I and International)
  • HQ: Leeds
  • External awards: 4th in Glassdoor’s best companies for work-life balance in the UK in 2021
  • Most popular sports betting markets: Horse Racing & Football

What Sky Betting & Gaming hopes to achieve

While the initiative is still in its early days, it’s promising to see a good reaction from both external and internal talent. But, from an organisational standpoint, what does the gambling firm strive to achieve by doing this? When asked this very question by myGrapevine magazine, Smart replied: “It’s more the transparency and openness for me. I always wanted to be transparent because recruitment gets harder and harder each year, so I want to try and make it easier for us as a business but also, internally, people want that transparency.”

Additionally, Smart’s other aim with this is to improve the candidate experience. “All career sites take a long time to apply for so I don’t want people to waste their time,” he explained. Having a positive candidate experience can make a jobseeker 38% more likely to accept a job, according to statistics published in IBM’s 'The far-reaching impact of candidate experience' whitepaper, meaning that this could bring about huge benefits for the organisation.


We had the reputation of being a good [paying employer] but people didn’t know that from just going on the careers site


The company’s move to publish salary bandings with job adverts is a good example of how Sky Betting & Gaming has strived to become more transparent in hiring, both for internal and external talent. When asked why he thinks transparency is so key in the hiring process, Smart responded: “It lines up with our values as a business as well. Flutter’s ‘Work Better’ strategy, which is a core pillar of our global sustainability strategy, our Positive Impact Plan, is about developing policies that foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and empower people to perform at their best – we believe core to this is having a transparent and more inclusive hiring process. Transparency is interweaved into a lot of the things that we do at Sky Betting & Gaming,” Smart concluded.

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