Why Most Employers Don’t Advertise Salary Information In Their Adverts

The vast majority of employers that offer roles via JobsTheWord do not post details of salary or remuneration in their adverts. So why is this?

Well there are a few reasons why, but before going into them we wanted to establish if the lack of salary information would deter jobseekers from applying for a job, so I asked the following question on LinkedIn:

Quite often job adverts, particularly those posted by direct employers, state the salary on offer as ‘Excellent’, ‘Competitive’, ‘Negotiable’ etc. Does this put you off applying for the job since you don’t know the salary on offer?

Here is a selection of the responses we received.


“It seems like most of them don’t list it anyway. Now if it says something like “Junior” or “Assistant”, then I know not to bother….”

“Yes, but my main objective isn’t the salary – I’m more concerned about the opportunities at the company, the types of projects, the team I would be working with, etc. It is up to me to negotiate the salary I feel is worthwhile and if the company isn’t agreeable, then I don’t take the job”

It puts me off a little, because many job titles and even descriptions don’t adequately define the level of the role so the salary could be across quite a large range.”

“This wouldn’t actually stop me applying for a job that sounded good, but if I had a lot of possibilities I’d tackle those with a stated salary first.”

“I do not mind if they do not mention a salary range for the position. What bothers me is when I MUST give a salary to apply for a position. I do not want to be laughably lower or laughably high.”

“I find it’s just a simple matter of translating the jargon…

Competitive = we expect the candidate to accept the lowest possible amount we think we can get away with.

Excellent = if we can find someone for the rate we’re offering then it’ll be excellent for us because we don’t have a big budget

Market Rate = we don’t actually know what the rate is, so we’ll see what candidates ask for and then express surprise that it’s higher than what was budgetted

Negotiable = we have a top figure that we’re happy to negotiate down from

Attractive package = includes medicaid, PHI, PMI, luncheon vouchers, subsidised gym, performance based bonus, pension & company car allowance – all of which you’ll have to estimate at the top end and bundle together to make up for the low salary

Applying for a role when you don’t know the salary is pretty much the same as applying for a position without knowing what the job is or what the company needs or where the job will be based..

Whilst salary isn’t the only thing that’s important, and other aspects such as nature of business scope for development, range of challenges, etc. are important, it’s nonetheless important to be sure you’re in the right ballpark. Otherwise you’re wasting your, and the company’s, time”

“The listed salary (if any) isn’t of any interest to me. I know what I’m worth; if the employer wants me, that’s what they’ll pay. I don’t care if Fred down the corridor is getting twice what I am or half, because Fred isn’t paying my mortgage or grocery bills.”

“Before I worked for myself, a non listed salary would get my attention the least”

“Of course I apply. If currently employed, feel free to ask for a salary range before even going in for an interview. No point in wasting their time or yours if it doesn’t work for you.”

“No. Salary isn’t that important to me, that I’m interested in the job is far more important, but there’s a minimum level I require to meet my existing financial commitments. Why waste any time on a potential job which may not even meet my living expenses?”

General consensus appears to be that most jobseekers are not deterred from applying for a job if salary information is not listed,. However, if there were a few jobs listed they would tend to apply for those with salary information, provided it is in line with their own requirements.

So why is it that most employers prefer not to mention the salary they are willing to pay for the right person?

Salary Information Is Confidential

There is a pretty good chance that employees have no idea what salary their colleagues are on. Unless working in HR employees generally will not know the salaries of anybody in the company. This is because salary information within a company is highly confidential and not something that people discuss with their peers. If two people, within the same organisation, doing a similar job are earning different salaries then this can quite easily cause conflict in the workplace, so salary information is usually something that HR are keen to keep confidential.

Therefore, if salaries are not common knowledge within the confines of the organisation, why would companies advertise this information to the outside world?

Employers Not Looking To Attract The Greedy

If an employer posts that they are willing to pay up to £100,000 per year for the right candidate – a great deal of those applying for that position will expect and request the full £100k even if accepting a salary of £85k would mean a £10k increase on their current salary. Now if they did not list this salary on their advert and they hired that same candidate with a salary of £85,000 both parties are equally happy; the employer has saved themselves £15,000 per year and the candidate is over the moon as they are earning an extra £10,000 per year.

Employers Want To Hire People Who Want To Work There

Employers do not want people to work for them simply because they pay the highest salaries or have the best benefits package; they want to hire people that want to work for them, either because of their reputation as a great employer or the opportunities they can offer their staff.

A company may very well offer far superior salaries than their competitors but that does not mean they will post them in their adverts. If jobseekers are willing to apply for a position before knowing salary information then it demonstrates a real interest in working there, rather than just because that company is paying the most. Employers do not want candidates to apply if all they are interested in is how much they are willing to pay you as it will not be too long before another employer will come along and offer them more money to entice them to disappear.

Salary Really Is Dependent On Experience

Sometimes the employer may have a salary range in mind for a particular position but this range is not set in stone; they will go outside this range if they find the perfect candidate. The range is not mentioned in the advert for the reasons already mentioned and also because they do not want to deter that perfect candidate from applying if that range falls short of what they would be looking for. If candidates are an exact match for the employer, there is a very good chance candidates will be able to come to an agreement when it comes to salary.

So that covers a few of the main reasons why employers will not list salary information in their job adverts. When candidates search job boards, the vast majority of these roles will be those advertised by recruitment agencies rather than direct employers.

Recruitment agencies tend to post very broad salary ranges such as £30k to £60k, even if they know that their client will not pay a salary over £50k – agencies want to attract as many applications as possible so they will use broad ranges to achieve that aim. If a £60k candidate applies for the role then the recruiter may very well be able to get them interested in another one of their vacancies with another client, or at the very least increase the size of their database. Direct employers on the other hand do not take this approach.

Employers do understand the frustration of jobseekers when considering whether to apply for a role, but when you understand the reasons it does make more sense.

Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

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  1. I prefer a job advert to show the pay rate, simply because of bills to pay, I ask what the base figure is, hours worked, where the job is, what the company actually does, if these questions are not answered in the job advert i email the company

  2. Well the impression I got from reading your replies, was that not publishing a salary WOULD deter people from applying.

    Recently I was contacted by a small local company who had lost three people before Christmas and were left in the lurch. They had my CV on record, and seemed extremely excited that I would come for an interview and could start immediately. It was a waste of time and petrol: they had lost a 23 year old with an HNC and thought a 55 year old M.Sc C.Eng. would accept the same wage.

    If companies are so worried that their existing employees would be annoyed at seeing higher salaries advertised for new staff, I would not want to work for them anyway. Pay peanuts and you will get monkeys. American companies have the right attitude, they offer you more than you ask and will not loose staff for want of a pay rise – unlike dinosaurs BAe in the UK

  3. Frankly
    If a company will not put what the money is on a job advertisement or a range, then do not apply because they are wasting your time and your money going to see them. Its possibly the reverse how they conduct their business with their customers i.e. maximum price for minimum quality or in the case of a job minimum wage for maximum knowledge expertise . it is worth keeping in mind that when the market changes these are the same companies that sit there bleating to the media and government that there are no suitable people to employ in the uk – winder why market picks up therefore used and abused staff bugger off !! to far better salaries and rates Dohh !!

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