There’s a fascinating post from Vu Le from the 6/1/2015 edition of Nonprofit With Balls that examines the practice of failing to disclose salary ranges in job listings. Spoiler alert: Le doesn’t find much value; in fact, he comes up with eight detailed reasons why he believes they are counterproductive and recommends that groups embrace what he defines as equity and transparency.
If you aren’t familiar with Le’s writing, it is important to understand that he approaches this topic from the perspective as the executive director of a Washington based charitable nonprofit so if you thought the post is nothing more than the ramblings of a disgruntled entry or middle level manager, think again.
Le’s post was especially intriguing because it was only recently that I decided to remove the salary range taxonomy at Adaptistration Jobs. The decision was ultimately based on an evolving pattern designed to see how much of an impediment the salary range option would present.
- When the site launched, it required employers to select a range.
- After conducting a good bit of “abandon process” metrics analysis, it seemed that this was the major sticking point as nearly 100 percent of job posters deciding to abandon their listing stopped at that point.
- As a result, a “CWE” (commensurate with experience) option was included.
- Shortly thereafter, abandoned listings dropped by nearly 90 percent.
- After another 12 months of tracking, only 0.8 percent of listings selected anything other than CWE so the salary range taxonomy was entirely removed.
When Adaptistration Jobs was launched, the salary range taxonomy was included as the result of a strong belief that it was beneficial to both employer and candidate for many of the same reasons Le includes in his post but it has never been something of a strong issue so in light of the user metrics, it was phased out.
But reading Le’s post has rekindled my interest in this topic as his arguments are as solid as his rationale; consequently, I’m curious to learn a bit more via a reader survey. As such, thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the following survey.
This Survey has expired.
3 thoughts on “The Salary Shell Game Poll”
There are a lot of wingless unicorns out there… hmm although I can’t remember the last time I saw a real-life winged unicorn. While I agree with Mr. Le’s points on applicant salary history and salary transparency within an organization posting D.O.E is often needed. In my experience as a for-profit hiring manager & npo board member this gives the employer flexibility to reevaluate the original maximum salary when an extremely qualified candidate rises to the top of the pool. Had a range been posted these candidates may not have given the employer a second look when in reality the hiring manager/board of directors might be flexible for the right candidate.
A savvy job seeker has a number of tools to estimate what the salary range is (ie. 990s, audited financial statements, peer organizations in that area, Glassdoor.com). If an ED has been getting on average $25k/year perhaps you shouldn’t waste your time applying thinking that they’d give you $80k because you’re awesome.
Ultimately the job seeker needs to have a very clear idea of what they’re worth (with regards to the points about supporting one’s family, gender wage gap, discrimination). If a highly qualified candidate that I want to hire asks for a salary that is $20k less than I’m willing to pay for someone with their qualities I have to assume that number works them to support their family etc…
Interesting perspectives and per your first paragraph I think it the issue becomes increasingly influenced by budget size and position. For example, salary range for the CEO position at a ballet company with an annual budget of $15mil has far less value than a grant writer or education coordinator.
I would also agree that some 990 level due diligence will provide higher level executive positions in middle to larger budget nonprofit performing arts orgs, they little to no value for middle and entry level admin positions. In fact, the current salary reporting threshold in the 990s of $100k is a good benchmark for determining the value for including salary ranges; in short, if it isn’t reported on the 990, it probably needs a salary range.