Should job salaries be shared in the office? 55% say they’re OK with coworkers knowing what they earn

NEW YORK — Looking for a new job is rarely easy, and some things make it even harder than it probably should be. In a new poll, job hunters reveal their biggest complaints when looking for a new role. They include being turned down due to “no experience,” the interview process being too long, and a lack of information on salaries being offered.

The study of 2,000 adults who’ve sought new employment in the past five years found people typically spend four hours applying for a single job – with just 33 percent of applications resulting in an interview.

However, 75 percent find the entire process “stressful” and “time-consuming” – with common frustrations including unnecessarily lengthy interview processes and misleading job postings.

The lack of clarity on the annual salary – for instance, large salary ranges – is a significant issue, especially for the 54 percent who’ve declined a job offer upon discovering what they’d actually be earning.

Is honesty the best policy in job postings?

The research, commissioned by Adzuna and conducted by OnePoll, found that 77 percent believe companies should be more transparent in their job postings. This could be concerning to businesses as it could be detrimental to their reputation – impacting their ability to find talented staff.

Nearly a third (32%) suspect the employer is hiding something if they don’t include salary information in ads. Similarly, 28 percent think such practices make a business appear untrustworthy and 29 percent believe they appear unprofessional. To that sentiment, 56 percent reveal that they simply wouldn’t accept an interview offer if they didn’t know about the compensation offered by a prospective employer.

“With all the time and effort that goes into applying for jobs, it can be incredibly frustrating and stressful to stumble across issues along the way,” says Doug Monro, CEO and co-founder of Adzuna, in a statement. “From the research, it’s plain to see salary is a critical component of the job process with jobseekers clearly pointing to a lack of clarity or detail on annual wages being a major frustration when applying for a job.”

“Employers should be encouraged to be more transparent and include as many details on salaries in their job postings as possible to give candidates the financial peace of mind they need, as well as the all-important information around whether a role is right for them.”

It’s not just salary info respondents are keen to see beforehand — workplace location and employee benefit plans are also important to many.

Should you know everyone’s salary?

The study also finds that 73 percent think greater transparency over salaries would make workplaces fairer. Furthermore, 55 percent would be OK with their colleagues knowing what they earn.

Another 31 percent neutral remain on the subject, and just nine percent report being unhappy about the idea.

“Jobseekers are increasingly concerned with finding employers that match their values and that they trust,” Monro continues. “Being transparent by showing salaries on job postings is one way for companies to show they care about prioritizing fair pay. But there is room for improvement and the onus is now on companies doing their diligence to present job opportunities that fairly reward candidates.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American adults who have ever looked for employment in the last five years was commissioned by Adzuna between September 26 and September 28, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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