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NextGen Magazine


Survey: Pay Transparency Has Mixed Effects on Recruitment and Hiring

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Nov 22, 2023

Job listings - GettyImages-843533330

Pay transparency has become more prevalent, often due to legislation, and its effect on recruiting and hiring efforts has been mixed, a ZipRecruiter survey of 2,000 hiring managers and recruiters found.

Seventy-two percent of employers surveyed said that they post salary information in all job postings, while 10 percent  said they do not, and 18 percent said they disclose pay only in states where they are legally required to do so. But determining the right salary number to post remains challenging. Almost half of employers have reduced pay for certain roles over the past year, even as four in 10 say they are unable to fill vacancies at current wage levels.

Still, many of the respondents see the benefits of pay transparency for recruitment efforts. Seventy-five percent of employers agreed that pay transparency helped them to attract quality candidates, while 61 percent agreed that pay transparency makes recruitment more efficient by discouraging poorly matched candidates from applying and preventing post-offer disappointment.

Despite these benefits, pay transparency can be divisive, the survey also revealed, as  44 percent of employers say they believed that pay transparency causes conflict internally among existing employees. Specifically, the survey reported, "When labor market conditions are tight, employers face pressure to raise posted pay rates to attract more candidates. But doing so can cause incumbent employees to feel unfairly treated if they do not receive similar upward adjustments."

“Pay transparency can be the foundation for building trust with employees,” said Marissa Morrison, ZipReruiter’s vice president of people. “While job opportunities and employees understand how their pay is determined—and that their pay is equitable with their peers—they’re likely to be more motivated and engaged.”

The national online survey was conducted by ZipRecruiter between July 7 and Aug. 1, 2023, to explore employer attitudes toward recent hiring trends and their experiences of current U.S. labor market conditions. The survey was administered to a Qualtrics panel of 2,000-plus verified talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers, each of whom has considerable responsibility for hiring processes and decisions. They were drawn from businesses of various sizes across a wide range of industries.

In addition to standard screening and demographic questions, the respondents were asked about their recruiting, hiring, employment and retention practices, as well as their expectations, desires and requirements for future talent acquisition activities.