Job searching isn’t anyone’s favorite past time. It’s a long, time-consuming process. You search through hundreds of job descriptions and find a select few you’re excited about. They align with your skills, knowledge, and passion, so you eagerly search for the salary. You hope it matches what you need, only to find the dreaded words “compensation dependent on experience”. It makes you want to scream.

You’re not alone. We’ve all had the same experience. Most job seekers want to know the salary range before applying to make sure they don’t waste their time on a job that can’t meet their needs. So, if jobs with the salary range listed get a higher application rate, why don’t most employers list the salary range and opt for “DOE” instead?

To Find Candidates Driven by Fit, Not Money

Employers want someone who is looking for a good fit and not someone just looking for a paycheck, so being modest about pay is a way for employers to test candidates’ interest. Yes, the salary is an important reason to take a job, but it’s not the only reason. You want to make sure the company culture, among other things, is a good fit for you and you’re a good fit for the company. It might not make the most sense to you, but at the very least they’re avoiding salary-only focused candidates.

To Receive More Diverse Candidates

Most of the time salary ranges are for the average candidate, but some companies are willing the make the extra stretch for a truly extraordinary candidate. If a range is too low, then that exceptional candidate might not apply, even if the job is a perfect fit.

Forced to Stay at the Top of Range

Companies are worried if they list a range, candidates will expect to receive the top of the range. The top end of the range is usually meant for the most qualified candidates, so if a newly hired employee doesn’t receive the higher end, they might feel resentful before starting the job. It’s not a great way to start at a new job. Employers want to avoid any confusion and misunderstanding. Keep in mind, if you’re offered the lower range salary, it doesn’t mean you’re not qualified or not the best candidate for the job. It could be you’re the best fit for the job and company culture, but you just might be lacking some needed skills you might have to learn.

To Prevent Wage Wars with Competitors

If you can find the salary, then so can competitors and in turn, offer their new employee more money. Then the company just lost its new employee and has to start the search all over again.

To Avoid Compensation Questions from Current Employees

There are typically inconsistencies in salaries within an organization, even with employees that have the same job title. When a job is posted, everyone can see the job description, so companies may be trying to avoid conflict within the organization.

What to Do If the Salary Is Not Listed

Not all the reasons employers have for excluding the salary are the best excuses, but unfortunately, the practice is not going to go away anytime soon. So, what should you do if you find the perfect job and there is no salary listed?

  1. Consider your true interest. As stated above, salary is important, but it’s not the only thing. Without a range listed, you can truly reflect on your interest in the job. Does it really check all the boxes? Is it a company you want to work for? Why does the job pique your interest?
  2. Search for the possible salary. There are tools you can use, such as Salary.com, to find out the salary range for a job. Just do a quick internet search to see what the salary range may be for the type of job in your area. You can also use Glassdoor.com to research the company and see if any current or past employees have included any salary ranges.
  3. Be honest about your needs. Now that you have an idea of a possible range from your research, you need to decide if it means your needs and if it still holds your interest. If you decide to apply, it might help to include your salary requirements within your cover letter. It may remove you from consideration, but at least you won’t waste your time in the interview process for a salary that is too low.
  4. Plan to negotiate. Once you know the salary, whether it’s during the interview or in the job offer, plan to negotiate if the salary is lower than your needs or expectations. Be ready to sell your unique abilities and skills to show the employer that you’re the extraordinary candidate they’ll want to spend the extra salary for.

Bonus tip: Keep in mind compensation isn’t only about salary. Your benefits also play a major role in your comp. So, if a company can’t meet your salary requirements, there may be some creative alternatives. 

 

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