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New SHRM Research Shows Pay Transparency Makes Organizations More Competitive, Leads to Increase in Qualified Applicants

70% of organizations that list pay ranges say it has led to more applicants, 65% say pay ranges make them more competitive




ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released new research detailing how organizations are approaching pay transparency as several states and localities implement new laws for employers. 

As employers consider how best to approach pay transparency, many have raised concerns that listing pay ranges may lead to negative outcomes such as candidates not taking the total compensation into consideration but SHRM research shows most organizations that list salary ranges lead to favorable outcomes. 


42% of more than 1,300 HR professionals sampled said their organization operates in a location that requires pay ranges to be included in job postings. When not required by law, however, over two in three (67%) HR professionals say their organization voluntarily lists start pay in their job postings sometimes, often, or always. What’s more, 32% of these organizations began including start pay information in their job postings within the past year – signaling some employers may be planning ahead in anticipation of new pay transparency trends. 

SHRM advocates for employers to be transparent with how wage decisions are made and conducts voluntary equity checks.  

 

The path toward equity requires more than recognizing that there are systemic gaps that adversely impact one group over another and then addressing them proactively,” shared Emily M. Dickens, SHRM’s Chief of Staff and Head of Public Affairs.It requires more directed education on the compensation process, increased engagement with compensation specialists and HR professionals, and an understanding of how to leverage one’s talent through personal advocacy when armed with this information and allyship within the organization.” 

 

Additional key findings include:  

  • 70% of organizations that list pay ranges on job postings say that doing so has led to more people applying to their postings. 
  • Nearly two-thirds (66%) of organizations that list pay ranges on job postings say that doing so has increased the quality of applicants they’re seeing. 
  • 65% of organizations that list pay ranges on job postings say that doing so makes them more competitive in attracting top talent. 

How Pay Transparency Influences Applicant Behavior 

  • 82% of U.S. workers are more likely to consider applying to a job if the pay range was listed in the job posting. 
  • 74% of U.S. workers say that they are less interested in applying to job postings that do not list a pay range. 
  • 73% of U.S. workers are more likely to trust organizations that provide pay ranges in job postings than ones that do not. 

When considering pay transparency in job postings, organizations will also need to prepare for how doing so may affect current employees. 

  • 36% of organizations said this change caused more current employees to ask about receiving a pay raise. 

 

Methodology 

The survey of HR professionals was fielded electronically to a random sample of HR professionals based on active SHRM membership. The survey was fielded from February 21 – February 27, 2023. In total, 1,386 HR professionals participated in the survey. Academics, students, consultants, and retired HR professionals were excluded. Respondents represent organizations across all sizes, industries, sectors, and regions across the United States. 

 

The survey of 484 working Americans was conducted using the Amerispeak Omnibus, NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population. For the purposes of this survey, we refer to this group as “U.S. workers.” The survey was administered from February 16, 2023, to February 20, 2023. All data was weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population. 

 

About SHRM 

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on SHRM to be their go-to resource for all things work and their business partner in creating next-generation workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at SHRM.org and on Twitter @SHRM. 


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