The first step towards finding the perfect candidate comes long before the interview and reference checks – it starts with how you portray the job.

It takes a pretty stellar job posting to attract above average candidates. However, the truth is, it’s not always easy. There’s a lot to convey in that short space – what’s expected of a candidate, why you’re a great company, why they should chose you over the competition. Yet, so many organizations still fail to include the one thing that can be the biggest motivator: salary information.

I know money can be a taboo topic. In fact, some companies feel disclosing salary information, even a salary range, puts them at a disadvantage when it’s time to negotiate an offer. There’s also the concern that unqualified people will apply just because the pay is attractive. However, I’d argue the bigger concern should be that the very best candidates will move past the job posting altogether if they don’t see a number that makes applying worth their while.

In the end, you want to attract the very best candidates available. So, the most appealing aspects of the position, including compensation, should be highlighted in the job posting. Not convinced? Keep reading.

Make it worth their while:

The best candidates are likely selective in which jobs they apply for – after all, applying to jobs takes time. Listing salary information makes it clear what’s in the offer, and if the offer is attractive enough, it will give those top candidates a reason to spend some of their time on your application.

For example, let’s say you had an opening for a medical sales representative. According to a recent salary survey, the average base income for these reps is around $82,000. With commission and bonuses, their average total income is upwards of $133,000. If your company has a higher base, or if your reps typically pull in more than $133,000, you know that’s something worth talking about in the job posting. More than likely, you’ll receive a higher caliber of qualified applicants because you have more to offer.

Tip: If you can offer more money based on level of experience, you can certainly note this in the job posting as well. Though you may receive more applicants, these applicants will likely have a deeper work history, which can be an added bonus for your organization.

Reel them in with the extras:

Even if you’re not certain the salary range is all that impressive, you can still attract top candidates by making them aware of other things your company has to provides. For example, think about all the perks your employees have access to — a corporate gym, telecommuting options, an in-house cafeteria, on-site health care or day care, etc. In addition, you may offer benefits such as compensation for travel, a company car, company stock, or a matching 401k.  And for sales jobs, don’t forget about commission. If your average rep makes commissions totalling $50,000, that’s a critical part of the compensation package. Include these extras in your job postings since they enhance the total compensation package.

Tip: Highlight a typical salary career path in the job posting. For sales jobs, note what top performers can earn. Show candidates their income potential and help them understand what they can expect in terms of growth.

Avoid unnecessary questions:

Though you probably appreciate the time it took for a candidate to contact you during the application process, oftentimes, you’re faced with a bunch of unnecessary questions that could have been answered in the job posting — namely salary information.

Understandably, divulging this information may not be the traditional route you take when crafting job descriptions. It may even be company policy to leave salary information blank. However, the alternative of phone call after phone call or an influx of emails may make your job harder. And, in the world of recruiting, anything that can ease your day-to-day duties is a policy worth revisiting!

Tip: Make applying as easy as possible for the candidate by anticipating their questions and addressing them up front. Wanting to know how much a job is likely to pay is a legitimate question, so answer it! Be as transparent as you can be, so the candidate has all the information they need to make an informed decision about applying.

While salary information may be something traditionally left out of your job postings, you should understand that doing so can bring you better, more informed candidates. This not only helps to expedite the hiring process, it paves the way for a more transparent work environment before an employee even walks through the door.

What do you think? What are some other reasons why salary information is vital in job descriptions? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. 

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