The importance of salary visibility

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The importance of salary visibility
Darren Topping

The importance of salary visibility

As part of Lorien’s annual What Tech Candidates Want survey, we’ve been engaging with our network and the wider tech community to identify the key drivers for candidates in the current job market.

As part of Lorien’s annual What Tech Candidates Want survey, we’ve been engaging with our network and the wider tech community to identify the key drivers for candidates in the current job market. We’ve gathered feedback about what candidates expect, want, and need from their next employer, as well as what motivates them to move on. You can read the full report here.

In this mini-series, we’ll be digging deep into the data to analyse some of our core findings and how you can translate them to your business strategy.

In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  • Why salary is still a huge driving force for new job seekers
  • The pros and cons of advertising a job without a salary
  • What you can do to improve applications if salary visibility isn’t an option

Our findings – compensation once again drives candidates

One standout finding from our research is how much salary once again matters to job seekers. According to our research, 39.64% of candidates believe that salary is the most important factor when they are searching for a new role. In fact, salary ranks highly across our survey results as a key component of choosing to leave a role and when applying for a new one.

While it might not be surprising to hear that many candidates prioritise their compensation when job hunting, what is surprising is just how much withholding this information from job seekers can harm employers. Many organisations still choose not to disclose a salary on job advertisements, even though almost a third (31%) of candidates say that this is the main factor that prompts them to apply for a role. In fact, having a salary on a job advertisement makes people 70% significantly more likely to apply. This suggests that employers who fail to display salary could miss out on almost three quarters of potential applications – but that’s not all.

Why is salary visibility on job advertisements important?

There are multiple reasons why salary visibility is important. Pay transparency:

  • Fosters a culture of openness & can increase a wider diversity in candidate applications.
  • Improve employee performance and job satisfaction
  • Streamlines hiring processes
  • Unlocks new candidate pools and increases applications

Making salary visibility a key part of the recruitment process can help improve workplace trust. This is due to the fact that candidates haven’t gone through lengthy recruitment processes (or even a lengthy application!) only to be disappointed by the salary on offer. Research highlights that productivity increases by 50% when an organisation implements salary visibility within the workplace, with transparency building trust and being important for retention levels.

For organisations, salary visibility also allows them to access a wider pool of quality talent in the current candidate-driven market. Many candidates will shun job advertisements that don’t display any kind of salary range, so organisations who do utilise salary visibility will be at an advantage.

Why organisations don’t opt for salary visibility

If the benefits for pay transparency are so overwhelming, why do so many organisations still hide what they pay? That’s because there can be downsides to what transparency will reveal. Firstly, existing employees may feel undervalued when it comes to pay. To attract the best talent for a role, organisations may have to pay a higher salary, causing conflict internally. This could lead to resentment amongst employees due to different pay grades, leading to a negative work environment. And just as current employees can view salary on a job description at an organisation, competitors can access this information too. With only 12.6% of global companies publishing their salaries, when pay is public it makes it easier for other companies to poach employees and candidates.

For some companies, this stance can also come from not knowing market rate and wanting to see what’s on offer before settling on what to pay (in this instance, we always recommend working with a specialist recruitment partner to help benchmark opportunities and expectations from the outset).

What your organisation can be doing if salary visibility is not possible

If you don’t wish to post the salary on a job advertisement in spite of the evidence of salary visibility benefits – there are other things you can focus on to attract the best candidates. In our survey, we found that the second most important factor for candidates looking for roles is flexible working. If you can offer a flexible schedule to your future applicants, this will lead to an uplift in applications. There is also the option to offer candidates the opportunity to work from home, as 26.43% of candidates think work flexibility would attract them to a role.

The respondents to our survey also believe company culture and values, alongside a healthy work/life balance, would lead them to apply. If your company already has the above, make sure you’re able to promote this externally, such as on social media or review platforms like Glassdoor. If your organisation isn’t quite there yet, focus on implementing different ways of working and consult with employees on what they believe would make the difference. A smooth process could help, with candidates looking for a speed during the recruitment proves but having salary transparency as soon as possible during the application process is the overall best practice from a candidate’s perspective.


If you would like to learn more about our results from the What Tech Candidates Want 2022 survey, you can view our findings here. To learn more about creating a successful recruitment process that will help you attract and retain top talent, reach out to us at

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