The question about transparency in salaries is increasingly often up for debate all over Europe. In many countries, it is standard practice to include salary information in a job listing. That is the case in the UK, for instance. In Finland, you can submit a query about your coworkers’ salaries to the tax office. In Germany, people employed in large companies also have the right to know about their coworkers’ pay.
In Poland, job listings that include pay scales are still rare and information about salaries is seen as confidential. However, change is coming to the job market, which is hardly surprising given that many industries are now a candidate’s market. More and more people browsing job listings expect to find information about pay before they commit to the recruitment process.
Our experience shows that a listing without a proposed salary is noticed less often by candidates, which lowers the chances of reaching the target group of professionals, and therefore the chances of hiring a desired employee are also reduced. Recruiters encourage employers to at least share pay scales in their listings, but are still meet with doubt and even resistance.
A CONTROVERSIAL OBLIGATION
The proposed amendment may go a
long way to reducing wage discrimination and facilitating recruitment.
Communicating salaries directly could make recruitment more efficient
and allow candidates to make informed decisions. However, employers are
anxious about the obligation and say they would like to have the
opportunity to analyze the benefits and risks that come with wage
transparency. Some also believe that information about salaries should
not be public because it is part of a negotiation between the employer
and their prospective hire. They are also concerned about personnel
policies and contractual clauses in job agreements and that their costs
of new and current employees will increase.
In many cases
employers’ concerns are unjustified. It is the recruiter’s job to get to
know the candidate’s experience and skills, as well as to assess
whether their salary expectations correspond to market standards and the
client’s budget. If they do not, the next step involves negotiation. As
for the mass salary increases for current workers that employers are
afraid of, you cannot underestimate the role of cooperation and open
communication: all staff should know what level of knowledge and
experience they need to achieve in order to receive the salary stated in
the job listing.
Making salary information public can, above all, speed up and facilitate recruitment, ensuring that companies get enough job applications from people who are satisfied with the conditions on offer. Employers could then interview only the specialists whose salary expectations they can meet. This is particularly important if the main reason a final job offer is rejected is that the pay is too low.
If there is no pay information at the beginning of the recruitment process, a lot of applications come from candidates who will not be willing to accept the offer. You can avoid that problem by providing the key pieces of information from the get-go. Some see salary as key, others want to know more about the boss, the hierarchy and the size of their team. The new law may prove to be a time saver. Of course, you need a coherent and transparent pay scale and clear communication within the organization.
Employers resist the proposed amendment because they are not ready for full pay transparency. Salary levels remain a sort of a taboo in Polish culture and employees consider information about their pay as confidential, even if it isn’t clearly stated to be so. This may change in the coming years. Regardless of whether or not the proposed bill becomes law, younger generations have different expectations about their careers. They consider transparency to be as important as flexibility. Employers will have no choice but to adapt.