Share Your Salary Ranges 1 - Negotiation Bias

I often see ‘leaders’ on LinkedIn commenting that if you share salary ranges on job ads or during the hiring process, people ‘will always ask for the top amount’.

Let’s talk about why that’s BS

There have been many studies on this topic; one large-scale study was by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that women are less likely to negotiate for higher salaries than men and women who did negotiate were still less likely to receive a higher salary than men who negotiated.

The results also showed that when the employer hid the salary range, men were more likely to negotiate than women. However, when the employer was transparent about wages, this difference was mitigated.

The study by NBER stated various systemic reasons for this behaviour. Women are more likely to:

  • Be risk-averse. They may be afraid of asking for too much and being rejected, or they may be afraid of negotiating and coming across as pushy or aggressive.
  • Be programmed to be socialised to be agreeable. They may be more likely to accept the first offer, even if it’s not the best offer they could get.
  • Lack confidence in their abilities. They may believe they deserve to be paid less than men, even if they have the same qualifications and experience.

Men will always ask for more money than women. White women will always ask for more money than people of colour. And the cycle continues. By publishing your salary ranges, you are giving underrepresented people a fairer shot at asking for what they are worth.

If someone asks for top dollar, so what? Assess them and see if they match that profile. If they don’t, then don’t hire them or negotiate down. Hiring is a dance of negotiation.

And if that person is from an underrepresented group, give them a medal for being that brave and hire them right now.

Read more: Part 2 - Deflation