Sharing salary ranges for engineering positions is delicate. You don't want candidates to see the top end of the range and think that they left money on the table. This creates awkwardness and unmet expectations. You also don't want current engineers to feel they are being underpaid, making them ask for a raise.

Sharing salary ranges is beneficial because…

  • Job posts with salary get 75% more clicks than those that don't.
  • Engineers will love you for it, which means way more applicants.
  • You won't waste thousands of dollars on interviews with candidates who you can't afford.
  • You differentiate yourself from underpaying employers and the legion of shitty startups (there's way more of these than you realize). You might think that in today's climate, no respectable startup would lowball solid candidates. Your candidates have no idea whether you're respectable. The burden is on you to demonstrate respectability.
  • Sharing salary is "you-focused." If you appear selfish and only talk about what your company needs, everyone will tune out. Readers only care about themselves.
  • You won't melt into the sea of recruiter emails which almost never have salary information.
  • You catch the attention of undervalued engineers who are great at what they do.

You may already be publishing salary ranges to some job sites, so you might as well share the range on your site as well.

You're still hesitant about sharing salary bands…

Here are some options to reduce risk.

  • List a few salary ranges so it's clear you're hiring junior/mid/senior people. This way, the junior person won't expect to earn at the top end of the range.
  • Test it: run two identical job descriptions, one with a salary range and one without. See which gets more applicants and interest.
  • List only the bottom end of the range. Listing only the minimum could backfire because people may expect you to pay only +$20,000.00 USD above the minimum.
  • Do compensation research to learn about what the market pays. Work the numbers backwards from how much revenue you want them to make you (for this, I made you EngineerWorth.com). When you have a solid business case for the hire, you'll feel good about the range you end up sharing.

What's stopping you from sharing salary ranges? Email me and tell me: david åt dtrejo dot com.

Best,
David

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