Job Advertisements: Time to come clean on salary to be offered?


Vini Ahuja, a 34-year-old software professional from Bengaluru, has been job hunting for the past two months. The biggest hurdle that she is facing so far is the fact that job positions being advertised do not offer any details about the salary and it is disclosed only once a candidate has cleared the last round of selection.

“I have appeared for five interviews so far and every place has the same policy. In three cases, I found out that the salary being offered was 15 percent lower than my current CTC (cost-to-company). When we have to disclose our current salary and give proof, why won’t they,” she wonders.

There is a rising demand among job seekers in India to get proper salary disclosures for the positions advertised by recruiters. The request here is that even if the exact salary cannot be revealed, an approximate range should be given out.

The justification is that since companies insist that candidates disclose their current salaries, why shouldn’t they too? And eventually, the salary is one of the crucial factors to decide whether or not to accept a job role.

Currently what happens during job interviews is that the compensation is discussed at the very last stage. Because of this, it becomes a tough decision-making process for candidates.

Hiring managers would state that compensation is a ‘trade secret’. Fair point but what is the harm in giving a range? Instead of saying Rs 28.7 lakh CTC for a software developer with 10 years of work experience just say give a range between Rs 25 lakh-30 lakh per annum.

This makes the process far easier. A candidate who currently earns Rs 35 lakh wouldn’t consider applying for the role. Instead of them rejecting the job offer at the last round based on the pay, it is way better to state the compensation upfront.

It also helps save time and close critical positions quicker. A lot of back-and-forth on pay happens between the candidate and the company HR occurs after the final interview has been cleared only because the figure isn’t shared in advance.

Varun Bose, a tax consultant from Kolkata had three rounds of interviews at a consulting firm between March and July 2021. He had a fair idea of the industry salaries and had agreed to apply for this position (where he was approached by the company).

However only in the last week of July was he told the pay, which was in fact 20 percent lower than his current salary.

“I did not take up the job but I really regret the fact that I could have applied at other places had this information been given before,” he says.

Giving an indicative CTC upfront means that time can be devoted to interviewing relevant candidates to evaluate whether they are fit for the demands of the job role. With this, the ‘salary-bargaining’ time gets significantly cut down and vacant positions could be filled in a few months.

If you expect transparency from a job seeker, it is essential that you be transparent too.