Recruitment roadmap: how (and when) to talk about compensation

This article originally appeared in the January 2022 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, be sure to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.

If you’ve been on LinkedIn lately, you’ve probably seen a lot of debate about so-called compensation transparency. With the increase in pay equity laws across the country, many candidates are asking for more information about the salary range when it comes to applying for a new position.

As these changes occur, it means hiring managers, HR managers, and businesses must collectively adapt to stay on top of market trends.

The laws surrounding pay equity are relatively new and were framed with the general idea of ​​closing the wage gap between protected classes. The biggest change is that unless a company has already made an offer, hiring managers are not allowed to request current compensation from a potential candidate. These laws are in place in many states and cities across the country and are constantly expanding – so if this is unfamiliar, be sure to research local laws to ensure these stipulations are followed.

Salary scales with job offers

Now, when it comes to negotiating compensation, working blind is rarely a beneficial tactic; thus, these changes have sparked debates about whether pay ranges should be shared on job postings and when pay should be discussed as a whole.

My personal opinion on this is twofold. While I agree there should be transparency in negotiating compensation, there are pros and cons. When companies determine pay ranges, it’s an educated guess at best. Until market research is conducted, the range is usually not 100% accurate.

On the one hand, sharing a range of $50,000 to $70,000 for a job posting provides applicants with complete transparency; however, this discourages candidates currently earning $71,000 and above from applying. It is not uncommon for positions to be hired above the initially determined salary range. Conversely, a junior candidate may read this and be gobsmacked at the 90,000 salary, but their experience may not justify it. Since the salary range may not be consistent, it may not capture the attention of the right candidate.

At the same time, the positives are that most applicants who apply will be in the salary range for the position, and applicants will appreciate the information up front, which is likely to waste less of their time.

The human element

Hiring is human. Nothing beats talking live in person or on the phone or zooming in on pay. It’s all about human connection. The reality is that the “old-fashioned” recruiting methodology doesn’t work today.

Here’s an example: Let’s say there’s a role valued between $50,000 and $70,000, and a candidate says they’re currently earning $50,000. Expecting to make an offer of $55,000 and have them accepted is no longer always realistic. Today, that person is being offered to stay at $60,000 and if not, you should beware.

The best way to have this conversation is to be transparent. The “new school” of thought is equal pay for equal work. The idea behind this is to fairly compensate candidates for the work they do with less emphasis on experience. In some roles, more experience doesn’t always mean better talent.

People want to be paid fairly for the work they do. Pay gaps are now smaller between levels of experience. The best place to start is simply to honestly and openly ask candidates what they are looking for. If it can be met, meet it. If he can be beaten, beat him.

As with any other asset, the cost of talent is not always what the interviewer values ​​it at. Market conditions, as well as many other factors, affect perceived value.As

Ryan Joseph is an executive recruiter for Recruit Group (, with a focus on operations, sales and sales leadership in the security industry. For assistance with your security recruitment efforts, contact her at [email protected] or call (954) 278-8286.

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