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February 20, 2024

Pros and cons of including salary in job postings

One of the first steps in attracting top talent when recruiting physicians is crafting quality job postings.

Over my years of interaction with recruiters, I’ve learned this is not always easy. There is so much information to put in a limited space - qualifications, schedule, facility information, culture and why they should choose your company.

When deciding which details to include, many organizations choose not to exclude one of the major incentives for candidate consideration: salary.

Whether your organization chooses to include salary information or not, we can all agree the topic ignites much debate. SMART Recruit Online conducted a study showing job postings that included salary information received over 30% more applicants. Employers may like to think salary is not the deciding factor, but the reality is highly qualified physicians don’t often make a move to be paid less or even at the same level as their current role.

Sharing salary information in your job postings has its benefits, but there are also drawbacks to consider.  Let’s review the pros and cons.

Pro: Stand out and attract top talent

It’s no secret qualified physicians tend to already be employed and are more selective of jobs to which they apply. Searching and applying for jobs takes time. A surgeon working 60+ hours per week may move past your competitor’s job posting and choose instead to apply to your opportunity because you’ve included the pertinent salary information.

Highly qualified candidates want to learn as much as possible up front before applying or reaching out to the recruiter to ask questions. If you include salary within the job posting and the candidate applies, you can be pretty confident the pay falls within a range they find appealing.

Con: Less room for negotiation

Just as candidates want to learn as much as possible about the hiring organization before applying, employers also want to gain as much insight about the candidate before divulging details about income potential.

Many organizations believe offering salary information in job postings can potentially weaken their ability to negotiate when the time comes. They lean toward nondisclosure because it gives them more flexibility based on the candidate’s experience, and it can also help them look after their bottom line.

Pro: Candidates can find out anyway

It might not be the first thing they ask in the initial phone interview, but if salary is a major motivator, candidates will find a way to learn that information. A simple Google search of your organization can yield salary ranges from former or current employees. A candidate could easily locate median salaries for the position by searching the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or PayScale.

Disclosing potential salary upfront can ease awkward conversations during the interview because the candidate is more informed and wouldn’t be considering the opportunity if the salary was too out of range for them.

Con: Research and planning

Truth be told, many organizations do not include salary information in their job postings because at the time, they simply don’t know what the salary range will be. Deciding on salary ranges requires coordination, research and time. You will need to consider location, similar roles in other companies and ranges of existing employees.

Once you have researched, compared and finalized the salary information you choose to share, it will still need to be continuously monitored and updated.

Pro: Minimize bias and promote transparency

Whether you’re concerned about being more vulnerable to your competition or your organization is hoping to avoid the internal conflict that can arise if your current employees gain knowledge of salary ranges for new hires, you must also consider the benefits of pay transparency.

It is illegal to offer different employees varying salaries based on the protected categories of gender, age, race, disability or religion. Offering an environment with pay transparency can improve your organizational culture, promote fairness and build trust with both new hires and existing employees.

Con: Salary is not the whole story

After researching salary ranges, if you’re still concerned about listing a salary range, it’s still only one piece of the puzzle. You can continue to entice qualified candidates by effectively outlining an attractive overall compensation package.

Think about the unique perks your company can offer such as superior organizational culture, flexible scheduling, low call, a collaborative and collegial environment, onsite day care, loan repayment, sign-on or RVU performance bonuses or a professional expense allowance.


When all is said and done, posting salary information in your job postings is a preference and depends on a company’s individual needs and culture. After all, there are important pros and cons on both sides.

Gray Peretti

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