Industry article

Finding staff in a candidate short market

Photo of Jade Brar-Haase
Jade Brar-Haase
Posted on 01 Mar 2023 · 6 mins read

Within this blog, we discuss the importance of disclosing salary brackets to avoid losing out on top talent.

There is no doubt that we are now in a candidate short market where jobs are rife and competition is fierce therefore businesses are having to work a lot harder to attract the talent that they need. This requires a mindset shift for businesses and recruiters alike to attract and retain these vital, highly-skilled hires. Potential candidates now have the bargaining power and as such, in this new working world have a refreshed set of expectations with regards to ‘deal breakers’ such as flexible working and salary. So, what can you do to attract the very best candidates and gain a competitive edge?

In this increasingly competitive job market, businesses and recruiters must be providing a worthwhile candidate experience when headhunting and recruiting. In today’s new world of work, we are constantly seeing job applications and particularly in a sector such as engineering where, typically, it is the top talent that is being recruited for – recruiters are failing to disclose vital information – salary brackets. Too often job applications are not disclosing salary information, according to LinkedIn’s Global Trends 2019 report, 51% of companies don’t share their salary ranges with candidates and don’t plan to do so soon. This is something that must change to avoid missing out on talented applicants and any negative effect on company culture.

Why Salary Transparency Matters

In such a candidate short market, there is nothing more frustrating for both parties than negotiating with a dream candidate to find your salary brackets are miles away in range. It can stop any negotiation in its tracks and leave a bad taste. More so than ever before, candidates value transparency when it comes to job applications and need to know what they are signing up for in no finer terms before any interview process even begins. An impossible to ignore figure of 97% of job seekers stated that having salary ranges included in a job application is one of the most helpful attributes according to a recent Glassdoor survey. To avoid any ill-feeling between candidate and employer, it is important to disclose the salary range as early as possible for their chosen role as early as possible in the process, especially in such a niche sector like engineering where the talent is being recruited is in even shorter supply.

Gender Pay Gap

In one of our recent blogs, we discussed pay bands and the damage the data that continually shows the lack of transparency on pay disproportionately disadvantages women in comparison to their male counterparts. Another key reason to disclose salary ranges and why your salary brackets may be costing you top talent is the issue of the gender pay gap. Research from Columbia Business School shows that companies who disclose their salaries reduce the pay gap by up to 7%! Data from the annual Women in Public Affairs (WiPA) survey, led by research agency Opinium, concluded that 9 in 10 (87%) women in Public Affairs are less likely to respond to a job advertisement if it doesn’t show the salary. That is a staggering number, especially considering only 26% of companies currently disclose salary information, therefore potentially alienating a huge number of candidates from the industry adding fuel to the fire of the gender pay gap and denying themselves top tier talent…Not only can disclosing salary brackets or, having room for negotiation on salary brackets lead to establishing trust with candidates, but it is also a vital element for your whole working team to know that you value both talent and the time dedicated.


Having competitive salary brackets can help you stand out from the crowd. Ultimately, this comes down to transparency. When aiming to gain a great reputation, this comes from establishing a fantastic rapport with candidates and members of the team. Honesty is, and always has been, the best policy…Furthermore, it can have even greater benefits such as increased boosted productivity, happier work-life balance and working relationships. This seems like a no brainer...right? Happy staff will equal employee and employer satisfaction alike. With this in mind, it’s important to consider what to offer to ensure they are competitive and attract talent, including:

  • Increased paid time off (mental health days, sick days, and holiday days)
  • Childcare benefits
  • Gym memberships or discounts
  • Health & Wellness programmes
  • Employee recognition programs
  • Workplace perks

And most importantly, salary brackets.

For the engineering sector, where the talent needed to be recruited is of such a high-level talent, businesses and recruiters mustn't be inadvertently discouraging candidates from applying by not disclosing salary brackets or having unrealistic salary expectations. At Murray McIntosh, we will continue to work with employers to ensure they can access the people they need and are not putting off potential new talent whether this is a contract or permanent – to keep projects on track.

For more information, or to discuss your hiring needs, contact us.

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