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After years of heated debate and discussion, salary transparency laws are finally becoming a reality. As of November 1, 2022, New York state requires employers to disclose “a good faith salary range for every job, promotion, and transfer opportunity advertised.” New York isn’t the first state to mandate that employers post a salary range, and they certainly won’t be the last. 

If you have facilities in a state with salary transparency laws, you may be wondering how these new policies will affect your bottom line. And if you aren’t yet required to post salary ranges, should you do it anyway? 

There are a lot of benefits to being transparent about salary, including increased trust from candidates. We break down everything you need to know about posting salaries during recruiting. 

What Is Salary Transparency? 

So what is salary transparency? The truth is, different state governments interpret the term differently. 

New York’s new law, for example, requires employers to post a “good faith” salary range, not just in job postings, but also in information about promotions and transfers. “Good faith” isn’t strictly defined in the legislature, but it effectively means that candidates are given enough information to know whether or not your salary range makes sense for their personal goals. 

Job seekers will be able to tell if you’re making a legitimate effort to be informative. For example, a range of $50K-300K doesn’t actually tell the job seeker very much, and the lack of clarity may actually dissuade candidates from applying. In other words, that range would not be in “good faith.”

That doesn’t mean you have to post an exact rate. By posting an accurate salary range, you can honor salary transparency while also staying flexible about your ultimate offer. 

Are You Required to Include Salary Information? 

As of November 2022, these states and cities have enacted laws concerning salary transparency: 

State Date Enacted General Law Additional Notes
California 2018 Required to give pay range after 1st interview upon candidate request As of Jan 2023 – pay ranges will be required in job postings
Colorado 2021 Required to list pay range and benefits in all job postings
Connecticut 2021 Required to provide salary range upon extending offers or upon candidate request
Maryland 2020 Required to provide pay range upon candidate request Employers are prohibited from inquiring about candidate’s salary history
Nevada 2021 Salary range must be provided to candidates after first interview, even if not requested Employers are prohibited from inquiring about candidate’s salary history
New York May 2022 (NYC, Ithaca, and Westchester County only) Salary range must be posted in all job postings
New Jersey Apr 2022 (Jersey City only) Salary range must be posted in all job postings
Ohio 2020 (Toledo and Cincinnati only) Required to give salary range upon candidate request
Rhode Island Jan 2023 Required to provide salary range prior to extending offer
Washington 2019 Required to provide pay range upon candidate request Starting January 2023, pay are ranges required in job postings

Laws change often. It’s best to look up your own city, county, and state to make sure you’re being compliant. 

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The Benefits of Salary Transparency in Healthcare 

Even if it’s not mandated, there are benefits to honoring salary transparency. Here are some reasons you should consider incorporating pay transparency into your hiring process. 

Combat Wage Gaps

When you’re transparent about pay, you can actually help close demographic wage gaps. Full-time women workers earn about 83% of men’s pay. The wages earned specifically by Black women, meanwhile, are 64% of what white, non-Hispanic men make. This number plummets to 54% for Latina women and 51% for Native American women. 

Access to education and employment opportunities can contribute to these extreme wage gaps. 

But implicit bias, the kind of unintentional or unconscious bias that leads to very real discrimination, can also cause pay differentials. Salary transparency on job posts can help fight bias and keep hiring managers accountable. When salary information is public, candidates can be more certain they’ll be paid in a competitive range. 

Learn about supporting equity in the workplace

Build Trust

Job seekers who see that you’ve posted a salary range understand that you’re willing to be upfront and transparent about pay, benefits, and duties. This is a huge initial step in building trust. In fact, 22% of job hunters say salary transparency should be a top priority for employers. About a third of job seekers require some knowledge of pay before agreeing to an interview. 

Save Time 

It’s never good to spend time screening a candidate only to find out their salary requirements are far beyond your budget. If you post your salary range from the get-go, only candidates who match that range will apply—meaning you won’t waste valuable resources on candidates who aren’t the right salary fit. 

The Challenges of Posting a Salary Range 

Like any new change in the hiring process, incorporating salary transparency can come with its challenges. Here’s some hurdles you may encounter (and how to overcome them). 

Could Encourage Comparison 

It can be tough for a current employee to see a salary higher than theirs on a new job posting. Sometimes, seeing public salary ranges can make current employees feel undervalued or disheartened about their own wages. This can especially be an issue if you’re hiring contract employees, such as travel nurses, who out-earn permanent staff. 

In healthcare, employers typically use a pay grid to determine compensation—and it’s important that the entire pay grid is adjusted if one position’s salary changes. Of course, many organizations have salary ranges that remain lockedfor a set amount of time. If you notice that competitors are increasing salaries when you can’t raise your own, you can still compensate with increased benefits and a healthy company culture. 

Can’t Fully Fix Wage Gaps or Disparities

Salary transparency itself won’t be able to eliminate wage gaps or disparities. For one time, many marginalized workers don’t have access to the education they need to earn more. 

Another way to increase pay equity in your organization? Support further education, such as in-house training and tuition reimbursements., In this way, you canto help employees move forward in their careers and access higher-paying roles (especially those usually reserved for those privileged enough to pay high tuition fees). 

Ultimately, salary transparency can’t fix a broken company culture or solve widespread pay discrepancies. But you can offer more equitable pay by reducing your dependency on agency staff—which becomes possible when you bolster your hiring practices. 

Improving company culture is a process. Learn more here. 

What to Consider Before You Post A Salary Range 

Posting a salary range isn’t as simple as slapping a number onto a job post. Here’s what to consider. 

Clarify Your Hiring Budget 

Before you post a salary, ensure you have a firm grasp on your hiring budget. Offering a salary outside the posted range could break the trust you’ve built with candidates—, or, if you’re in a state with salary transparency laws, lead to legal consequences. 

Solidify your hiring budget early in the recruiting process. This means connecting with other leaders across your company to stay up-to-date on hiring spend. Even if you’re going by a pay grid, it’s important to know what benefits you plan on offering. 

Not sure where your hiring spend is going? Perform a hiring audit to find out. 

Be Consistent Across Your Hiring Process

It’s unethical to list a certain salary on your job posting, then approach candidates with a lower hourly or yearly salary (though overtime pay and other shift differentials can offer flexibility). However, this can easily happen by accident if your communication breaks down between hiring stages. 

It can be easy for information to get confused—especially in a fast-paced healthcare hiring environment. To avoid situations like this, set up a monthly or weekly meeting, or send out a comprehensive memo to hiring managers to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

Look at Your Competition 

Finally, increased salary transparency means that it’ll be extremely noticeable if you’re posting salaries much lower than your competitors. If your salary range isn’t competitive, you could be losing out on talent because of pay. 

Knowing where you stand among competitors is good information to have, even if you don’t have the budget to raise yourstand above in times of salariesy. If this is the case, think about what perks and benefits you can offer to rise above your competition. 

Learn more about low cost ways to improve company culture

How to Build Transparency Throughout Your Business

Salary transparency is one way to create a healthy community culture, but it’s not the only way. To build upon the work you’re doing by being open about salaries, try the following:

  • Create HR office hours, where employees can freely share their thoughts and concerns. 
  • Invite anonymous feedback—and actually address it, so employees don’t feel like they’re sharing into a void.
  • Support a healthy work-life balance, understanding that employees are the best team members when they aren’t burnt out or sacrificing their personal lives. 
  • Hold evaluations and check-ins for employees to give feedback one-on-one. 
  • Encourage open communication, and create an environment where management is actively involved with employees—not simply giving orders from afar. 

Better Hiring With Apploi

Moving towards salary transparency can mean significant changes to your hiring process. Luckily, Apploi’s intuitive hiring, onboarding, and management platform is there to help you every step of the way. 

Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end talent management solution.

Melanie Boroosan

Over her six years in healthcare administration, Melanie has managed human resources, legal, compliance, payroll, and recruitment efforts at a corporate level. This oversight granted her a deep appreciation for the unique needs of healthcare managers, and for the direct ways that business operations affect the wellbeing of each employee. As Apploi’s Director of Healthcare Innovation, Melanie draws from her experience in healthcare HR and ancillary long-term care to pursue a vision of holistic healthcare staffing. Her work is rooted in the knowledge that great care begins with improving quality of life for all healthcare workers.