‘Know your worth’ — 33% of job seekers said they wouldn’t even go to a job interview without seeing the salary first

Personal finance

Workers are pushing for greater pay transparency, whether employers like it or not.

Such conversations around income expectations used to be “the elephant in the room,” said Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster.com.

Now, 33% of job seekers said they would not even go to a job interview without first knowing the salary the employer is willing to offer, according to new research by job search site Adzuna. The survey, conducted in September, polled 2,000 U.S. adults who have looked for employment at least once over the last five years.

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As salary transparency laws slowly gain momentum, 28% of adults said a lack of pay clarity continues to be the greatest frustration when it comes to the job search, Adzuna found. 

A separate survey by employer review site Glassdoor found that 63% of employees prefer to work at a company that discloses pay information over one that does not.

The idea is that pay transparency will bring about pay equity, or essentially equal pay for work of equal or comparable value, regardless of worker gender, race or other demographic category.

Ask, ‘Do you have a budget for this role?’

“The reality is the job market is still strong,” said Mandi Woodruff-Santos, career coach and co-host of the Brown Ambition podcast, and that gives job seekers more leverage when it comes to benefits and pay.

Woodruff-Santos advises clients to inquire about a position’s salary during the initial phone-screening interview.

“I would ask them straight up: Do you have a budget for this role?” she said. “Then decide whether you want to proceed.

“I am in favor of getting it out of the way.”

‘Know your worth’ based on skills, experience

Salaries are in the spotlight as inflation weighs on most workers’ financial standing.

While wage growth has been high by historical standards, it isn’t keeping up with the increased cost of living, which is still rising at the fastest annual pace in about four decades, and that is leaving more workers unsatisfied with their pay.

When it comes to determining what you should be earning, “don’t rely on the job description alone,” Monster’s Salemi advised. “Know your worth based on your experience and skill sets and the norm for the industry you are in.”

But pay isn’t everything, she added. Other factors to consider include increased opportunities for advancement, flexibility and a healthy work-life balance, Salemi said.

Younger workers are paving the way to greater pay transparency overall, according to a another Bankrate.com report.

Roughly 42% of Generation Zers and 40% of millennials have shared their salary information with a co-worker or other professional contact, the survey found, compared to just 31% of Generation X and 19% of baby boomers.

“It’s our generation that’s unlearning that traditional line of thinking,” Woodruff-Santos said. Otherwise, “they could be selling themselves short.”

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