Insights from our Talent Acquisition Experts: Salary ranges in job postings

6 May 2024

In a series of five blogs, seasoned Human Development (HD) consultants and internal domain experts share their thoughts on prevalent topics in Talent Acquisition.

Agree or disagree? Let’s see what our Talent Acquisition experts have to say!

Including salary ranges in vacancies is a common best practice that ensures transparency and efficiency.

Our Talent Acquisition Experts acknowledge the benefits of including salary ranges in job postings, but remain cautious.

Salary as a main driver

One of their primary concerns is the potential shift in candidates’ motivation when applying for a job. “I’m afraid that it might attract candidates who are primarily driven by salary rather than the job and the company,” says Ineke Vandael. “However, in today’s candidate market, it might also provide an extra incentive to apply.” Charlotte Dulait agrees and adds, “Candidates are really interested in knowing about the fringe benefits, as they can make a significant difference.”

However, Martine Groenen is more careful: “It’s almost impossible to include the entire package (considering things like a car, bonuses, etc.). Moreover, it gives candidates a bargaining base because they already know what is possible.” You’ll have to determine exactly how transparent you would like to be in these salary ranges. Do you mention only gross salaries or do you add all fringe benefits as well?

Jana Wittemans points out another important potential pitfall: “Mentioning a salary range could discourage potentially good candidates from applying when they are already at the top end of the salary range.” This could create a potential bias. You could miss out on candidates who already self-select out of applying for a position if the salary range is lower than their current expectations, although there might be room for growth.

According to Eva Pelacuer, it’s important to consider the message you want to convey by including salary ranges in a vacancy: “Do you want to give an extra incentive to apply, or do you want to set the bar for a certain level of experience?”

Lastly, transparency in salary ranges could potentially lead to internal discontent if existing employees discover discrepancies between their own salaries and those offered to new hires with similar qualifications. Therefore, you would first need a solid salary policy.

Including salary ranges could be a strong incentive, or it could discourage candidates from applying.

Eva Pelacuer

Transparent salary house

Charlotte Steel suggests, “Mentioning salary ranges is only relevant when you have a transparent salary policy, so (potential) employees have a clear view of their potential salary growth. For example, in companies that use wage scales, including salary ranges in job postings is common practice.”

However, a lot of companies do not use wage scales. In that case, it is essential to have a clearly defined and consistent salary structure.

As of 2026, the majority of companies will be obliged to openly share information about starting wages, possible salary growth, pay scales and average wages with both employees as well as job applicants (as part of ESG compliance). This initiative aims to promote gender equality in pay. In contrast: research conducted by HR services provider SD Worx in 2023 found that 4 out of 10 Belgian workers (source: De Tijd) are unaware of the salary of their closest colleague in a similar position.

The advantages of an open pay policy

  • You avoid having a total mess of unequal wages for identical roles down the line.
  • It allows you to offer a growth path to a job applicant, explaining what it will take to get a jump in his salary, and by objectifying, you eliminate individual salary negotiations during the hiring process.
  • It eliminates the gender gap and stimulates equal pay.


    While there are clear benefits to including salary ranges in job postings, our Talent Acquisition Experts remain cautious. They emphasize the importance of considering the potential impact on candidate motivation and the need for a transparent salary policy to support this practice effectively. 

    Ultimately, HR needs to rethink the transparency of their salary policies by 2026, to be compliant to European requirements. First of all, one must create this internal transparency. To what extent one wants to bring transparency outside the organization is up to the organization to determine.

    The decision to include salary ranges should be made carefully, taking into account the specific needs and goals of the company and the candidate market. Therefore, employers should weigh these factors carefully and tailor their approach based on the specific needs and context of their organization.

    • Eva Pelacuer, Project Consultant

    • Charlotte Steel, Project Consultant

    • Charlotte Dulait, Talent Partner

    • Ineke Vandael, Talent Partner

    • Jana Wittemans, Care Expert

    • Martine Groenen, Project Consultant

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