Is Your Company Ready for Pay Transparency?
For some, seeing the steady march of pay transparency laws across the globe is akin to the advice given about anxiety giving a speech – just picture everyone in their underwear, and you’ll be fine. But not that type of transparency is shifting into jobs where everyone is playing with their cards facing outward. Although this has never been done before, some say with good reason, legislation and not employer preference has entered the chat.
Certainty is a primary craving for humans. We want to know what happened, what’s happening now, and what will happen. The upside to pay transparency works like that. You know what others have been paid, what others doing what you do are getting paid, and what a new position is paying before you enter negotiations around accepting an offer. Just thinking about it, you can already feel the warm glow from the campfire of career choices.
Proponents have worked hard to identify the benefits employers and talent can enjoy. For example, telling potential hires what the position pays is a great way to get people to apply. It’s also a great way to show existing employees you value them and a wake-up call to employers about what it takes to retain promising talent. So, are there any downsides? A few, actually.
Some offer stout arguments as to why this is a terrible idea, which begins with the bottom line. Employers maintain a strong negotiating advantage with a new hire when only one of them has the complete compensation picture. So instead of reaching a mutually informed decision, one party to the negotiation begins at a disadvantage, and nothing good comes from that.
Some speculate that a prairie fire of employee jealousy will inflame the workforce, leading to a worker’s rebellion and the end of capitalism. Before you ask if this isn’t a good thing, consider this. Most new hires make more than existing employees. Then add, do you want the bulk of your institutional knowledge walking out over pay disparities? An easy alternative would be to reverse this practice, but that may be an even farther reach than getting buy-in with pay transparency.
Where to Now?
Where does it go from here? To congress. States like California have pay transparency laws in the books, so we’ll see what issues pop up. A congressman once said that government does two things well, too much and not enough. Companies that get ahead of the legislative curve may succeed in forming arguments around future pay transparency laws. Beyond that, only time will tell how successful the experiment is. Although there is no such thing as a failed experiment beginning with the end in mind can save a few headaches.
Trent Lyons is a Technical Recruitment Lead at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Trent, who specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career, contact us today.