The reasons why salaries are not advertised

Why don’t a lot of job ads outline the salary that is being offered for the role? Recruiters reveal how to find it out.

CAREERS’ panel of expert recruiters answers a reader’s question each week. Have a question? Email

I am wary of job ads that list many requirements but don’t indicate salary. Is not listing salary the norm?

Megan Nicholson

Andrew Sullivan

Managing director,

Sullivan Consulting

There are a couple of main reasons why recruiters/employers sometimes withhold salary information until further into the recruitment process. Firstly, the salary may be negotiable. In this case, an appropriate salary will likely be determined during the recruitment process, which may be influenced by a range of factors, including the candidate’s expectations, qualifications, and experience. Secondly, recruiters/employers sometimes withhold salary information to minimise the risk of people applying for a position for the salary alone.

Alexandra Rosser

Head of Organisational Psychology Consulting,

Stillwell Management Consultants

Not listing salary on advertisements is increasingly the norm for several reasons. They include the organisation not wanting their competitors to have an advantage in negotiating pay with potential talent and/or not wanting their own employees to benchmark their own pay against colleagues. It is primarily because the organisation, while usually having a remuneration band in mind for the role, wants to leave itself room to negotiate a package based on the skills, experience and qualifications of the preferred candidate.

Lisa Morris



It is true that more and more jobs do not list salaries. There are several reasons why so many employers don’t include a salary in their job ads. Most commonly, employers prefer to make salary offers based on the unique experience and expertise of their preferred candidate. Employers are therefore unwilling to lock themselves into an exact figure before they gain a complete picture of the value of a particular individual. Of course, in any job offer there is always room to negotiate. Rather than list salary, many employers prefer to gain an understanding of their ideal candidate’s salary expectations first, then negotiate from there. Others, particularly organisations without transparent pay structures, don’t want existing employees to view the salary of new team members – especially if it is vastly different to existing employees in a similar role. Either way, as a jobseeker, you can usually gain a good understanding of a role’s salary range by conducting your own research. Look at the experience and competencies required in the job, then consult a salary guide to determine the typical salary for the role. Our Hays Salary Guide is available on our website and provides typical salaries for thousands of roles in major cities and regional locations across Australia.

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