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Pay Transparency is Good for Business and Accessibility

By Donald Guse Salah


In a world of labour shortages, fierce competition for talent, and rising costs everywhere, employers have more of a vested interest than ever in attracting job seekers to their job opportunities.


 laptop is open on a desk with a job posting showing the expected salary range on it. The words "Pay Transparency Is Good For Business and Accessiblity' is overlaid at the top.

There are a number of things that can imbue people with a desire to apply for a specific job; location, responsibilities, hours of work, etc., however, everyone needs to make enough money to make ends meet. Thus, pay is a primary driver of job interest, regardless of other considerations. This is obvious, though, right?


Let’s shift the narrative for a moment. We also live in a world where DEI is top of mind, so inclusive and equitable employment is of paramount importance with respect to an employer’s image and reputation, as well as the ability to attract diverse talent. One of the best ways to demonstrate these practices is to ensure ‘equal pay for equal work’ by including pay rates or ranges in job postings so that everyone applying to the position knows what the potential rate is. Job seekers with disabilities in particular, as the largest minority group (22% of the Canadian population1), but also the most underemployed population demographic (despite most being willing and able to work), continue to face ongoing barriers to labour market participation and discrimination concerns. Yet, job seekers with disabilities also demonstrate higher retention rates and lower absenteeism2, and thus represent one viable solution to labour shortages. To be accessible and attract more of this talent source, employers would be well-served by showing that everyone who submits a job application can expect the same rate of pay if hired, irrespective of who they are.


Pay transparency has multiple benefits, not the least of which is protecting employers from having anyone accuse them of offering a lower pay rate to some demographics vs. others. The concerns job seekers with disabilities have about pay inequity are more likely to be ameliorated if they see pay rates in a job posting. Consequently, it increases the odds that a given job seeker will apply for a position (this applies to everyone). In a February 2023, article on LinkedIn, it was revealed that, “…when asked which elements of a job description are most helpful in deciding whether to apply for a position, only responsibilities of the role (90%) outperformed salary ranges (89%). Finally, in a more recent LinkedIn survey, 82% of respondents said that seeing a salary range in a job description would give them a more positive impression of a company.3


The insight from the LinkedIn article is relevant for employers that want to attract talent amidst competition for employees during a persistent labour shortage in the workforce. These ‘enlightened self-interest’ reasons for pay transparency are probably the best rationale for employers to follow this practice. Of course, they are not the only reason; in some provinces, there is legislation around this issue. For instance, Article 6 of the Ontario Pay Transparency Act of 2018 states, “Every employer who advertises a publicly advertised job posting shall include in the posting information about the expected compensation for the position or the range of expected compensation for the position.”4


Whether it’s to be compliant with legislation or to attract more and better talent, pay transparency is an increasingly important element of recruitment that benefits everyone and makes job opportunities more accessible.


 

About Donald

Image shows author Donald Guse Salah walking by water with autumnal trees in the backgroun.

Donald Guse-Salah an Inclusive Workforce Specialist based in Toronto, Ontario. Prior to his role at CAN WiN, Donald was a Program Manager for the Discover Ability Network (DAN) at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the developer and Supervisor of a supported employment program for job seekers with disabilities, and founded and leads a collaborative network of supported employment programs operating across the Greater Toronto Area.


In his leisure time, astronomy, history, philosophy, and science fiction have Donald’s heart. Or rather, his brain.


 
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Take this 15-minute Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment to gain a deeper understanding of where you’re doing well and where there’s room to improve.


Open Door Group and Presidents Group collaborated on this tool, created from recent international research on practices that truly increase inclusion and retention of people with disabilities in the workplace.


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