One of the challenges for job seekers in Ghana is determining the salary for a role they’re applying for.
Due to lack of data and the practice of putting employers putting in “competitive salary” in job descriptions, job seekers never get the chance to know if they should put in the effort to apply for a role.
According to a recent analysis by Forbes, only 18% of tech jobs include pay ranges in their employment ads, compared to 25% of all jobs. This means that tech workers have less information and bargaining power when it comes to their compensation.
But a recent trend in the US could help job seekers level the playing field if it was emulated in Ghana and the African tech space.
SHRM released a survey on Equal Pay Day that found 70% of organizations that listed pay ranges in their job descriptions saw an increase in total applications to their posted positions.
In US States like California, Colorado, and Washington, the local government passed laws that require employers to include pay ranges in job listings.
Can local African governments take a page of this playbook and pass laws that require tech companies to disclose salary ranges when they post job listings publicly?
There are various reasons why a “Transparency Law” might be advantageous in many ways, for both job seekers and employers:
It reduces exploitation and discrimination
One important advantage of salary transparency is that fewer workers will be exploited. If salaries are not revealed, it is quite easy for companies to pay some people much more than others, even if there is no difference in their performance. This can lead to wage gaps based on gender, race, age, or other factors that have nothing to do with merit.
By disclosing salary ranges upfront, companies can prevent such unfair practices and ensure equal pay for equal work.
It improves employee satisfaction and retention
Another benefit of salary transparency is that employees will also be in a much better position when it comes to raises or promotions. In most companies, there will be an opportunity to talk to your boss on a regular basis regarding your future income prospects.
However, without knowing what others are earning or what the market rate is for your role, you may end up settling for less than you deserve or asking for too much and risking rejection. By knowing the salary range beforehand, you can prepare yourself better for these conversations and negotiate with confidence and evidence. This can result in higher satisfaction and loyalty among employees who feel valued and respected by their employers.
It boosts productivity and innovation
A third benefit of salary transparency is that it creates a sense of unity and productivity. Indeed, if pay transparency is not actioned on, employees – especially women in corporate settings – will feel as if they are underpaid in the workplace.
This can lead to lower motivation, engagement, and performance among workers who feel demoralized and resentful towards their colleagues or managers who earn more than them.
One company known for its salary transparency is Buffer. The social media scheduling platform posts the salaries of all its employers on a website for public viewing. In a way, Buffr was ahead of the curve when it came to salary transparency.
A law passed by parliament help make salary transparency more mainstream.
But will governments ever start the conversation to begin with?
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