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Salary Transparency: Where are nonprofits in this trend?

I ventured into unfamiliar territory this week when I created a very informal LinkedIn poll. My curiosity came directly from my work with nonprofit organizations who are struggling to hire at all levels and in all departments. Some include their salary ranges on job postings, and some do not. My poll asked this very question and results indicated that 75% of responders have started posting salary ranges or have been doing so for some time.

While this is the direction we are certainly headed, I was (pleasantly) surprised by these results!

As of November 1st, New York City enacted a pay disclosure law and California, Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island and Washington are rolling out their own versions. A recent study conducted by Monster showed that 98% of workers are in favor of salary disclosures.

As someone who is engaged by organizations to provide both counsel and guidance around hiring practices but also to actively recruit and interview applicants, I can tell you that salary transparency from the start saves time, money and stress - for both parties.

I also know that part of the problem lies in leadership’s fear that current employees will learn what their peers are making or will learn that incoming hires are starting at a higher salary than they did. First, employees are already talking to each other. They talk about money and know where they stand. Second, this can be fixed by paying everyone what they’re worth (!!).

If you or your organization are on the fence about taking this step, keep in mind that this is an issue that disproportionately affects women and people of color – those that have always been marginalized in the workforce. The nonprofit sector wants to be an agent for change - pushing boundaries and working to protect our community’s most vulnerable. But this can’t truly happen until folks are paid what they’re worth. Being upfront with potential candidates about what they will be earning is a clear path towards these goals. Let’s keep this conversation going and push for more widespread legislation.

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