Wage Data in Job Postings: Why You Need It

Liz Dillon

You might’ve noticed a new feature showing up on your Snag job postings recently: Wage info.

Much like Yanny vs. Laurel and the epic “Blue-and-black or white-and-gold?” dress debate, wage data in job postings is a hotly contested issue. Here’s why we decided to do it anyway (after testing and more testing):

Job postings with pay info see higher reach, traffic and apply conversions. In fact, adding wage data to postings increases total applicant volume by 5%.

So, here’s why we’re making the case for wage data in job postings and how you can update yours in Snag.

 

Why you need pay info in your postings…like, yesterday

1. Pay is the #1 factor job seekers weigh when deciding to apply for a job

Let’s all be real. Making ends meet on an hourly wage is tough. It takes serious hustle. So it’s no surprise that ‘Pay’ consistently tops our bi-annual State of the Hourly Worker survey’s list of most important factors hourly workers consider when applying to and/or accepting a job.

Providing accurate pay info upfront prevents you and applicants from wasting a lot of time. Pay is a red line for applicants; be transparent upfront to build trust and a higher applicant-to-hire conversion.

Most important factors when considering a job (by % consider important)
1) Pay 94%
2) Getting enough hours 94%
3) Job location 90%
4) Opportunity for growth 87%
5) Company culture 86%

2. Wage info is already out there—job seekers will go where they can find it

All of the major job sites are catching onto the fact that job seekers want to know what a job pays before applying to it. Providing wage data is a major draw for job seekers. Which is why you’re starting to see it in more and more places. Even Google is starting to use data from Glassdoor and Paysa to populate wage estimates for its job postings. Providing accurate wage data on Snag allows you to control your message and brand.

3. It drives more traffic to your postings…and away from your competitors’

Because pay is the #1 thing job seekers look for, they’re going to flock to the postings and sites where they can get it. Google knows this and gives those jobs better search-results placement. We know workers are more likely to click postings that call out a specific wage when they’re scrolling through their job search results on Snag. This can give you a huge competitive advantage…don’t be too stubborn to miss it!

 

Reasons why employers don’t put pay in postings

Despite all this, employers are still dragging their feet on offering up wage info. About 95% of job postings on Snag don’t have any wage information specified. For the jobs that DO have wage info, 3 out of 4 of those only reference vague text-based amounts…like “Varies” or “Competitive.”

So, what’s the rub? Why don’t employers want to include accurate and specific pay rates in job postings? Here are some of the most common reasons we’ve heard:

“I’ll end up getting a lot of applicants who are just interested in the job for the pay”

“I don’t want to miss out on candidates who might not apply because the pay is too low”

“Our wages are standard/competitive with industry averages, so it’s not worth touting”

“Pay is only part of our overall benefits package. We don’t want to focus on just 1 aspect”

“Hourly pay rates vary based on the individual’s experience and skills”

“It’s our company policy to not publicly disclose pay info”

Oh, you might attract more applicants….Isn’t that the goal? You’re worried some candidates won’t even apply….Would you really want to hire them anyway if they’ll be that quick to leave? Candidly, none of these reasons can outweigh the benefits of adding wages on your postings.

 

How & when we surface wage data on Snag Postings

Snag looks at 2 main data sources in order to populate the most accurate wage amount we can find for each job posting. First, we pull any specific wage value that’s been entered in the Wages (Optional) field. We also analyze a job’s title and posting content to identify any in-line text references to wage and/or to try and attribute an estimated wage range.

Actual Wage vs. Estimated Wage: What’s the difference?

  

  • Actual Wage (Left)—Specific wage amount pulled from job posting details
  • Estimated Wage (Right)—Average pay for this position in this market if no Actual Wage is specified

We always want to show the most accurate job wage data. If you’ve entered an Actual Wage amount for a job, we’ll default to that 100% of the time. But for jobs without an Actual Wage specified—which is upwards of 95%—we’ll add in an Estimated Wage amount whenever we can.

It’s our best (data-driven) guess at the hourly pay rate for that job in that market. And while it’s not a perfect science, the whole point is to help both employers and job seekers see the benefits of having some pay info present (wider reach, more traffic, more clicks, better quality, more informed apply decisions, etc.).

How do we calculate the Estimated Wage for a job?

Based on your industry, the position and the geographic market the job is in, Snag calculates an Estimated Wage amount. We do this by attempting to match your job to a standard occupation listed in the BLS’ Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) database. For each occupation, OES uses its survey data from 1.2 million businesses to provide an average wage range that’s specific both to the role and to the geographic market it’s in. provides an average wage range.

Snag’s job posting algorithms assign each job an OES/BLS occupation, based on analyzing the job’s posting and title contents. To further improve wage accuracy, we also incorporate real (anonymized) wage values from Snag customers for a given role in a given market.

 

Where & how to update wage data on your Snag postings

Before releasing this feature, only 1-2% of job postings on Snag listed an actual numerical pay rate or pay range. That’s pretty dire. So, we wanted to make it as easy as possible to get all the benefits of putting wage data in postings…without all of the work.

Here are the super-simple step-by-step directions for adding Actual Wage to your jobs, based on which platform you’re using. (We’ll automatically add Estimated Wage if a job doesn’t have pay specified. Easy, right?!)

Hiring Manager & Sourcing-Only Customers


  1. Log in (If you never got a login or can’t remember yours, request one from Support now)
  2. Click the Jobs tab
  3. Select a job
  4. Enter a numerical value in Wages (Optional) field. Text also accepted, as long as there’s at least 1 number.
  5. Update any wage references in your Job Details/Additional Info text to match
  6. Since you’re in here, go ahead and update any other missing/outdated fields. This makes sure we’re able to accurately match your job and surface it in all relevant job searches.

 

Snag Recruiting Platform

Today, job postings sent via Snag Recruiting (formerly HIRE) don’t include job pay rate/range data. We’re actively working on this and will let you know as soon as Actual Wages are available for you. In the meantime, we’ll still add an Estimated Wage to your jobs and you can help optimize wage data accuracy by trying the below.

  • Add wage info directly to your job details/descriptions.
    • Use the same best practices for entering Actual Wages listed below for the best results. Calling out specific pay details upfront—and up top—in your job descriptions can help you see higher apply rates, completion rates, candidate quality and manager productivity.
  • Make sure your job titles and descriptions use standard language.
    • Don’t get fancy or all brand-cutsey here. No one’s searching for Chief Welcome Officer. They’re looking for Host/Hostess openings.
    • Using standard job titles and descriptions may seem boring, but it’s super important to making sure applicants can find your job openings. It also helps us match your job to the best OES occupation, so we’re showing an accurate Estimated Wage.

Psst…posting via a jobs feed? Currently, wage values aren’t passed in Snag job feeds. We’re adding this in and will let you know once it’s live.

 

Help…my wage data isn’t showing up correctly!

We troubleshooted some common things that cause wage data to get wonky. Got another one? Ask Support!

I’ve entered an actual wage, so why is Estimated Wage still showing?

In order to suppress the Estimated Wage from showing for a posting, you need a numerical value in the Wages (Optional) Job Posting field. Actual Wage will always override Estimated Wage, as long as there’s a number listed. Text is even still allowed, but you need a number in there, too. Here are some examples:

These WOULD replace Estimated Wage
$13.50
$13.50/hour
$8-$13.50
Weekdays: $13.50; Weekends: $15
$13 plus additional $1.50/hour on weekends
Starting at $13.50

These WOULD NOT replace Estimated Wage
Varies
Competitive
Thirteen dollars/hour
Base plus tips
Minimum wage
Starting at eight $

Some other reasons why your actual wage might not show up:

  • Keep your Wages field to 60 characters max. Our algorithms will cut off anything after that…but really, you shouldn’t need anywhere near that much text to explain your pay.
  • You’re a Snag Recruiting Platform customer—We’re rolling out Actual Wages to you next. Until then, you’ll only be able to see Estimated Wage on your Snag postings.

 

My posting isn’t showing ANY wage data—actual or estimated…what gives?

This most likely means you haven’t entered an (numerical) Actual Wage value and we’re having trouble matching your job to a standard OES position to pull in the Estimated Wage amount. Since we use your job posting’s content to assign the OES occupation, you may need to update your job title and/or job details to more standard language. This is a best practice anyway and will help your job show up in more searches. Woo-hoo!

Once you make these changes, we should be able to automatically pick up the updated job details, assign an occupation and pull in the Estimated Wage amount. There’s always the chance our algorithm just missed it. Our team regularly reviews the number of postings that don’t have any wage data listed and tweaks accordingly.

If you want to flag a job that’s missing Estimated Wage data in the meantime (and you can’t enter an Actual Wage), contact our Support Team with a link to the job posting in question. We’ll take it from there!

 

The Estimated Wage amount for one of my jobs seems off…what do I do?

Estimated Wage amounts are mostly out of our control. These pay ranges are pulled directly from BLS/OES government data sources (with calibration from Snag data in some cases as well). Estimated Wage amounts are hyper-specific to job function and geographic job market.

The best solution is to provide an actual wage amount, which will override any Estimate Wage that’s displayed. If you can’t do that but still want the Estimated Wage corrected (Snag Recruiting Platform customers, for instance), you can submit a Support ticket with a link to the posting, why you believe it’s off and what you think the wage should be.

We’ll check to make sure the job is assigned the correct OED occupation and that its wage amount is correct. If it ends up checking out, the Estimated Wage will remain the same. If something’s off, we’ll update it automatically.

 

But I pay more than what the Estimated Wage is showing!

That’s great…competitive pay is huge differentiator in recruiting hourly workers! If you’re paying above (or below) the average market rate for a job, your real wage might fall outside of the Estimated Wage range that’s shown.

The best way to solve for this is to (shocker!) enter your wage in the Wages field on the job posting page. For Snag Recruiting Platform customers, until we roll out Actual Wages for you, we suggest adding that pay data near the top of your job descriptions. This way job seekers can quickly and clearly see wage info upfront.

 

The final word on wage in job postings

In hourly recruiting, what job seekers want and what employers want can often be at odds. Wage data in postings is different. This one’s a win-win for both parties. More than anything right now, we hear employers saying they need more applicants. Putting pay info in your job postings is a simple, straightforward solution to that problem. And it’s something your hourly workers are begging for.

Any wage info is better than no wage info. Adding wage data to your job postings—whether it’s Actual Wage or Estimated Wage—means your jobs are more likely to show up in more job searches, which means more traffic to your postings, which means more applicants.

Go ahead and give it a try…what could it hurt?

 

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