Are Employers Acting in Bad Faith With Unrealistic Salary Ranges?

New York City’s new law requiring job postings to have salary ranges went into effect earlier this month, and the response was stunning.

Stunningly awful in many cases. CitiGroup, for instance, posted a job with a salary range of $0 – $2,000,000. This is a ridiculous case of a company complying with the letter of the law and yet giving out precisely zero information.

Why is this happening?A fascinating exchange occurred on The Wall Street Journal’s podcast, “Your Money Briefing.” Podcast host J.R. Whalen asked WSJ reporter Theo Francis why companies were giving ridiculously broad salary ranges. Whalen gave the following reasons:

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8 thoughts on “Are Employers Acting in Bad Faith With Unrealistic Salary Ranges?

  1. They may not want to deter candidates with higher salary demands, but I’m almost certain that someone requesting the posted $2 million would be — immediately — eliminated.

  2. Hi Evil —

    You say, “No company will fork over $2 million for the best administrative assistant in the world, so use the accurate top salary range.”

    Are you sure?

    A couple of weeks ago, using Mergent Intellect, I found a VP in a company making $19 million annually. Paying $2 million for that person’s administrative assistant, while not chump change, seems like a possibility.

  3. They don’t want to be required to post the range so they can put it back on the candidate by asking for a “desired” salary on the application. The candidate has no idea what they’re paying and will likely lowball it. If they ask for something reasonable, the employer can then say “That’s not in our range,” or just go “Mm-hm” and not get back to them.

    Sometimes if you ask the employer outright, they say, “We don’t have one.” This is a load of squid poop. Every position on earth has a pay range and/or a set salary. Just tell people what you’re paying, for criminy’s sake!

    1. On the other hand, if you’re a job seeker, just tell people what you’re looking for, for criminy’s sake!

      I’ve found over the years that hiring and job-seeking are both two-way streets, and what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  4. I will say, as a job seeker, this would make me unlikely to apply with that company. This is a free preview of their workplace shenanigans culture. No thanks.

  5. I have been noticing weird salary ranges in the Quad Cities area. Not as bad as $1.00 – $2,000,000, but more like $20,000 to $125,000, which is almost as bad. And it’s several employers. VERY disingenuous.

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