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Salary Transparency: The Great Reset

Salary Transparency: The Great Reset

A campaign to make salary transparency law launches today, 9th January 2023, by the technology-led talent platform, Liberty Hive, which is turning the tables on traditional recruitment in media and marketing.

The campaign calls for a ‘salary reset’ and demands that it becomes illegal for companies to ask a candidate’s salary history and makes it a legal requirement to list salary details on job adverts. Failure to list salaries on job adverts as well as asking a candidate’s salary history are two processes that uphold inequality and slow the pace of change, especially for those who’ve been historically underpaid, mainly women and those from underrepresented groups.

The movement, led in the UK by the founders of the dedicated technology platform for media and marketing specialists, is gathering pace with the launch of The Liberty Hive Inclusive Talent Community.

Liberty Hive instantly connects talented media and marketing candidates, with forward thinking businesses for short-term, parental cover or permanent positions. The launch of the Inclusive Talent Community by the company aims to support its members as they make the transition to be salary transparent.

Masterclasses on inclusive recruitment will be offered to all clients, providing insights, tools and techniques to build greater inclusivity into the recruitment process. The company will also encourage discussions around the challenges of salary transparency and clients will be able to receive tips and strategies from other companies that have successfully implemented the approach. The Community will meet regularly to share best practice, achievements, and challenges.

The state of New York is the most recent state in the US that has made salary transparency law (November 2022) but back in 2018, Iceland introduced the first policy in the world that requires companies and institutions with more than 25 employees to prove that they pay men and women equally for a job of equal value. Beginning in 2020, certification became a requirement and companies without certification incur a daily fine. Countries that have taken this step are reporting a narrowing in gender and ethnicity pay gaps by as much as 13%.

In the UK, a salary transparency pilot scheme was launched in March 2022, where participating employers list salary details on job adverts and stop asking about salary history during recruitment. The scheme, run by Baroness Stedman-Scott, indicates that legislation change may also become a reality in the UK soon.

Candidates view salary transparency as the number one indicator of an employer’s long-term potential and 75% of candidates would be more likely to apply for a role that included a salary range. 62% of candidates believe they should not be asked about their current or past salary in an interview and this figure increases to 73% amongst Asian workers and 75% for Black workers. 57% of women and 54% of men felt less positive about a potential employer when they were asked the salary history question.

Founders, Kate Merritt and Laura Braithwaite have a combined media experience of over 50 years, working at Dentsu, Omnicom, Havas, WPP, Publicis Zenith, ITV and The Telegraph. This industry knowledge and contacts sets them apart. They comment on the announcement; 

“Do we wait for legislation or become leaders of change? At Liberty Hive, it became increasingly clear that as leaders of a talent business, we had a choice: we could be part of the problem or a part of the solution.  Every role we post will have a salary range guide, we won’t ask our candidates the salary history question and we will work with our agency partners to share best inclusive recruitment practice. We will leverage our platform to advocate for change. We’re also introducing new technology to our portal, which will provide us with a broader data set that we can use to provide clients with benchmarking for specific roles as needed.

We believe if you do one thing in 2023 to demonstrate your commitment to inclusive recruitment – salary transparency – a salary reset – is the most powerful action you can take.”

Rudi Symons, Global Director of Inclusion & Diversity, AstraZeneca | Conscious Leadership | IPA iList ‘game-changer’ comments on the campaign launch;

When leaders courageously address the deeper barriers to justice and equity, the effect is powerful: trust and psychological safety increases and inclusion becomes a reality.  Liberty Hive is not only placing inclusion at the heart of their recruitment processes – but also offering the support and resources for other businesses to do the same. That’s truly leading change.”

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