State the salary!

24 May 2022

New York City has passed law requiring employers to post salary ranges in job postings. It’s a move supported by Trade Assist  Director and General Manager Christopher Constanti .

Speaking from his hometown in New Zealand, Christopher said while the new law would not stop people putting huge salary ranges in the advert, ‘smart and successful hiring managers will have an advantage if they do’.

In this edition of RCSA’s Member Update, Chris shares insights on this topic that’s gaining plenty of attention within the recruitment sector.

Can you talk a bit about your role at Trade Assist and your experience in the industry?

I am one of the Directors and General Manager for Trade Assist. I started this recruitment agency back in 2018 when we transitioned our business away from a sub-contracting construction company where I was its HR Manager. I have about 10 years’ agency experience. Previously, I worked in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

You provide specialised recruitment solutions primarily in the construction sector, what are the trends or opportunities you are seeing at the moment for this industry?

Despite what the name states, we recruit for several different sectors including construction, civil, transport and logistics, manufacturing and engineering; and what we are seeing, across these sectors - there just isn’t enough staff at present. Even before Covid19, most sectors were crying out for help especially for skilled workers and the demand hasn’t gone away; in fact, it has got worse with border closures. More and more clients are becoming more receptive to upskill workers with transferrable skills and eager to partner with agencies who can offer more than just recruits.

You have been vocal about your support of the #statethesalary movement. Can you speak on the importance of pay transparency from a recruiter’s point of view?

The main obstacle for any hiring manager (especially recruiters) is time. As a manager I am constantly trying to find ways to create more time for them and this is definitely one of the best ways.

One of the biggest reasons recruiters put terms like “competitive salary” in their job adverts is so they can ensure they aren’t missing out on any potential candidate. This may have worked more than a decade ago, but it doesn’t now. Employees want to know about the salary, the other benefits, and the culture, among other factors, even before applying for a position nowadays. Because there are more opportunities than ever out there at present, job seekers won’t waste their time.

Don’t get me wrong, this is an ever-changing market with employers and agencies facing issues they may have not encountered before. They may not know what to pay or what a competitive salary looks like, however this is where recruiters should be earning their weight in gold and advising them on the current market, what is happening in the industry and giving accurate relevant consultative advice to their clients about potential staffing requirements. Trust me, getting this wrong can have an adverse effect on both the consultants and agency’s reputation and, worst of all, the clients too.

There are several changes happening in this space worldwide (the recent passed law in NYC requiring employers to include salaries in job listings), what changes can you see or hope to see happening in NZ legislation?

Potential employees have more options than ever at present and, although the remuneration isn’t everything an employee considers, it’s still a large factor. Employers, consultants and hiring managers can obtain a real advantage by stating the salary and benefits to draw the right person into the job.

Already, when advertising on the main NZ job boards such as Seek and Trade Me for instance, you must state a remuneration bracket when posting a job, so job seekers can tailor their search accordingly. This is a great start and already ahead of other countries, but more can certainly be done! I’m not sure that passing a new law will stop people putting huge salary ranges in the advert, but smart and successful hiring managers will have an advantage if they do.