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With the job market rebounding at the beginning of the year in Canada, job seekers and employees alike are becoming increasingly vocal about what they want in their personal and professional lives, and are looking for organizations that respond to those needs.

Consequently, when it comes to interacting authentically with job seekers — and establishing an EVP (employee value proposition) and Employer Brand that truly reflect your corporate culture — being transparent is more important than ever.

Let’s look at how developing a policy of greater transparency can benefit your organization’s recruitment efforts.

Key factors affecting recruitment

According to Indeed’s 2020-2021 Job Seeker Study, 47% of Canadians searching for new jobs are motivated by compensation and benefits. 

While this makes sense given that 83% of Canadians prioritize being paid fairly, it’s worth noting that more than one-third of job-seekers are also interested in:

  • Flexibility (41%) 
  • Growth (37%)
  • Culture and belonging (35%)

Moreover, Indeed’s Workplace Happiness Report indicates elements like these are central to employee happiness and wellbeing, and lack of happiness is a leading reason (second only to pay) why people consider leaving a job. So, in addition to influencing attraction, wellness and work culture — along with fair pay — can also impact retention.

There’s more driving today’s job seekers than just personal factors, however. Research from Randstad, for example, shows 77% of Canadians only want to work for companies with a strong corporate social responsibility program. 

Such findings both highlight the combined importance of compensation, culture, and the employee experience in recruitment and point to several areas where being more transparent can help your company achieve better outcomes.

1. Salary transparency

Disclosing job salaries has the potential to address inequitable pay gaps and labour shortages in Canada. Moreover, Visier reports that 79% of employees want pay transparency — and there are advantages for employers who provide it.

According to Indeed research, for example:

Only 36% of Canadians feel comfortable negotiating their pay.1 That means you can expect to attract a higher number of qualified candidates by posting your job’s salary in an effort to remove some of that insecurity. 

75% of Canadians are more likely to apply for a job if the salary is shared.2 Indeed has determined, in fact, that jobs with salaries listed receive up to 90% more applications.3

Despite this capacity for attracting more and better qualified talent, however, some organizations continue to cite reasons for not wanting to disclose compensation — most notably (according to 41% of the employers Indeed surveyed4) because they want a candidate’s experience and skills to determine their salary.

Unfortunately, this can lead to a recruitment disadvantage on two fronts: 

  1. It can waste a recruiter’s and an applicant’s time by encouraging candidates your organization can’t afford.
  2. It can cause your company to lose out on great talent by discouraging candidates who won’t apply without knowing how much a job pays.

Including a realistic salary range of 10K-20K in all your job postings, on the other hand, neither precludes you from negotiating with job seekers, nor prevents your being equally transparent about the attractive cultural benefits your company offers.

2. Cultural transparency

According to Indeed research, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Canadian job seekers say reviews influence their perception of what it’s like to work for a company.5

With that in mind, there are several things you can do to ensure your organization’s cultural messaging is visible, authentic, and actively working to prevent a disconnect between the candidate experience and employee experience. 

1. Own your culture’s strengths and weaknesses. Be truthful and transparent about where you are and where you’re headed. Rather than being afraid transparency will yield negative results, view it as an opportunity to learn and adjust.

2. Showcase your offerings on public-facing channels. This could include promoting cultural strengths (like flexibility,  DI&B, or growth opportunities, for example) in job postings, at hiring events, on your website, across social media, and on third-party sites like Indeed.

3. Leverage your ERGs and existing employees. Even if you don’t have ERGs (employee resource groups) to help cater your messaging to a more diverse workforce, you can still survey your staff at large about what it’s like to work for your company.

Candidates are more likely to view your efforts at cultural transparency as authentic, for example, if you create content that features employees sharing feedback or testimonials about their roles within your organization.

3. EVP-building transparency

There’s a pivotal link between your company’s EVP and a successful recruitment strategy. According to an article from Gartner, for example, 65% of candidates have discontinued the hiring process due to an unattractive EVP.

As the foundation of your employee experience, your EVP should ideally demonstrate meaningful, transparent commitment to six key elements:

  1. DI&B (Diversity, inclusion and belonging)
  2. Social responsibility
  3. Flexibility
  4. A shared vision of tomorrow
  5. Opportunities for professional growth and development
  6. The promotion of wellness, wellbeing, and happiness at work

Together, these elements contribute to an exceptional employee work-life experience that also informs your Employer Brand — and since it’s that brand that helps shape your company’s reputation as a great place to work, leveraging transparency to build a stronger EVP can positively impact both retention and attraction.

In an ultra-competitive employment landscape, authenticity is essential when sharing information about your company’s compensation policies, work culture, and social responsibility initiatives over public and internal channels.

By making transparency an integral part of the way your organization works to meet evolving employee and candidate demands, you can strengthen your employer brand while propelling your recruitment success.

1,2 Indeed Pay Perception Study 2022, n=1,000
3 Indeed Data (Canada)
4 Pay Gap Survey 2022 by Censuswide for Indeed, n =1,006
5 Decipher/FocusVision on behalf of Indeed, n=896