Can the Salary Stated In the Vacancy Be Trusted?

Female Jobseeker Thinking About Salaries

When looking at job advertisements, one of the main points that job seekers pay attention to is the salary line. This is not surprising: it is this criterion that quickly determines whether it makes sense to consider the vacancy or to switch to the next one.

Vacancies with salaries are far more valuable because many employers prefer not to disclose their financial offers.

But can these figures be trusted? Why do employers often understate or, conversely, overestate the wage level? And how should a job seeker behave in both cases?

Well, let’s consider these questions in more detail.


Why do employers and recruitment agencies indicate an inflated salary in vacancies?

1. The employer wants to attract more candidates with such an announcement.

It is clear that the higher the salary in the vacancy, the more responses from applicants will come. Accordingly, the employer will have more choice.

2. The company is going to conduct a market study of certain specialists.

The employer or recruiting agency, having placed an ad with a high salary, aims to collect as many resumes as possible to assess how many professionals of this profile are available in your region, in which companies they work, what their experience is, what their financial requirements are, etc.

This data will then be used by recruiters internally or shared with their clients. But not for hiring employees (at least not at this stage).

3. The advertisement states the salary including commissions, bonuses, compensations, etc.

Naturally, if you calculate how much money you can get in total “ideally”, this figure can significantly exceed the amount you are likely to receive in reality.

4. The ad may include a gross (i.e. before taxes) salary.

In fact, of course, when calculating the salary, the accounting department will deduct all taxes due, so that the final amount “on hand” will be significantly less.

In general, the indication of gross salary in the vacancy is another “trick” on the part of the employer.

5. The job listing may intentionally display an exaggerated figure to mislead applicants.

This deceptive practice is not uncommon, as not all employers are transparent, and some vacancies may even be posted by fraudulent entities.

So, these were the reasons for overstating the salary in vacancies. But there are also reverse cases, when these figures are understated. And it happens for the following reasons.

Why do employers list the salary below the market level?

1. Employers want to get a good specialist for a lower salary.

This reason is obvious. In very many cases, employers are trying by all means (even in an ugly way) to get more favorable conditions for themselves.

2. Employers do not have sufficiently accurate information regarding the current pay levels.

Although it may seem strange, employers really may not have the real figures of salaries for your specialty in your region at the moment. The figures they have may be outdated, or they are focused on another region where salaries are really lower.

Or, for example, the situation could be like this.

The employer is a small company or representative office that rarely hires employees. They may not have the information on wages simply because it is the first time they are hiring a specialist of this profile.

Thus, all of the above should be kept in mind.

How should you proceed in such a case? Regardless of the reasons, what measures can you take to protect yourself from errors resulting from inaccurate salary information in the job advertisement?


Important points about the salary in your future job

1. Do research on the salary market.

Having information on the real level of salaries will allow you to feel confident and discuss financial issues with employers in a reasoned manner.

How to determine the right salary, read here.

2. If the indicated salary is questionable, take it under special control.

It is evident that the financial terms of your job offer will likely be a focal point of your attention. However, many applicants find themselves in difficult situations regarding salary, even after believing they had come to an agreement with their prospective employers.

3. Be careful not to fall for the tricks of scammers.

Although the advice to know your worth in the job market may appear self-evident, many inexperienced job seekers still fall prey to deceptive employers.

4. Even if the salary corresponds to the level of payment for high-class professionals, still keep your ear to the ground, especially if the company is little-known.

Attention never hurts. Especially since situations can be very different.

5. Focus primarily on the average market salary, not the one indicated in the ad.

It is unlikely that you will be paid more than you are “worth”. But it is essential to have a clear understanding of your value within the labor market to effectively negotiate a salary that aligns with your qualifications and expertise.

6. Make inquiries about the company.

You should come to the interview prepared. And one of the important points is to have maximum information about the potential employer. To do this, you should not just look at the company’s website, but also make inquiries about it.

Having a true picture of the company’s environment will help you make the right choice and avoid possible disappointments in the future.

7. Clearly discuss all financial details with the employer before you are hired.

For example, you should have no discrepancies with the employer on the following points:

– the amount of salary “net”, “in hand”;
– the salary is paid officially;
– the salary is fixed or there are some commissions, bonuseses, compensations etc.

Keep in mind that it is better to discuss salary issues with the employer carefully and in the last turn.

8. Ask for a job-offer.

Having a job-offer on hand will allow you and the employer to partially insure against mutual misunderstandings and discrepancies, including those regarding salary, the financial details listed above and other important points regarding your employment.