Honesty is the new game changer

I really hate the phrase “game changer”. It’s right up there in the TechBro lexicon alongside disrupt, growth hacking, hustle and burn the village (I have no idea what that last one means either). If tomorrow’s billionaires could start using words and phrases like honesty, transparency, consistency and fancy a cup of tea? then I think we’d all be slightly better off.

One of the most frustrating and often demeaning tasks a person can undertake is the task of finding a new job. A task where honesty and transparency are almost considered barriers to be carefully navigated. The only real consistency when looking for a new job, is consistently putting up with recruiters who see you as nothing more than a potential contribution to this months commission bonus and soulless job boards that look exactly the same now as they did twenty years ago. It’s just not fun.

Salary — Depending on experience

If you’re an international finance organisation advertising for a Senior VP of Python Machine Learning Data Science Things And Stuff and stipulate that the applicant must have AT LEAST 20+ years of experience in convincing their extended family that they aren’t “just” a computer programmer, then we can immediately infer that you’re definitely paying more than the minimum wage. We can also definitely infer that you’re paying less than your company’s annual turnover so it doesn’t take a Senior VP of Python Machine Learning Data Science Things And Stuff to figure out that the salary range for your job is £21k to £279M per year.

That’s not really helpful is it?

Throughout my storied career, I have yet to come across a single, justifiable excuse for not displaying a reasonable salary range on a full-time job advert. Some of the excuses that I often come up against are worth sharing though:

  • I’m worried what the existing team will think if they see that the salary is higher than theirs.
  • If we put a range, applicants are only going to ask for the top end of that range.
  • What if our competitors see what we’re paying and start offering even more?

My advice on those three specific points:

  • Pay your team fairly.
  • Most of them won’t but pay them that anyway if they are really good.
  • If they can afford to do that, they are probably paying more than you already.
An early prototype of the honest.work filters

Interview Minefields

Once you’ve incorrectly guessed what the salary range might be, you’re now left wondering what the interview process is going to look like. How long will it take? Do you do things like whiteboard coding (plz no)? Do you have a four day task that I’m expected to complete for free in my mythical spare time? Will there be a panel of judges with big red buttons and a bunch of X’s above the stage? WILL THERE BE A STAGE?

Any employer worth their salt will already know in advance what process they are going to put applicants through in order to assess suitability. Often, the structure of the interview process is a wonderful chance to help sell your opportunity. Transparency around your process will help applicants understand what to expect and when, which in turn will allow them to plan and prepare better.

Can We Fix It?

We can certainly try.

For a start, we will only display jobs from direct employers and actively reject every single recruitment agency post before it ever goes live. Every permanent vacancy will display an accurate salary range by default and every freelance role will display an accurate range for the daily or hourly rate. Each job advert will also include a section that allows the employer to outline their interview process.

We want to eliminate the guess work and promote honesty and transparency which is why we decided to call it…

Honest Work
Hamish Waller

Is That It?

It really is just the start. Our job board will form the foundation of a larger, more powerful platform that aims to make the process of finding good work a lot easier for applicants, and for employers we aim to improve the quality of applicants you have access to.

We want every employer to have an equal opportunity to stand out. We want applicants to have a clear understanding of each and every opportunity. The best people apply because you are embracing honesty and transparency. Post a job today and stand out from the crowd.

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