Source: Susan Shain, Brazen Carrerist

How would you feel if a recruit knew exactly how much you earned? What if they knew exactly how much everybody at your company earned — all the way from the executives to the people in the position for which they’re applying?

Do you think it’d make recruiting easier or harder?

For one tech startup, this is their reality. Ruthlessly committed to transparency, the social media sharing service Buffer uses a simple formula to calculate their salaries — and then publishes them online. Founder and CEO Joel Gascoigne calls their open salaries “incredibly liberating.”

How Open Salaries Could Affect Recruiting

Though, according to Gascoigne, this is a team-strengthening tactic — rather than a recruiting technique — having open salaries undoubtedly affects Buffer’s recruiting process.

Anybody interested in working at Buffer knows exactly how much they’d earn; all they have to do is the math. The basic formula is: salary = job type X seniority X experience + location (+ $10K if salary choice). If the recruit is curious about what everyone else at the company earns, they can just check the public spreadsheet.

In terms of recruiting, open salaries mean no one will apply who’s not willing to work for the salary you’re willing to pay. It means no back-and-forth salary negotiations. It means clear expectations on both sides.

And, perhaps most importantly, Gascoigne says this type of “transparency breeds trust.” As we’ve discussed before, company culture is becoming increasingly important — sometimes more so than stalwarts like salary and benefits — and open salaries may show your recruits you’re in tune with the times (and their wishes).

Do you think open salaries would work at your company? Why or why not?