With layoffs in the last six months comes a new pool of talented and skilled women applying for positions. In the battle against the gender pay gap, and in line with treating women with dignity, it is crucial that compensation teams work with recruiters and hiring managers to ensure hiring practices do not create or perpetuate the gender pay gap.
Here are some practical tips to consider implementing this hiring season (and beyond):
Tip #1: Stop asking candidates for previous pay. This outdated practice builds salaries based on compensation that could have been depressed due to previous bias in a woman’s career. Focus on what the candidate offers, not what another company pays her.
Tip #2: Create a hiring range with a minimum and maximum salary for each role based on market data, internal pay, and budget. Use this minimum and maximum to keep offers in check. Hiring ranges are usually within the minimum and maximum of a role’s salary range. This allows for further pay progression for new hires once they join and their performance has been assessed during the standard review cycle.
Reserving part of the salary range also allows flexibility for hiring managers during negotiations. But be careful here and be transparent with the hiring team about the skills, experience, and other role-relevant characteristics worth paying more for. This allows you to measure women and men more fairly in negotiations.
Hiring ranges can be a bit tricky as you don’t want to falsely adverse your salary range, so be transparent with candidates about how the hiring range is calculated and why you reserve a part of the role’s salary range.
Tip #3: Don’t allow previous or current negotiations with other candidates to be the reason to pay a woman less. Historically, many women have been socialized not to negotiate or end up negotiating for less than their skills are worth. Just as many men have been socialized to negotiate. Don’t pay less than what’s fair because she didn’t ask for more. If you know you would pay more, and should pay more, do so.
Tip #4: Become self-aware and check your bias. If you find yourself during an interview or in a follow-up call with your hiring team thinking about offering less because of something immaterial to the role (for example, personality, accent, school attended), check your bias and offer what is fair.
Tip #5: It is ok to pay women for their potential. Many women have been socialized to downplay their skills and ideas. Become a better interviewer by asking the right questions. Also, ensure your hiring team has strong interview skills. Determining which candidates will deliver and innovate is much easier when the interviewing is robust.