University of Wisconsin–Madison

Advertising Salaries and Total Compensation

The goals of the UW–Madison campus Diversity Framework are to improve campus diversity planning and improve institutional access through effective and equitable recruitment strategies to cultivate and support a diverse workforce. Through effective recruitment, we can create paths to equity within job postings by sharing realistic salary expectations and total compensation details.

Eliminating dated practices

Did you know that asking candidates for their salary history is a dated practice that contributes to pay inequity and creates barriers for applicants—particularly applicants of color and applicants who identify as female? As of July 2020, there are 14 states that have banned the practice of using past pay to determine current pay. In those states where the practice has been banned, there have been significant pay increases for Black (13% ) and for female (8%) candidates who accepted new jobs (Harvard Business Review, Stop Asking Job Candidates for Their Salary History).

Increasing transparency

When candidates review a job posting, pay and total compensation information are among the first items viewed. When candidates cannot locate this information, they may search websites such as or for salary details, which may not be accurate.

Advertising salaries provides a competitive advantage and is also a better use of the candidate’s and your time. This fosters shared understanding and expectations related to salary, which can reduce declined offers, particularly during offer negotiations.

Promising Practices for Your Recruitments

JEMS PVL has a new field: ‘Salary Details’

  • This open text field allows for greater transparency regarding pay expectations for the position.
  • It provides an opportunity to expand our narrative on total compensation (e.g., paid time off, workplace flexibilities, career development opportunities, WRS).
  • This information will flow from JEMS PVL to the TREMS job card.

Setting a realistic salary minimum allows applicants to self-select whether the pay range is acceptable when deciding to apply for a position.

Note: If advertising a salary above the range minimum, a hire cannot be made below the advertised salary.

Example: For a Financial Specialist III, the salary range is $39,400 – $73,200. Instead of posting the minimum of the range, determine a more realistic or competitive minimum based on your budget and the level of experience needed.

If the budget for the position is known and there is no room to negotiate outside of the budgeted amount, consider adding a statement to the ‘Salary Details’ field in JEMS PVL.

Note: If the maximum salary is advertised, a hire cannot be made above that salary.

Example: “The expected salary range for this position is $XX up to $XX for highly experienced candidates. Actual pay will depend on experience and qualifications.”

If recruiting for a higher-level position, such as a Director, and you wish to expand upon the posted salary minimum, consider adding a clarifying statement in JEMS PVL.

Example: “The starting salary for the position is $XX but is negotiable based on experience and qualifications.”

Include applicable total compensation for the position in the ‘Advertising Summary’ section in TREMS and the ‘Salary Details’ in JEMS PVL.

Example: “Employees in this position can expect to receive benefits such as generous vacation, holidays, and paid time off; competitive insurances and savings accounts; retirement benefits.”

Remember, when advertising for a position with the possibility of permanent residency, the salary qualifier should be set to ‘Negotiable.’

Information from this article can be found in a new help document on the Recruitment Toolkit.

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