Nov 13, 2022 - Economy

Job listings are the new Zillow

Illustration of a cursor holding a magnifying glass

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Browsing job listings is now a lot like browsing real estate listings — you check them out even if you're not in the market for something new.

Why it matters: Job posts are hot now thanks to New York City's new salary transparency law, which requires employers to post salary ranges on job listings.

  • The numbers make postings a lot more interesting, both job seekers and listing lookie-loos told Axios.

"I click on every posting in NY to see what the range is purely out of curiosity," Renee Ernst, a Microsoft employee who lives on the West Coast, told Axios on LinkedIn.

  • "People are doing the job-hunting equivalent of daydreaming about mega-mansions," said Phoebe Gavin, executive director of talent and development at Vox.
  • "I've definitely been looking to see what other companies are paying for equivalent work so I can better understand my value," an accounts director in Brooklyn wrote in a Slack group about pay.
  • Others looking at the numbers are wondering if it's time to ask for a raise. "I should be making more," one podcast producer in New York said after a few days of gawking.

By the numbers: This is a new law, so there's not great data yet on its impact. But Axios' admittedly unscientific poll on Twitter turned up some interesting results.

  • We asked if people were looking at job listings more often now because of these numbers. Nearly half of the 446 respondents said yes. Another 30% didn't know about the new law. Only 20% said they weren't looking more.

"Job seekers love pay ranges in job postings," says Scott Dobroski, a vice president at the jobs site Indeed.

  • Listings with pay information see a 30% increase in applications, the company said, noting that more than a third of listings on Indeed have these numbers. They're expecting that share to grow as salary transparency becomes more popular.

Reality check: Not all companies are putting out numbers. Many people said they hadn't seen salary ranges on job postings in New York in their field — and in some cases companies bury the information at the bottom of a listing, or link out to a separate page.

  • "I expect they'll be referenced a lot in employee year-end reviews," and workers will use the ranges to make the case for promotions and raises, said Erin Grau, cofounder of Charter, a media and services company focused on the future of work.
  • In the tech sector, on the other hand, people are so nervous about layoffs that none of this feels too relevant at the moment, said Jordan Sale, a general manager at Rora, a salary negotiation consulting firm. "Things feel kind of scary."

What to watch: Whether or not these numbers prove to be practically useful is an open question. Some of the salary ranges companies list are too wide to be useful, experts told Axios.

  • Grau pointed to an advisory manager role paying between $98,000 and $232,000. "Companies are really stretching the definition of transparent."
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