Why won't you tell a candidate the salary range for a position?

A candidate got up and walked out when one company balked, according to a story shared at Reddit's r/aita group. The poster explained:

15 minutes in they had not talked at all about compensation so I asked. The interviewer told me that "it's bad mannered to ask for a salary this early in the process." I just smiled and said that I disagree and that I was not going to waste my time entertaining an offer if they could not compete. He tried to argue back that they were a startup and yada yada so I just did what I did before. Stood up, thanked him for his time, and left.

The hiring manager--who turned out to be the CEO--flipped out, and the recruiter was angry enough to make a passive-aggressive post about it on LinkedIn.

Listen, I know there's a long tradition of holding off on salary information as long as possible. Candidates aren't standing for it anymore. The concept is that you get the candidate so excited that they'll take the job even if the salary isn't great.

This is a terrible strategy. 

I support this job candidate 100 percent. They made a boundary, stuck to it, and didn't continue to waste anyone's time by staying in an interview for a job they didn't want. Here's why you should always be upfront with the salary.

Candidates think you're low-balling them.

If the interviewer doesn't disclose a salary range, you can assume that the salary isn't competitive. That's what goes through the head of candidates. You may have other reasons for keeping it confidential, but plenty of companies are willing to be open, so you look suspicious. 

You waste everyone's time--including our own.

There is no job so fabulous that candidates will lower all their salary expectations. Sure, sometimes people are willing to take a pay cut, but generally, they are looking for a responsibility cut as well. Why would you want to spend hours of company time interviewing someone who would not accept a job at the salary you have to offer? Talk about an illogical thing to do.

The internet makes sharing information easy.

Your employees are already posting their salaries. They are talking about them with their co-workers. And stories like this? Whatever company this person applied to, he chose to keep their name confidential. He could have named the company. Plenty of people are willing to bash companies online. 

Remember, with every interview, the candidates are interviewing you just as much as you're interviewing them. Every job interview is also a public relations event. Withholding critical information can result in bad reviews.

It's the law--some places.

In Colorado and coming to New York City in November, employers have to put salary ranges in their job postings. Other states require salary information later in the process, and more states are considering salary transparency. Sharing isn't an option if you're in an area requiring salary transparency. If you're not, your competitors are doing it, and withholding your own salaries won't give you an edge.

Keeping key information confidential isn't good for your business or your candidates. And if you refuse to share the information, don't be surprised when a candidate walks out.