Complying with ‘ban the box’ turns out to be pretty easy

Who says hiring is harder if you don’t know how much candidates already earn? A new study by the WorldatWork HR association found that 44% of employers that have banned asking candidates about their salary history report that doing so has been very or extremely simple. Only 1% reported that foregoing salary histories was extremely difficult. Only 8% reported it was very difficult.

So far, 11 states and more than 150 municipalities make it illegal to demand salary information on job applications–so-called “ban the box” rules. It’s an effort to narrow wage gaps that may harm women and members of minority groups.

Some business groups worried ban the box would lead to employers overpaying their new hires. “But when hiring managers and recruiters are educated and given reliable compensation data on market rates and pay ranges, the need for a candidate’s salary history diminishes,” said Sue Holloway, CCP, CECP, WorldatWork director of executive compensation strategy.

The WorldatWork survey found that 37% of employers have implemented a policy prohibiting hiring managers and recruiters from asking about a candidate’s salary history in all U.S. locations, regardless of whether a local law exists requiring this practice. Another 35% prohibit the practice only where legally required to do so.

For employers that have yet to implement a nationwide salary ban policy, 40% are somewhat likely or extremely likely to adopt a nationwide policy in the next 12 months.

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