Did you know that much is happening in the world of employment law as it directly relates to rights of an applicant not to having to provide their salary history on an employment application? And, are you aware that laws are being enacted at city, state and other jurisdictions that can legally impact whether you as the employer are prohibited from asking (or requiring) salary history as part of the application process?
In case you were not aware, as of August 13, 2019, there are 17 Statewide bans and 19 locals bans on asking the pay history question (HRDive.com 2019).
A general rule of thumb is that you cannot simply look to the Federal Level to determine if an employment law applies to you. An employer must look at Federal, State, city and other local jurisdictions and evaluate which of these offers the candidate/employee the most rights.
No longer is it kosher to require a salary history that prevents the applicant from moving forward in the process, regardless of whether you use a vendor to provide the online application or you manage it yourself. You as the employer are ultimately legally responsible to know the law.
This is a candidate driven market, employers and recruiters are in high competition to get candidates to notice them. Most are looking at their processes to see where the roadblocks exist that prevent a potential applicant from reaching the submit button. The usual signs of applicants abandoning the application are total time commitment, complication (how many questions are asked and in what detail), how many documents are required to be submitted, and number of additional tests or questions required for completion.
These are things anyone involved in the hiring process should know and actively be working to improve. The employment application that has preset selections for candidates to labor on are a deal breaker. But add mandatory requirements to include salary history and you are not just losing a potential candidate but also telling them that you are either ignorant of their concerns about gender pay discrimination and possibly about them in general as people who are concerned about this topic as it applies to them or people they know and care about. You may literally be turning away highly qualified candidates.
Gender pay discrimination is a hot topic for both sides of the employment equation. Being aware of the laws in your state and local jurisdictions is important but so is paying attention to what is happening at the national level and just as important, who in your target market is also keeping track.
What it all boils down to is protecting that ever important employer brand. Whether or not you are sensitive to the issues behind the gender wage gap, keeping current on the topic and how it is tied to your current and potential employees could start and end at the employment application.