Salary Transparency

Leading the way, Swiss Post’s journey to salary transparency


Swiss Post is one of the pioneers in Switzerland when it comes to salary transparency. Since June 2023, starting salaries have been indicated in most of the company’s job ads. Romaine Petrus, Co-Head of Recruiting & Talent Sourcing at Swiss Post, shares her experiences and talks about the benefits when it comes to salary transparency and how it was implemented. 

Salary transparency JobCloud

What made Swiss Post introduce salary transparency? 

We wanted to set an example and position ourselves as a socially responsible employer. We don’t want wages to be dependent on the negotiating power of applicants, but instead advocate a fair wage system for everyone with equal pay for equal work. 

How exactly does salary transparency look like at Swiss Post? 

We have been publishing the starting salary as a salary range in the job ads for some months now for all positions that are subject to the collective employment contract. However, we also mention in the ads that this is a guideline, and that the actual salary may be outside the salary range depending on skills. 

What were the concrete steps for the introduction? 

After establishing good salary practices within the company by harmonizing wages, we formed a working group consisting of members from Recruiting and HR Management. We also involved the business partners as a link between HR and the individual divisions of Swiss Post. We then considered the structure of salary information to be published in job advertisements and developed a strategy that could be applied to as many functions as possible. This was crucial for us, considering our substantial job volume: around 3,800 positions per year, the majority of which feature salary information in job ads. 

How did you communicate salary transparency? 

It was important for us to communicate internally first before making it public. We onboarded the managers beforehand and then informed all employees through the intranet. Additionally, we prepared Q&As with potential questions and appropriate answers, ensuring that both our recruiting department and media office were equipped to provide relevant information. 

What were the challenges that you faced when introducing a transparent salary policy? 

The biggest challenge was to determine a system which was applicable to as many functions as possible. As a result, we publish jobs that are difficult to fill at the lower end of the salary range. This approach might discourage some applicants if they only see the minimum starting salary. However, if they have additional qualifications, the salary will be higher. 

Has there been any positive feedback after the introduction of salary transparency? 

We have observed that applicants positively respond to salary transparency. They appreciate having an approximate salary range before the interview, providing them with clarity on what salary to expect. This results in fewer applications being abandoned due to mismatched salary expectations. 

Did you also get some negative reactions? 

Some of the managers expressed concerns that employees might complain upon discovering they earned less than stated in the job ad. However, this only occurs when they compare themselves to roles that do not exactly match with their current position. With exactly the same role, no employee earns less than the salary stated in the job ad. We can effectively explain this to our employees. In some cases, we have also received feedback regarding the salary range. In consultation with HR management, we have made subsequent adjustments when necessary, including raising the salary range in some cases. 

What are the advantages for you as an employer and for applicants? 

Thanks to salary transparency, only candidates who are comfortable with the stated salary range choose to apply. This saves time for both the applicants and us and has therefore increased efficiency and reduced costs. It allows us to establish our identity as a socially responsible employer, providing fair compensation and ensuring equal treatment for everyone. For example, if applicants are not so good in negotiating, a predefined salary can encourage them to apply. We also contribute to breaking some of the taboos surrounding salary discussions. 

Do you have some tips for other companies that plan to introduce salary transparency? 

Prior to introducing salary transparency, the company’s current salary system should be analyzed in detail and the salary policy should be standardized. Only after that, transparent salary bands can be defined. I also recommend informing employees in advance about the project before sharing information with external parties.  

Romaine Petrus has been working for Swiss Post for more than seven years. She has been Co-Head of the Recruiting & Talent Sourcing department for almost a year and in this role is responsible for three teams consisting of approximately 30 employees.