Survey: 85 Per Cent of Creative Managers in Canada Say Their Companies Are Transparent About Pay

Increased productivity is the biggest benefit, according to employers

  • Most advertising and marketing managers feel comfortable sharing salary information with colleagues and contacts outside their organization

Toronto, ON — Companies and employees in the Canadian creative industry are opening up about compensation, new research from staffing firm The Creative Group shows. More than eight in 10 advertising and marketing hiring managers surveyed (85 per cent) said their organization offers some level of salary transparency, with 27 per cent reporting full transparency. When asked to name the greatest advantage of instituting an open pay policy, the top response was increasing productivity (26 per cent), followed by creating an atmosphere of trust and collaboration (25 per cent).

Advertising and marketing hiring managers were asked to describe their company’s current approach to open salary policies, as well as what they think it should be:

Transparency level

What organizations offer

What managers want

Full transparency: Salaries for every employee are available to people within and outside the organization.



Near full transparency: Salaries for every employee are available only to people within the organization.



Partial transparency: Salaries for select positions are available to people within and outside the organization but are not associated with specific employees.



No transparency



View and infographic with the full survey breakdown.

“Today’s job seekers do their research, and many are armed with a solid understanding of local salary trends and pay expectations,” said Deborah Bottineau, district director for The Creative Group. “Offering compensation visibility can help businesses promote a more attractive work culture of fairness and trust and also give their staff a better sense of what they have to work toward ― which can encourage professional growth and improved productivity.”

“Employers need to make sure they’re keeping up with market pay rates, regardless of their approach to open pay policies,” added Bottineau. “Regularly benchmarking salaries can help companies build packages that attract highly skilled workers and keep current staff motivated and engaged.”

Managers Are OK Talking About Their Pay

The research also reveals most creative managers are open to discussing compensation with people inside and outside their organization. Seventy-one per cent of respondents said they’d be at least somewhat comfortable sharing their salary with coworkers if asked. And nearly an equal number said the same of personal (71 per cent) and professional (66 per cent) contacts outside the company. Managers were most opposed to disclosing pay details with direct reports.

About the Research

The online survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by a leading independent research firm. It is based on responses from more than 200 advertising and marketing hiring decision makers who work full-time at agencies with 20 or more employees or companies with 100 or more employees in Canada.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting creative, digital, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis. For more information, including job hunting services and candidate portfolios, visit and

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