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Traditionally, employers have been on one end of the job search, with endless information about their prospects, and hopeful job seekers have been on the other, with limited knowledge of the companies, cultures and careers they're pursuing. But today, that norm is shifting.

With the advent of the internet and social media, the process of finding and accepting a job is becoming ever more transparent. Glassdoor provides insider knowledge on company culture, leadership and development, while similar site Fairygodboss crowdsources information on workplace culture and policies specifically for women. Now, a company called Paysa is working to further the job search transparency—particularly when it comes to salary, an area steeped in taboo and infamous for bias

I caught up with Paysa co-founder Chris Bolte to learn more about why he started the company, how it works and why it's important to be informed about salary in a competitive job market.

By the Numbers

Paysa leverages both massive data sets—more than 90 million employee profiles and upwards of 35 million salary data points–and artificial intelligence to provide personalized career insights and guidance on market salary. An understanding of market value provides candidates with more confidence heading into interviews, and strong reference points when negotiating salary. This technology can let them know before accepting an interview, if the salary is within their range.

“Our purpose is very straightforward," says Bolte, who co-founded Paysa in 2015. “We help employees maximize their value and by extension, their salary, throughout their career. It's all about making the process easier, and arming people with the data they need to make better decisions."

More than Salary

Paysa's personalization technology enables people to explore what their salary would be in specific roles, companies and geographies. But that's not all it predicts. The technology can also determine the likelihood that a person will get the job based on their education and skills, the companies where they have worked, the experience they've gained and their various titles and jobs—ultimately helping people narrow their job hunt and find a good fit.

“We give people an accurate valuation of their professional worth," says Bolte, "We can point them to related skills that will increase their value and we can connect them to new opportunities relevant to their specific situation."

Transparency Is a Win-Win

While Paysa is ultimately for job seekers, the platform helps streamline the process for employers as well, ensuring everyone's interests line up to avoid disconnects later in the interview process.

“Our goal is transparency—to make data about companies, salaries, jobs, skills and promotion paths available for everyone," says Bolte. He sees Paysa as a tool both employers and employees can use to identify potential matches, agree on a competitive and fair salary, and ultimately ensure a good fit.

While employees may shy away from such a direct conversation around salary and opportunity, Bolte sees these conversations as necessary for organizations who want to stay competitive in today's market: “In the end, we believe this will help companies fill open headcount faster, reduce attrition among existing employees, drive greater job satisfaction and productivity for employees and improve ROI on companies' investment in their people."

Photo: Twenty20