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Salary Surveys: How successful you are at matching your job descriptions to job codes on surveys?

Specifically, for positions that you're unable to match, how to you gather compensation information on those positions? Are there any other challenges you encountered when creating salary structures? Thank you!

Answers

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Salary surveys are extremely generic and usually include information from all types of companies, within all types of industries. I use the information as an indicator of replacement costs. If I need a new Accounting Manager, it tells me the current rate. The information is a starting point for negotiations.

The approach I use for internal salary structures - what does the market show, where does the employee fit when considering years of service, review ratings, and company specific activities.

Validity of the survey is higher if it is conducted by an industry group; or if you retained a company to complete a compensation survey based on specific criteria.

Patrick Fleck
Title: CFO
Company: AnswerLab, LLC
(CFO, AnswerLab, LLC) |

It's always difficult to create salary grades by trying to rely 100% on external data. There's just too much wiggle room in it. Such data can be helpful, but to some extent, you have to rely on the fact that your company also represents the market to some degree, and that your people are constantly testing that market; i.e., if your salaries were too far out of line, your people would be leaving. So, you have to use a blend of external and internal salary data when creating salary grades and assigning jobs to those grades.

The data on Salary.com can be useful for benchmarking purposes. Robert Half also has some good data for finance, I.T., legal, and clerical salaries. Be sure to adjust the data for the size of your company and the location of the employees. Take advantage of regional differences; e.g., don't feel obligated to pay your Chicago and Dallas employees the same as your New York or San Francisco employees, as the cost of living is substantially lower in Chicago and Dallas. You can find adjustment factors in the Robert Half salary guides that are available on their website.

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