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Success Story | Beyond Data

Using customized salary data and employee benefits to attract and retain talent

By Kerem Tuzlaci | September 15, 2022

A custom analysis of salary and employee benefits data will help you make crucial decisions quickly and effectively.
Compensation Strategy & Design|Total Rewards
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Imagine this situation: You have a hundred things on your to-do list, and the top item is answering a crucial question from your senior leadership: “Why are we having such a hard time attracting and retaining talent with the hot and high-demand skills we need?”

If it isn’t your reality today, it’s likely a question you will have to answer at some point considering the current, highly competitive labor market. Or perhaps you don’t need to imagine. Perhaps this is your reality – as it was for the CHRO of a large, Middle East-based technology company.

In our client’s situation, the organization was working hard – but struggling – to secure in-demand talent to respond to a changing economy. The CHRO realized they were missing a better understanding of:

  • Their competitiveness in the market
  • How to position their salary and employee benefits offerings
  • How their total rewards program could better attract and retain talent

Identifying the immediate challenge

Many organizations realize that current and prospective employees are looking for more than a steady paycheck. A balanced total rewards offering is what makes employees feel truly valued.

The CHRO we worked with understood this, but they also knew it would take considerable time to gather data about rewards offerings in the market, analyze gaps and focal areas against the company’s practices, and then prepare and defend the findings and recommendations to leadership. In addition, leadership was questioning the cost effectiveness of the CHRO’s salary budget decisions and requesting details on where the budget should be spent.

The CHRO was faced with a dual challenge: Finding both the data and the time to answer the questions posed by leadership.

Overcoming hurdles

First-time participants in WTW’s core industry surveys, the CHRO approached WTW to see what resources we had available to lend insight into the challenges the company was facing.

Compensation insights

Experts from WTW’s Custom Salary Data Analytics team began with a conversation to understand the organization’s internal grading structure, and then correlated it to WTW’s global grading system. From there, we delved into a competitive analysis of the company’s pay levels and practices, including grades, critical job functions/work areas and disciplines.

To help the CHRO and HR team quickly identify areas of concern, the WTW team analyzed the company’s pay against pay practices in the market by role, pay level and industry. We also conducted an analysis that combined the company’s pay data with pay data from WTW’s Tech, Media & Gaming Survey. This gave the team the intelligence they needed to weigh compensation elements by role, pay level and peer industry – as well as immediately spot red flags.

The analysis revealed immediate actions the HR team could take. We identified employee segments for which salaries were misaligned with the market, how and which jobs or roles could be better positioned, and ways the salary budget could be better used. Moreover, we provided rationale and recommendations to align the organization’s current variable pay program against the market.

For example, the compa-ratio analysis found that about 20% of full-time employees were below 80% of industry peer groups. Additionally, some of those roles were in key functions for which the organization was trying to hire – those hot and high-demand jobs that the leadership team wanted to know more about.

Employee benefits insights

Experts from WTW’s Global Benefits Management team were asked to assess the market competitiveness of the organization’s benefits and HR policies as they related to health care, wellness, risk benefits, paid time off, retention, and learning and development.

Based on the review, WTW made recommendations to ensure the benefits offering was competitive, including:

  • Increasing the health care plan’s overall insured amount
  • Establishing a wellness benefits plan
  • Creating a formal policy for company-sponsored learning and development opportunities
  • Preparing a retention program using tools such as retention bonuses and career planning/counseling

Intelligent answers to challenging questions

Based on a customized approach to this company’s rewards programs and practices, several changes were implemented.

First, the HR team was able to revise and redesign the organization’s salary structure to address existing talent needs. The team was able to better align its variable pay program to the overall rewards philosophy.

In addition, the review helped inform changes to employee benefits to align programs with the employee value proposition that the organization was promoting to both current and prospective employees. And this was achieved within budget requirements.

The business landscape continues to change, and challenges are becoming more complex. HR teams around the world are dealing with new, unrelenting demands, and this leaves little time and resources to focus on other issues (the 99 other items on that list of a hundred).

Closing the gap between data and decisions is critical to building and delivering defensible and effective total rewards programs. Robust compensation and benefits data combined with experience, keen analysis, modern tools and a human touch all contribute to data, analysis and insights that are delivered quickly and accurately. And this is what equips HR teams with powerful insights that influence and inform top management decisions while attracting and retaining critical talent.

Author

Rewards Data Intelligence Leader, Saudi Arabia

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