For small and mid-size organizations, it can be incredibly challenging to design pay plans that are robust enough to attract the right workforce to support your business strategy at an affordable price. However, the right research and preparation will ensure your compensation strategy is in-step with your market — regardless of budget constraints.
Overall, compensation data supports a competitive pay strategy, even if you’re searching for information on just a few positions. But to truly maximize your investment in survey data, there are specific steps you need to take.
As you begin the compensation planning journey, assess your data needs. Make certain that anything you purchase meets your specific requirements. This helps keep costs (and your effort) low.
A solid business context helps you identify the most relevant data for your needs as well as the best recommendations for your business.
One of the most challenging aspects of determining employee compensation is categorizing your positions so you can compare your compensation relative to your competitors. Recruitment or crowdsourced data may seem like a safe and easy source, but it’s important to recognize that the reliability may not be up to par. These firms aren’t staffed with data experts who understand the nuances of the pay information and the quality controls needed to ensure an objective approach is followed to eliminate the risk of inflating or misrepresenting the figures. You need to know you can trust the data you are using to strategically plan your rewards approach.
A simple benchmarking establishes anchor points that represent the depth and breadth of positions across your organization. For example, some common benchmarks for deciding pay include:
A talent market is where you compete and recruit for — as well as lose — employees. You may not have time to fully understand each talent market in which you compete, and that may compel you to “go with your gut.” On-the-job experience certainly can play a role in how you approach your strategy for attracting and retaining employees, but it can also be hard to defend with senior leadership comes asking for quantitative data. “It feels right” isn’t good enough.
Even if you just need a snapshot, talent markets to consider include:
The more specific you are about each talent market, the easier it is to discern pay practices or comparable rates.
Once you understand the data you need, your job benchmarks and the criteria against which you want to compare, you can compare the quality of the offerings from various data vendors. Some things to consider when choosing a compensation data source:
In addition to evaluating available research, it’s important to compare vendor products. When choosing a product, consider:
As an HR leader in a small or mid-sized organization, you likely know most, if not all, of your employees and their needs. Pay is a complex and highly sensitive topic, and getting it right is hard.
The time it takes to submit your data into a compensation survey can be overwhelming, especially if the process is unfamiliar. And that’s what makes finding the right data partner so critical. You need support to get data for your positions so that you can effectively attract and retain the right talent to take your organization forward.
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Getting compensation right is hard. We make it easy.