Accurate, relevant, and timely wage survey results help tremendously when effectively benchmarking your organization’s compensation structure. For many organizations, the task of participating in (or even sponsoring) a salary survey is tedious, and often time consuming. In this Astronology®, we’ll examine the importance and relevance of salary surveys.
Ruth Mayhew’s Chron article Strengths & Weaknesses of a Salary Survey explains, “A salary survey generally contains data about wages. Surveys may compare employee wages inter-departmentally, by company or organization, according to job title or position, or earnings for workers in different geographic regions. HR experts use survey data for building compensation structures, or to determine if employees are receiving fair and competitive wages.” By using a published salary survey, an organization can have greater confidence in the market data than, for example, relying on information pulled from the web on crowd-sourced sites. While there are costs associated with salary surveys, the dollar and time investments are generally outweighed by the quality and variety of trustworthy data received in return.
In order to justify the salary an employee receives, the sources used for salary benchmarking are important. A Salary.com article states, “If done incorrectly using bad market salary data, you could have a hard time attracting the best candidates, or risk looking foolish by advertising a position with a salary range completely out of whack with the rest of the market. If you hire someone and a salary benchmarking mistake is later discovered, any adjustment (especially downward) could create employee dissatisfaction, poor employee engagement, and lead to higher turnover costs if that employee has to be replaced.”
The job market is constantly changing. In order to stay relevant, organizations must be aware of salary trends. An effective way to keep up is by actively participating in and obtaining data from salary surveys and re-evaluating employees’ salaries at least annually.
Concerns about salary survey participation include confidentiality. Direct wage information is sensitive data that no organization would want its competitors to have. In addition, revealing or barely concealing survey participants’ individual data is against the Department of Justice Anti-Trust Guidelines for salary surveys. Reputable surveys that follow legal guidelines alleviates participants’ concerns in this aspect. Options include buying survey reports from well-known companies that specialize in collecting & reporting data for their sector, and / or hiring a third party to conduct a salary survey for your niche sector.
Well known for quality benchmarking practices & reports, Astron Solutions has created & conducted custom salary surveys for organizations and associations in unique fields over the past 20 years. According to National Director Jennifer Loftus, “annual and quarterly ‘hot job’ salary surveys are a key part of Astron Solutions’ services. We take pride in working with associations and private employers to help them obtain the total rewards data they need, while ensuring legal compliance throughout the process. We very much enjoy conducting custom surveys!” Is your organization in need of a custom salary survey? Contact us today to learn more!