A Growing Trend in Online Benchmarking — the Salary Study
At Dynamic Benchmarking, we are seeing a trend with our association clients offering online salary studies to their members, in addition to continued use of the more traditional financial and operational applications. Organizations want the assurance that the compensation and benefits they provide to their employees are comparable or better than that offered by competitors. This knowledge enables them to attract and retain the best talent, which in turn increases their competitive position in the marketplace. Online benchmarking takes the traditional salary study or survey to the next level, with powerful tools for real-time comparison and reporting.
Good planning is essential to creating a salary study, whether it is traditional or online. Creating a compensation benchmarking plan before you jump into the details of a salary or compensation study enables your association to utilize time and resources wisely. According to PayScale, the following components should be included in a salary benchmarking plan:
1. Complete your job descriptions.
Creating written job descriptions (and keeping them fresh) is vital for your member organizations. The job descriptions don’t have to be 100% complete, but will be essential for matching skills, responsibilities and experience to each job position. If you’re crafting new job descriptions, make sure to tap the resources of your member organizations and subject matter experts to get the best information possible.
2. Build your communication plan.
Your communication plan can be flexible, but it should provide you with clear goals. It needs to communicate why, how and when this salary study will be conducted. Good communication to your member organizations is always an essential component.
3. Understand your purpose.
You’re interested in compensation benchmarking for a reason. What is it? Do you support an annual effort of your members to perform salary reviews? Are your member organizations losing top performing employees or struggling to recruit fresh new talent? Whatever your reason, your written objective should support your business purpose for performing a salary study.
4. Establish your goals.
Goals need to be specific and should ideally encompass 2‐5 primary objectives. You will use these goals later to measure your project’s success and help your member organizations order which employees or departments they should prioritize first.
5. Outline your approximate budget and resource needs.
Typically, there are two major costs to conducting a salary study – obtaining benchmarking data and HR consultant time. If you plan to do the study in-house, you’ll only need to budget for collecting benchmark survey data. If you choose to use outside help, you’ll need to add HR consulting fees into your budget. It’s important to take time to find out what the outside research will cost, and if you need to include internal time, consulting fees or both.
6. Craft a timeline for your salary study.
With your goals in mind, you can now create a timeline for your benchmarking project. Good questions to consider are “How long will this take?” and “What is the best time to collect this data?” Keep your priorities and the scope of your salary study central in planning the timeline. Also, be sure to build extra time into your plan, to account for those unexpected obstacles that inevitably get in the way!
Survey Type: Salary Benchmarking by Dynamic Benchmarking