In today’s SHRM HR Daily Newsletter, an article by Joanne Sammer caught our eyes. The article was titled, “The Yelping of Pay: Managing Expectations in the Era of Online Salary Data.” Joanne started the article by stating, “Social media is changing the way employees and job applicants approach discussions with employers about pay. Employers need to keep up by being more transparent about how compensation decisions are made.” As HR/Compensation consultants for over 30 years, we agree with Joanne that the online compensation data for most positions is readily a click or two away and many employees and job applicants are doing their homework and being more direct with their employer or potential employer about what they are expecting as it relates to compensation.
We also agree with Joanne that employers need to be “more transparent” regarding their company’s compensation and benefits philosophy, current compensation/benefits offerings and how the company formulates its base and variable pay structure. When the company or organization has accomplished the items in this paragraph, the following benefits are derived:
- The employer can be on the offense and express up front what steps have been taken to establish and vet its compensation structure.
- The employer can describe the number of validated survey sources that they use to obtain raw-data salary numbers. They can also explain that many salary source organizations don’t have the ability to validate their pay data that they report for positions on their public websites.
- If the employer is using an internal job classification program, they can explain to the employee or potential job applicant how jobs are objectively valued and differentiated from one another.
Savvy HR professionals are ready to meet with employees seeking to increase their pay as well as job applicants desiring to push for the highest salary possible as a part of the employment process. This also means that the HR professionals are maintaining their pay structure on a current basis. For us, that means staying current with the marketplace as well as keeping job titles, job descriptions and job classifications/job values current.
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