HR Pros Know all About Binders

Binder debacle
via imgur i.imgur.com/ovlVk.png

by Laleh Hassibi, PayScale.com

The topic of Mitt Romney’s “binder full of women” is all over the social media channels today and the subject of memes, blogs and various other forms of snidery. HR professionals know all about binders, having relied on binders full of salary data to make decisions about pay for a long time. It’s definitely time to rethink the outdated binder-method of HR, but that’s a whole different blog article. Right now, I want to take a swing at gender pay inequity, which is the heart of the Mitt Romney binder debacle. Men making more money than women is not a new discussion by far, but one that can easily be made a non-issue in any company with some good solid compensation planning.

Yep. Men Make More Money

PayScale has salary data – lots of it. We use it to help people negotiate their own personal salaries as well as to help businesses know what to pay their employees. We also do research on trends and report on our findings in various ways. Recently, we took a deep dive into the issue of gender-based pay inequity and the conclusions were not so surprising. Yes, men do earn more than women on average, but not that much more when they work the same job and they have similar experience and abilities. When you look at men and women working the same job with similar qualifications, that inequity drops below the approximate 80 cent on the dollar discrepancy that is typically reported.

Mind the Gap

So how can your company avoid the pitfalls of gender inequality, which includes everything from unhappy employees to potential legal problems? PayScale can definitely help with this:

  1. Make market-based salary decisions: Using good market data can help you make decisions about pay based upon a combination of compensable factors that are important to your positions such as degrees, certifications, years of experience and geography (but not gender!). This approach will level the playing field among men and women and will also ensure that the salaries you are paying are right for the job. That will keep everyone happy and encourage them to stay.
  2. Have clearly defined compensation structures: Once you know what the market pays for a given job, set pay grades and do what you can to make sure that everyone (men and women) fits into the appropriate range for their position. Attend WorldatWork’s free webinar next week, sponsored by PayScale, to learn more about creating a pay structure that excludes pay inequities.
  3. Develop and communicate a compensation philosophy: Get your philosophy down in writing and make sure that every employee understands it. Employees stay more satisfied when they know what to expect from you. 

A good compensation plan helps to prevent and fix pay inequities of any kind. It will not only help you keep your employees happy, but a well-implemented, well-communicated, legally-defensible pay grade structure can help you justify your salary decisions. Even when there is a discrepancy, if you can clearly explain the science behind your pay decisions, you’ll be in a much better position.

PayScale makes it easy for you to get compensation right. Download our free eBook, Bring Back the Sizzle, for a step-by-step guide to developing a compensation plan that gets workers fired up (in a good way).

 

More than 2,300 organizations use PayScale's subscription software to:

  • Attract talent. Price jobs based on accurate market data.
  • Retain employees. Get pay right and show them how you did it. Your employees will be more satisfied to stay.
  • Drive performance. Get their salary right so they can focus on doing a good job.
  • Be confident. With know-how to talk about comp with anyone.

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