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  • Does the salary question belong in a first interview?

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    Nearly all candidates look forward to the day when they will have a chance to speak face-to-face with a hiring manager at their dream company. Likewise, human resource professionals enjoy meeting new candidates who may be the perfect fit for their company goals. Yet, the one thing that’s common with both sides of the hiring desk is nervousness over what interview questions are appropriate to ask in a first interview.

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  • Help your Millenials save for retirement

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Saving for retirement is something every working person who has no intention of remaining employed forever should do.

    Members of Gen X and of course, the Boomers, understand this very well. Gen X, in particular, is at the right age to be witnessing first-hand whether their parents have retired well, poorly, or are unable to retire at all, despite having seen the traditional age of retirement come and go.

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  • Four keys for preparing for an annual performance review

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There are a lot of things in life that you can successfully do last minute. For instance, holiday shopping can be put off until December 23 and you’ll probably still get the Lego kit that was at the top of your kids’ wish list; laundry can be saved until midnight on Sunday and it will still be just as clean as if it was done Saturday morning; sales reports can be pulled the very hour they’re due and it makes no difference. However, annual performance reviews are not one of those things.

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  • The dangers of paying employees more than they’re worth

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to pay employees too much money.

    Even in this economy, it happens. It happens when employee performance consistently fails to meet expectation yet raises continue; when employees stay in entry- to mid-level positions too long; when employees reach their level of incompetence (i.e., The Peter Principle) yet aren’t developed or moved along; and when employees are paid too much to begin with, as a result of a weak or nonexistent wage administration policy.

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  • Adding value to your compensation with supplemental benefit plans

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    Management of employee benefit programs has taken on new meaning since the inception of the Affordable Healthcare Act. This is particularly true when it comes to engaging and retaining the workforce through fair compensation, which includes the perceived value of company health benefits. Organizational benefit administrators who are already struggling to provide adequate wellness coverage for employees may feel as if they are losing the battle one employee at a time.

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  • Tips for writing a salary increase letter

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    There comes a time in every manager’s life when he or she identifies an employee who demonstrates outstanding performance that warrants a salary increase. This can come during a formal performance review or as a result of an employee promotion -- perhaps when the company goes through some shifting that necessitates additional employee responsibilities or a new job title. Since written letters are still the preferred way to document and manage a salary increase, a manager needs to understand how to write a salary increase letter that explains things according to employment legalities.

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  • The best ways to compensate an unpaid intern

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    More and more these days, paid internships are becoming the standard for companies that offer internships. This allows companies to compete with others in the industry or region for both the best interns and new grads. However, for companies who offer unpaid internships, it’s a whole different ball game. Even when businesses have rich and varied experience to offer potential interns, they are at an automatic disadvantage when they can’t or don’t offer paid internships.

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  • Don’t be a friend to your workplace bully

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    In the workplace, it’s good to be friendly to everyone. Life is better that way.

    But if you’re in management, the one person who deserves more than “friendly” is your resident bully.

    Does that surprise you? I thought it might.

    See, your bully needs love, not friendship. And by “love” I mean tough love. The kind with immovable boundaries. The kind with real consequences. The kind that demands a change or at the very least protects the innocent.

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  • Effective bonus compensation plans for temporary seasonal staffers

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    Each year, thousands of companies make the decision to hire temporary workers to augment their human capital resources during peak production cycles and busy seasons. According to the most recent figures from the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2 million people are employed as contingency workers in a wide variety of temporary and seasonal assignments. Additionally, organizations in the manufacturing, retail, and hospitality markets rely heavily on the use of temporary and seasonal staffers.

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  • 30 hot jobs in 2013

    Which are the hot jobs of 2013?

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Wondering where the purple squirrels are hanging out these days? Maybe they are working in one of these 30 "hot" jobs. These are the thirty hottest jobs right now as determined by a combined factor of the wage growth they have experienced in the labor market over the last 3 years and the employment projections provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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  • You need a wage administration program, seriously

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Among the list of things that hardly any business leader wants to create is a wage administration program.

    Developing a wage administration program (best defined as policies and procedures used to make compensation decisions) is time consuming, complicated, and expensive, right? Plus, the market will always tell you what to pay someone—you don’t need no stinkin’ wage administration program tying up your hands when you’re ready to make a job offer!

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  • 4 ways to budget without having money in the bank

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    It’s that time of year when sweat beads form on your brow as you sit down to prepare your budget for the next 12 months. For most people, it’s not exactly an exciting time but is accepted as a necessary evil to successfully run a business. There is, however, a select group of people that dread this time of year like they dread their next dentist appointment: those who must create a budget without actually having money in the bank.

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  • Five things every great leader gets right

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Despite all the press given to the rotten leaders in the world, workplaces all across the United States are filled with great leaders. These leaders share some commonalities that make them great. For example …

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  • 7 mistakes payroll managers make calculating overtime

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    Overtime; the bane of nearly every payroll manager’s existence. Yet, it is a necessary part of operating a profitable businesses when employees need to be paid for time on the clock that extends beyond regular work hours. The correct tracking, calculation and payment of overtime is something that must happen to avoid breaking a number of employment laws. Accurately paying overtime also fosters good will with employees who have sacrificed their personal time in order to help the company meet important project deadlines.

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  • 9 low cost incentive ideas for part time employees

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    Throughout the recession, with all the layoffs and government furloughs, America's employees are working harder than ever before. Many part time employees have also felt the brunt of this extra pressure. Why? Part time employees are often responsible for taking on more tasks for their employers to make up for gaps in departments, left behind by former or missing colleagues. This has left part timers feeling used and abused at times, leading to lower than average productivity, massive burnout, and generally low employee morale.
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  • Snackable: Innovation According to Lego

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    In the fast pace of today’s market, most businesses recognize the importance of creativity, and innovation. The ability to adapt, and harness creativity are key components in the longevity of your organization. These ideas can apply to a number of areas, from your compensation strategy, to your company perks, to your new product innovations.

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  • Four reasons why your work from home policy isn’t working for you

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    If you were being completely honest with yourself, you’d admit that you hate your company’s work from home policy.

    Half the time you can’t access people or information when you need to, and you have a terrible feeling that employees spend more time doing their household chores than working on company projects. You can think of several employees who’ve requested, and been granted, exceptions to the policy, and some of the arrangements don’t make sense for your business. In fact, you’ve created work arounds to accommodate the policy (the monthly Marketing meeting should ideally be held on the Friday immediately after the monthly sales reports are generated, but instead it’s held on Tuesday, because on Friday Matt and Sally aren’t here, and on Monday Jack isn’t here, and you’d ask your IT department about the feasibility of setting up meetings remotely, but every time you think to contact Rosalie in IT she’s not here… ) and this work from home thing is becoming a big, fat problem.

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  • Top 10 mistakes when giving a performance review

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to performance reviews. People tend to either view them as an opportunity for feedback and growth or spend all year dreading the awkward discussion chocked full of criticism. How you, and even your employees, view performance reviews is really up to you. Rather than seeing these reviews as an annoyance or as confrontational, think of them as a checkpoint to measure how far an employee has come and where their path is heading.

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  • Workplace privacy in the age of social transparency

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    If you’ve ever hired someone, chances are you’ve been tempted to run a quick Google search, or comb social media for additional information. This can be a good way to evaluate talent, and provide insight into a potential hire’s professional demeanor. While helpful, this new era of decreased privacy can be daunting for employees and employers alike – we want to present a professional image, and we want to hire people who present such an image. By the same token, we want to avoid that creepy feeling that comes from excessive snooping, worried that our search for misconduct could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In an age where almost every aspect of our lives is willingly documented by social media (if not, the potential is there), how do we exercise our right to free speech and self-expression while still maintaining a sense of professionalism?

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  • Salary or commission? Making the case for sales compensation planning

    Salary or Commissions

    A big challenge for many growing businesses is how to fairly compensate salespeople when cash flow is often not stable yet. The norm is to hire sales professionals strictly on a commission only basis, hoping that they will outperform your expectations and bring in new business. Others try offering a low salary with tiered commissions to reel in sales. 
    On the one hand, a commission-based system is supported by the incentive of new sales and upsells to current customers. On the other hand, sales people may not be overly motivated by this approach, resulting in less than stellar performance. How can a company leverage the best of a salary and commission compensation plan to improve sales performance?

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