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  • The Q2 2013 PayScale Index Signals a Continued Slow Recovery

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    The drop in wages during Q1 2013 was, seemingly, a bump in the road for U.S. businesses as we surmised last quarter. Q2 2013 saw wage growth in most measures. However, wage growth overall has slowed down and annual wage growth, while still positive, is not as explosive as previous quarters. Previously high-performing industries (e.g., Healthcare, Biotech, Oil & Gas Exploration, etc.) floundered at the middle and bottom of the list this quarter.

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  • Is Compensation at Your Company a Shot in the Dark?

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    Chris Schave, PayScale Account Executive

    Throughout my time at PayScale I have had discussions around compensation with hundreds and possibly even thousands of HR Professionals, Managers, and Executives. At this point, I’m not really surprised by a whole lot. Some companies have no compensation plan, structure, or strategy, while others have one, but it’s based on shifty compensation practices. There are actually some who are highly sophisticated and know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it, but that’s not as common as the other two scenarios.

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  • How to Become a ‘Best Place to Work’

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    If you're looking to become a ‘Best Place to Work,’ you've got some tough competition. Most companies will find it difficult to compete with Google's seven-acre sports complex, complete with horseshoe pits and roller hockey rink or The Boston Consulting Group's optional six-month delayed start for new consultants who would like to have $10,000 and time to do some non-profit work. Even still, your business can achieve the prestigious status by making a splash with some changes that are proportional to your business. We can't all be Google, but we can all be great.  

    Involve Management and Executives 

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  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Compensation Strategy

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    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Years ago, a college graduate had a long-term future and a pension plan with a single company to look forward to. Nowadays, however, the average life-span of a career is determined by the performance of the company. In uncertain times, working professionals are seeking compensation that’s outside of traditional salaries and retirement perks. They are looking for a compensation strategy that’s based on their individual contribution and competency.

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  • Managing Employee Pay with Ranges

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    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP; Manager of Consulting Services at PayScale

    I spend quite a bit of time working with people to develop appropriate structure for their organizations. How many grades should they have? How wide should the ranges be? How can I make sure my ranges are aligned to the market? I’ve written before about pricing based on the job vs pricing based on the employee, which is a very strategic step forward for the organization. The question is, once you build your ranges around the market, how do you determine where to place your employees within range?

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  • Employing Teen Interns this Summer? What You Need to Know About FLSA

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    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Now that the summer months are underway, millions of American teens will be looking for jobs to save up for cars and earn college credits. That factor, coupled with President Obama’s Youth Jobs + campaign that encourages businesses to give young people a chance to learn through meaningful employment and on-the-job training programs, means there will be many teens available for seasonal and part time assignments. However, before you hang the “Help Wanted” sign up on your door, there has been a recent change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that you should know about.

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  • Creating Pay Transparency in the Workplace

    Compensation transparencyJessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    When you hear the phrase “transparency in the workplace” what comes to mind? Does the infamous Open Door Policy come to mind? Or do you cringe at the idea of being more transparent? Transparency is one of those buzz words that are thrown around quite a bit in corporate America, but how many actually practice it? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median number of years that wage and salary workers stay with an employer is 4.6. This number is up from a January 2010 statistics at 4.4 years. Being transparent in can make employees feel more satisfied and want to stay with you longer. 

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  • PayScale Insight Summer Edition 2013: New Employee Pay Report Makes Compensation Transparency Simple

    PayScale Insight Summer 2013 Edition

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    How well do your employees understand your compensation plan and philosophy? Though talking about pay with employees is akin to talking about the birds and the bees with your kids, often uncomfortable for everyone involved, clearly communicating compensation to employees is worth the effort. When decisions about comp levels are systematic and communicated with employees, the organization’s expectations of its employees become clear. They will know how they will be rewarded and how to reach their personal career and financial goals. By sharing your expectations, you’re also giving your employees more control over their destiny, thereby raising satisfaction and retention.

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  • Skills gap: a growing concern for employers

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Last year, companies spent 12 percent more on training employees than in recent years. This can certainly be taken as a good sign, showing that companies are investing in their workforce and that the improving economy is allowing them the funds to do so, but it also speaks to the growing concern of the skills gap in America.

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  • Are The PHR and SPHR Sugarcoating or Career Sweeteners? A Sneak Peek of New PayScale Research

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Next week at SHRM 2013, PayScale will release a report showing the impact of human resources certification on annual salaries and career progression. Entitled “The Value of PHR and SPHR Certifications:  Sugar Coating or Career Sweetener?”  This year’s study also compared salaries across positions, industries, geographic location, genders to get the complete picture of the impact of the PHR and SPHR certifications on HR careers. A sneak preview of the report's highlights are above.

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  • Kickball and SHRM13 FTW!

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    Tim Low, PayScale


    As many of us plan the annual trek to Chicago this weekend for SHRM to reconnect with colleagues and friends–and increasingly twitter friends, facebook friends, and linkedin friends–take a minute to consider helping the fine folks at Dice and Dovetail Software who are using the fun and excitment of SHRM 13 to raise money for kids who are hungry. They said their goal was $5,000 but I'm pretty sure they meant $50,000.

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  • How to reduce turnover by building relationships

    Reduce Turnover

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Employee retention is on the forefront of most HR managers’ minds. Though turnover remains relatively consistent throughout the years, the uptick in the economy has brought with it an increase in employee turnover as there are more options for employment. In fact, a recent study of more than 4,000 companies found that 59 percent of employers list retention as their top concern in 2013.

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  • The Top 5 Paid Blue Collar Jobs in America

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    Tess C.Taylor, PHR

    Many people are looking for a way out of their white collar careers that are stressing then out or not giving them the satisfaction they expected. A Brookings Institution study released this week indicates that (science, technology, engineering, and math), so called STEM skills, are rapidly increasing in demand by employers. As of 2011, STEM skills account for 20 percent of the workforce, with some 26 million jobs meeting this category–twice as many since the Industrial Revolution.

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  • Attracting Top Talent with Salary Benchmarking - Why It's Crucial to Your Business

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    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Despite the abundance of candidates on the job market today, hiring managers may still find it challenging to consistently attract high potential candidates. These are the elusive candidates who have outstanding credentials, stable work histories, and a drive and determination that far exceeds that of their peers.
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  • 4 ways to reduce your workers’ compensation costs

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Workers’ compensation costs seem to be growing year by year, and depending on which state you’re in, your costs could continue to rise. Recent legislation and modifications to workers’ compensation laws have affected many areas of the country, making workers’ comp costs a major concern for many employers.

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  • Equity Compensation – Are Stock Appreciation Rights the Right Tool for You?

    Dan Walter, Performensation

    Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs) are a commonly misunderstood component of the equity compensation mix. This is probably because each of three distinct variations has been promoted as “the answer” at different times over the past two or three decades. To participants, SARs offer much of the same compensatory rewards and risks as stock options. To companies, these instruments offer both accounting and tax considerations that generally make them a second choice to stock options. Many SAR programs deliver only cash (we will get to that in a minute) so some refer to these as synthetic equity compensation.

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  • Snackable Content: How Much Does Apple Pay Employees, You Wonder?

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    According to reports of Apple’s recent economic impact study, Apple is paying its corporate employees an average salary of $124,053.  If your business is in Cupertino, CA, where Apple’s new spaceship-styled headquarters is landing, it will be important to pay close attention to the market rates for your positions.  Otherwise, you may find people leaving your company to board the spaceship. 

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  • How Much Vacation Time Do We Really Need to Provide?

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    According to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the United States is the only advanced economy in the world where all workers are not guaranteed paid vacation. While some workers enjoy paid time off provided by employers, this is not an option for all, especially those that may have struggled with unemployment or partial employment during the recession. The report notes that the gap between the US and the rest of the world increases when paid holidays are added to the equation. Currently, there are no laws requiring paid holiday leave in the US, while many other countries offer 5 or more days per year. Austria and Portugal top the list, offering employees the most paid holiday leave.

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  • CFO Corner: Microsoft's New CFO, Amy Hood, Makes How Much?!

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    Tim Low, PayScale

    Microsoft announced the appointment of their new CFO, Amy Hood, as Seattle Tech Blog Geekwire noted recently. Referring to recent regulatory filings, they also gave a snapshot of her compensation.

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  • What Makes a Great Hiring Manager (part three of three)

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    We’re at the end of our three-part series, "What Makes a Great Hiring Manager," and I’ve saved my favorites for last. I’ve talked about what foundational qualities a hiring manager should have and also what specific skills great hiring managers possess, but in part three I’m going to share more of the interpersonal side of great hiring managers.

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