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  • How to Budget Compensation in a Volatile Economy

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    At the end of 2012, most businesses were very optimistic about job and economic growth in 2013. The trends from Q4 and early Q1 supported the fact that we were in fact rebounding quite nicely from the recent economic recession. There was a small worry that the impending doom of sequestration would occur, but most business leaders skipped optimistically into 2013 with confidence that Congress would come to an agreement, thereby avoiding indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts.

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  • Real Pay, Realizable Pay, Pay Ratios and Reality


    Dan Walter, Performensation

    Pay ratios are the most commonly used tool when discussing the unfairness between executive pay and that of the rank and file. Recently, on the PayScale Career News blog which caters to individuals managing their careers, there was an article showing CEO-worker pay ratios at several well-known companies. Ratios like 1,034:1 (Walmart) and 0:1 (Google) are attention grabbers. The question is whether this tells all, or even a significant portion, of the real story.

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  • Support Your Managers in Making Better Compensation Decisions

    Sean Conrad, Halogen Software

    What’s wrong with this scenario?

    “Hey, everyone, here’s a pay increase just for showing up at work. Oh, and another thing — everyone gets the same amount.”

    Admittedly, it’s not all that fair but it sure is easy. Unfortunately that easy route can also lead to bad feelings, diminished morale and lower productivity in the workplace. i.e., why should I go the extra mile if she does the minimum and received the same pay raise as me?  The downstream effects can be even worse, including loss of your top performers as they seek greener (and fairer) pastures elsewhere.

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  • 3 Considerations for Compensating Interns

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    While each of us has probably interned for free at one point in our lives, we also all know how much it sucks. As an intern, you’re not only the low man on the totem pole, you’re probably also working your butt off trying to impress your boss and not getting paid to do it. So what gives with the unpaid internship gig?

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  • Outsourced HR—Is it Right For You?

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There comes a point for every growing company when you must begin evaluating how to make the best use of your time and resources. You might first look to the revenue generating areas of your business to see how you can streamline processes or outsource certain duties, but don’t forget that as your company grows, your HR department will require quite a bit of attention as well.

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  • 5 Essential Employer Deadlines for Obamacare

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    You may have heard about this little thing called Obamacare that’s headed our way. It’s made up of about 1200 pages of law, will affect millions of people and is estimated to raise costs for employees by as much as 73 percent. So really, this is clearly minor, unless you are an employer, an employee or oh, an American.

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  • The Q1 2013 PayScale Index Falls: A Bump in the Road for Business?

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    After three straight quarters of rapidly rising wages across almost every industry, job category and company size, Q1 2013 brought the first wage decreases since early 2011.  Although decreases were minor, wages are still up year-over-year across the board. It's an interesting development since just recently, when PayScale's Compensation Best Practices Survey was conducted in December 2012, businesses were overall expressing optimism about growth this year. Is this quarterly drop a blip on the radar, or an unexpected change on the road to economic recovery? 

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  • Equity Compensation: Performance Earned Units (PEUs), The First Ingredient in a P4P Stew

    Dan Walter, Performensation

    All too often the myriad types of truly performance-based equity get muddled together into a stew. Like other great equity compensation ingredients (RSS, RSU, ISO, NQSO) each type of performance equity should first be tried as an independent ingredient before being thrown into your LTI pot and hoping for the best. Performance Earned Units (PEUs) are a fairly pure form of Pay for Performance (P4P), so I figure we should start with them.

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  • How to Save Serious Money with a Proactive Approach to Safety

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    If you’ve ever had an employee that was part of a workplace accident, you know that it can be a money drainer. There are medical bills, possible legal expenses, a chance of a rate hike in your workers’ comp premium and time lost while the employee is out. But tackling safety in your company is a big task.
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  • Five Ways to Get the Highest Return on Your Benefits Package Investment

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There’s lots of talk out there about the latest trends in compensation, which benefits you should add, how you can save money and how your benefits measure up. But what about what’s going to get you the highest return on your investment? The secret to making the most of your company’s benefits package may be right in front of you, not to mention that it might not cost you an extra penny.

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  • This is Your Brain on Performance Reviews

    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    You’re shivering, scared, and an overwhelming feeling of doom has suddenly washed over you. Your palms are sweating, your knees are shaking, and your mouth has suddenly run dry. As you creep slowly towards the door, your mind is suddenly racing with terrible thoughts of what fate has in store for you on the other side…

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  • Introducing the Spring 2013 Software Release

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    PayScale’s Spring 2013 software release includes several updates that improve user experience and provide advanced analytics unavailable anywhere else. To follow are the highlights from PayScale’s Spring 2013 release. 

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  • CFO Corner: Say on Pay Campaigning and the 97% Rule

    Dan Walter, Performensation

    It’s proxy season and Say on Pay is once again on the minds of anyone involved in executive compensation. As of this past week, about 170 companies have reported their results and less than 2% have failed. When we are at the end of this season, it looks like it will be somewhere south of 3% failures, about where we were the past two years. Let’s start with the positive, what I like to call the 97% rule. 97 out of every 100 companies have executive compensation practices that meet or exceed the desires of their shareholders.

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  • The DOs and DONT's of Cutting Compensation Costs

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Our economy has come a long way in the last couple of years. Things are definitely looking up, but some companies are still feeling the pain. If you're experiencing the pressure to cut costs, you're not alone. The recent sequestering on the federal budget is the perfect example of making difficult decisions to make ends meet. When those tough decisions need to be made, chances are, you're the one your company turns to.

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  • Pricing to the Employee vs. Pricing to the Job

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    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, PayScale

    As an employee, I’m often concerned with my own value and therefore worth to the organization. As a manager, I was often trying to determine the value of each job to the organization. Now as a comp professional, I focus on a little bit of both: the value of the job itself, but also the value of the employee to the organization.

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  • Michelle Obama Says to Hire a U.S. Veteran

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama urged companies to hire more veterans last week. The unemployment rate of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is nearly two points higher than the national average, at 9.4 percent. While it’s admirable to hire veterans for emotional reasons, there’s another really good reason to hire a veteran — their skills.

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  • CFO Corner: Is Your Economic Glass Half-full or Half-empty?

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    PayScale’s 2013 Compensation Best Practices Report showed some of the most positive figures we’ve seen in some time. Wages are up across the board for companies of all sizes, and many organizations are beginning to hire for various positions — news which is undoubtedly exciting for job seekers. Those who are currently employed were also given a reason to smile, as 85 percent of companies expect to issue raises in the coming months.

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  • 8 New FMLA Changes You Need to Know

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Several new changes to the Family Medical Leave Act went into effect last week on March 8. The most pertinent is the requirement to post the updated FMLA poster, which informs employees of the updated FMLA rules. There are also several forms that have been updated and are available on the Department of Labor website. 

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  • Equity Compensation – Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), Downside Protection with a Couple Downsides

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    Dan Walter, Performensation

    Last month I covered Restricted Stock Shares (RSS), today’s post covers Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). Where RSS and Stock Options are cousins, RSS and RSUs are siblings. RSS is the older sibling, with more years and experience under its belt. RSUs are the new little sister who came by surprise and often gets more attention than seems to be required. RSUs were seldom used before they shot into the spotlight following the Dotcom crash of 1999-2000. Initially, they were used to replace underwater stock options and slow the use of plan shares approved by shareholders. They provided some protection against a decrease in stock price and used somewhere between 25-50% of the shares require to provide the same value as stock options. They quickly became a major component of the equity compensation toolbox.

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  • Benefit Considerations for an Aging Workforce

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    An aging workforce can have an affect on many aspects of your business but your benefits package may be the most significant. Older employees have unique needs and preferences, which means that there may be special considerations as our workforce ages.

    Since the average age of retirement has increased by four years in the last decade and is expected to continue to rise, it’s time to start making room for a seasoned workforce as we make benefit decisions. Read below to learn about three major considerations.

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