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  • Executive Compensation Calendar – When Should You Work on Specific Projects?

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    Dan Walter, Performensation

    It’s that time of the year again. Proxy season is wrapping up. You are probably working at one of the 98% of public companies who passed their Say on Pay vote with flying colors. Or, you work at one of the 100% of private companies that don’t worry about it. Polls and surveys usually show June and July as the slowest months of any compensation professional’s year. This is especially true for those who focus on executive compensation.

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  • What Makes a Great Hiring Manager (Part one of three)

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    There are some moments that just stick with you. For me, one of those moments was when colleagues from other departments at the company I was working were discussing who had the worst job in the company. The overwhelming majority agreed that I took that title. They talked about how difficult it must be to anticipate staffing needs and constantly keep a pipeline of potential employees at the ready.

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  • Measuring Compensation Against the Market

    employee retentionJessica Miller-Merrill, blogging4jobs

    Compensation is the single-largest expense for the majority of companies. It helps your company recruit and retain talented personnel and therefore can be seen as an investment in your company’s success. As with any investment, a plan for how much you’re going to invest, along with when and where you’re going to invest, is essential. As a financial planner once told me, If you’re thinking about your investments individually and not as part of a bigger plan, you may as well be throwing darts at a wall of balloons and hoping you hit one that holds the jackpot.

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  • Equity Compensation – Performance Accelerated Units (PAUs), Old School Performance Equity


    Dan Walter, Performensation

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, performance equity instruments still get lumped together like a bowl of mixed nuts. Of these instruments, Performance Accelerated Units (PAUs) are one of the easiest for participants to understand. Essentially, they are time-based RSUs with vesting that accelerates if certain goals or triggers are met. It is important to note that PAUs are not strictly pay for performance because value is built in from the start and vesting will occur based on service if the goals are not met. This makes them nearly the polar opposite of the Performance Equity Units (PEUs) were covered in my last equity compensation post.

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  • What I learned at the 2013 Total Rewards Conference


    World at Work RecapMykkah Herner, MA, CCP, Senior Compensation Consultant at PayScale

    I had the good fortune to attend the World at Work Total Rewards Conference last week. In addition to the great group of exhibitors, there to support compensation and HR professionals, there were also some stellar presentations that got me thinking. Here are the top four things that piqued my interest at the conference.

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  • High Five Fridays—An Innovative Morale Booster

    by Laleh Hassibi, PayScale


    Companies are often looking for new, interesting and effective ways to retain employees. Getting employees’ pay right, and rewarding them for performance go a long way towards employee satisfaction, but there are also many additional incentives companies can offer to keep their people smiling.

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  • Market Differential Analytics Helps PayScale Customers Compete in Multiple Markets

    PayScale Market Differential Analysis

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Price the same job in any market, not just major metros 
    Market Differential Analytics, a new application developed by PayScale, can help your company more accurately determine compensation for your employees located in various cities and geographies. PayScale's innovative approach goes beyond the common methods of consulting firms which are often limited by geographic differential data in only large metropolitan markets. By applying sophisticated analytics to its massive database of 36 million compensation profiles, PayScale allows users to quickly determine competitive salary matches in any employment market: small, medium, or large. In addition, Market Differential Analytics allows companies to compare salaries by many other criteria — not just geography — to provide the most accurate results for a specific industry or size of company, for example.

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  • How Does Your Compensation Model Fit into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    It can be easy to get caught up in the benefits rat race. You know, keeping up with the Joneses, or in this case, the Joneses, Inc. You probably spend a fair amount of time thinking about what’s in your benefits package, how it measures up against your competitor’s, how to market it to potential employees and more.

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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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