• Workplace privacy in the age of social transparency


    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?

  • 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?

  • How to respond to an ADA accommodation request without landing in court


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    So, first things first. I’m not an attorney (although I will be quoting one).

    However, during my many years in the HR business, I’ve read lots of cases about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In almost all the cases I’ve come across, the employer made one completely avoidable mistake that landed him in court.

    But before I tell you what that mistake was, here’s a brief summary of the law.

  • Merit Raises – Do Employees Really Appreciate Them?


    , PayScale 

    When it comes to raising employee morale while simultaneously boosting productivity at work, one employee at a time, a strategic way to compensate high performance employees is through merit raises. These often unscheduled pay raises or bonuses are generally part of an overall effort to reward and recognize employees for their hard work. Merit raises can be managed either through a discretionary fund that each department head doles out, or by arranging for merit increases to correspond with employee performance records.

    Either way, the question remains – do employees actually appreciate merit raises or are there alternative ways to say “thanks” for a job well done?

  • Why Managing Your Company Culture Matters


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    How much time do you spend managing your company culture? If the answer is “not a whole lot,” you could be making a big mistake.

    Your organization’s culture, or personality, affects so much—how decisions are made (e.g., unilaterally or collaboratively, slowly or quickly), how conflict is handled, how respectfully (or not) employees treat each other, and mostly—whether your employees wake up wanting to come to work or dreading the thought.

  • Understanding pay schedules


    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP
    Manager of Insight Expert Services at PayScale

    As the economy continues to slowly recover, and organizations are getting more specific about their compensation philosophies, compensation plans are both streamlining and becoming more complex. Increasingly organizations are using pay schedules as a way of maintaining internal equity, while differentiating pay by a number of factors. What is a pay schedule and when might you want to use it?

  • Five reasons your performance review system sucks


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    If there’s any corporate tradition more maligned than the annual performance review, I’m hard pressed to find it.

    Managers hate doing reviews so much, many just don’t. A recent survey by Ceridian reported that in 2012, only 59% of respondents had had a formal sit down with their manager to discuss performance.

    Oh my.

    Well, I believe it’s high time for the annual review to get its proper due, rather than being disparaged as a pointless hurdle that nonetheless must be jumped before employees can receive pay increases. With that attitude, it’s no wonder your performance review system sucks.

  • How to Curb PTO Abuse and Reduce Absenteeism with Compensation Planning


    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Is your company’s paid time off policy becoming a joke around the water cooler? Maybe you are noticing above average call-outs from employees for frivolous reasons? Perhaps no other human capital issue has the negative impact that frequently absent and sick employees create for a business.

  • 23 answers about compensation analytics and the ROI of turnover


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a wildly popular webinar entitled Compensation Analytics: The ROI of Turnover, presented by me, Mykkah Herner. If you missed the webinar, you are welcome to view the slides from the presentation. Since this is a topic of interest to so many of our Compensation Today readers, we're posting my answers to many of the questions received after this webinar here.

  • Snackable: What pays in Vegas...


    Tim Low, PayScale

    PayScale is off to Las Vegas next week Monday and Tuesday for the HR Tech event which is a scintillating cauldron's brew of both HR and IT, and we love it. This got us thinking about typical Vegas-y jobs, and how much people with those jobs earn.

  • Manage your conflict and manage your costs


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    A quick internet search will yield many definitions of “conflict,” and most of them sound something like this one from Merriam-Webster:

    Con-flict  noun.  Strong disagreement between people, groups, etc., that results in often angry argument.

    Hmmm … I’m guessing this is why conflict gets such a bad rap and is avoided by so many business leaders instead of being dealt with head on as a fact of life.

  • Five Common Misconceptions about Employee Turnover

    Turnover misconceptions

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    All too often, we jump to conclusions when problems arise. One area in which this is certainly true is employee turnover. Whether we’re the ones experiencing it or we’re just part of the conversation about the growing trend, we tend to think we have it figured out. Most people realize that remedying the situation is much different than knowing what’s wrong, but regardless, we see the problem and also think we see the causes. However, employee turnover isn’t always what it seems on the surface

    At the heart of the issue of employee turnover are the needs, perceptions, desires and decisions of actual people – your company’s employees. This makes the issue somewhat complicated and not as simple to pin down as some might think. There are several misconceptions that are perpetuated about employee turnover and we’ll take a look at five of them here.

  • Budgeting Employee Compensation Like You Would Your Personal Budget


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Most people tend to view their personal and corporate budgets in very different ways, even though the basic principles of both are the same. To create a budget, no matter what type of budget it is, you have certain amount of money you need to work within and specific expenses that need to be included. So if the principles of both are so basic and similar, it would only stand to reason that the same budgeting wisdom you use at home could also be adapted to the budget you create at work also.

  • How to handle salary negotiations without having money in the bank


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Like most people, I hate having to say “no.” At this point in my life it’s something I’m well acquainted with (having a daughter will help you get over that) but it’s still not fun to feel like the bubble buster. When someone comes to me looking for a yes and the answer I give isn’t what they want to hear, it sucks. Even still, sometimes “yes” just isn’t an option, such as when the question is “Can I have a raise?” and the reality is there’s no money in the bank, or the budget, to provide one.

  • CFO Corner: The Q3 PayScale Index shows real wages down while corporate profits are up

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    The Q3 PayScale Index has evolved, now offering more enhanced compensation trend analysis than previously available. Q3 2013 marks the first time The PayScale Index has revealed shifts in ‘real wages’ by analyzing statistics from the Consumer Price Index together with PayScale’s rich compensation data. The Q3 PayScale Index is also the first predictive Index; projecting only modest national wage growth of 0.1 percent in the U.S. for Q4. One more exciting addition to the existing Canadian and US trend analyses is the analysis of UK Compensation trends.

  • Why Can’t I Find Any Good People?


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s amazing.

    The Department of Labor reports a current unemployment rate of 7.3% (and some say the percent is really closer to double digits, once you factor in people who’ve simply stopped looking for work), but still employers can be heard all day long talking about how they can’t fill jobs.

  • Using gamification for employee feedback


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Gamification is quickly changing company dynamics in today’s workforce. Gamification is the integration of game mechanics or game dynamics into a website, service, community, campaign, or work.  Employee feedback is one area where gamification can have a big impact. Research shows that happier employees are 12% more productive compared to unhappy employees who are 10% less productive. 

  • Help prepare your employees for retirement


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    When the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® surveyed a nationally representative sample of unemployed and underemployed individuals, they found that 36% had used retirement monies to pay for basic living expenses. (Read the full report here.)

  • Now featuring: MarketWatch and Flight Risk email alerts and more!

    PayScale Product Updates

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    The development team at PayScale is continually hard at work making product improvements and creating new worthwhile features for our customers. The September 26th, 2013 update brings PayScale customers a few enhancements that improve the usability of both Insight and MarketRate products. Here are the updates PayScale customers can look for the next time they log into the product:

  • Five good reasons why every organization needs a troublemaker


    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    When is the last time you crafted a job posting that included the phrase “Must be a troublemaker” under “Requirements?” Probably never, right?

    Well, why not? 

    Your organization needs a few troublemakers. Here are five good reasons why.




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