• 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your 2013 Comp Plan


    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, 
    Compensation Consultant at PayScale

    It’s the end of the year! I’m wrapping up a bunch of client projects, getting them all set to launch their brand new compensation plans in the New Year. As I’m doing so, I’m realizing how helpful the tried and true New Years’ Resolutions are when thinking about best practices for managing compensation plans. Below are some of my favorites.

  • CFO Corner: UK Shareholder Spring was Barely a Fling

    Stickman UK Shareholder Spring

    Dan Walter, Performensation

    In recent presentations I have heard several compensation professionals from the UK refer to their “Shareholder Spring” of 2012. The reference is to the raising of voices from shareholders. While we all love a little hyperbole, I believe that their Shareholder Spring was barely a fling. The UK’s Shareholder Spring led to a lot of posturing, but as of yet, the player and rules of the game are still familiar.

  • The Science of Compensation & Big Data is Sexy

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Uncovering the History of the HR Algorithm

    The term HR algorithms was all the rage when Google announced it was turning to a mathematically sound and logical approach to analyze HR data. Google is renowned for blazing the trail of innovation, and if any company was going to crack the code of better understanding and even predicting employee trends and turnover, it was Google. The internet search engine giant announced it was inputting employee reviews, promotion histories and pay and other similar data into a mathematical algorithm in an effort to mitigate “brain drain,” the disengaged employee and turnover. That was May 2009. 

  • The Only Way to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    Halloween is over, and the end of 2012 draws closer. It seems the many doomsday predictions will never come to fruition, and hopefully, the possibility of a zombie apocalypse remains within the confines of a Romero Movie.

    HR professionals know a thing or two about zombies that lurch around the office, hungry for the next opportunity to take down moral and feast upon your customer relationships. Maybe you were desperate for new talent, and brought in new hires without careful evaluation? Maybe a zombie employee has bitten co-workers, infecting them with the same disease that now prevents a once vibrant employee from utilizing their full potential? Before you know it, your entire team has become the Evil Dead, and you are forced to barricade yourself in your office to avoid joining their ranks.

  • PayScale: New and Improved!


    Laleh Hassibi, payscale.com

    Today PayScale released improved versions of our products, MarketRate and Insight. This release represents the first set of enhancements resulting from recent conversations between our development team and our customers. 

  • Cash is King. Who are the rest of the royals?

    Stickman Cash is KingBy Dan Walter, Performensation

    In the mighty kingdom of compensation, cash is king. Cash holds this majestic position through a family line that stretches back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Like any monarch, King Cash has a retinue of supporters, all with their own long histories and stories of power.

    I will be providing a new series of posts on Payscale’s Compensation Today blog. These posts will be focused on explaining the King’s court as well as the strategies, tactics and technical aspects of how to best use these players in the game of chess that is total rewards.

  • Compensation Strategies That Work

    By Stacey Carroll, PayScale.com 

    This week, I presented a new webinar entitled "Compensation Strategies that Work." If folks were hoping that I had a magic answer for the compensation strategy that works best they were disappointed. The point of the webinar was that the strategy that works best for your organization is the one that your senior leadership team thinks fits your organization's particular business objectives.

  • They Blinded Me With Science – Data Science

    by Laleh Hassibi, PayScale.com

    Historically, decisions about salary involved heavy binders full of data and some serious guesswork; HR professionals found the best data sources and comparison data points available and then made ad hoc adjustments to price the position in question. Today, compensation analysis should be a science, not an art. With PayScale’s union of fresh detailed data and clever statistical modeling in an easy to use software service, we're blinding the HR community with science! To understand how PayScale is rocking it, let’s take a look at the science of PayScale.

  • HR Pros Know all About Binders

    Binder debacle
    via imgur i.imgur.com/ovlVk.png

    by Laleh Hassibi, PayScale.com

    The topic of Mitt Romney’s “binder full of women” is all over the social media channels today and the subject of memes, blogs and various other forms of snidery. HR professionals know all about binders, having relied on binders full of salary data to make decisions about pay for a long time. It’s definitely time to rethink the outdated binder-method of HR, but that’s a whole different blog article. Right now, I want to take a swing at gender pay inequity, which is the heart of the Mitt Romney binder debacle. Men making more money than women is not a new discussion by far, but one that can easily be made a non-issue in any company with some good solid compensation planning.

  • Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power

    By Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, Compensation Consultant at PayScale.com

    Think ignorance is bliss?

    You’ve heard some rumbling here and there, but no one has come out and said anything. That means you don’t have a compensation issue. Right? Well, maybe, but do you really want to chance losing your top performers? We’ve heard this from a number of potential clients: “We don’t have any major problems, so comp strategy is not a priority. We think we may have issues with pay, but not knowing for sure makes us feel better. Ignorance is bliss.” This “do nothing” objection may work out alright for the short term, but in the long term you run a real risk of losing your top performers, having pay inequity issues, and generally being a poor steward of one of the largest resource expenses in your organization - employee compensation.

  • 500 New PayScale Customers!

    PayScale has 500 New Customers

    PayScale is growing fast! 500 corporations from across the globe made the decision to subscribe to PayScale's SaaS offerings so far in 2012. New customers in Q3 include Clemson University, Heartland Financial, Earthbound Farms, and Swift Transportation. They join many organizations, including, Adecco, Bloomberg BNA, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, the Tribune Company and Perry Ellis who signed on with PayScale in the first half of the year.

  • "We’re too small for a comp plan." Wrong answer!

    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP
    Compensation Consultant at PayScale

    I’ve worked with organizations of various employee sizes, from as small as 19 up into the thousands, helping them to develop stellar compensation plans. I really enjoy working with companies that have between 75 and 125 employees. Generally, by that point, there is some acknowledgment that what they are currently doing isn’t working. There is also often some concern about developing something too rigid. These organizations will typically see a huge positive business impact from developing a clear comp plan.

  • Got A Raise Budget Burning A Hole In Your Pocket?

    Raises are Back

    Spend It Wisely

    Raises are back and in a big way. After years of stagnant salary growth, The PayScale Index shows that wages are growing across the economy. If you haven't already started discussing whether or not to offer raises yourself, we're going to make it easy for you.  

    Here are three potential approaches you can take to raises in 2012-13. As you might guess, we think one is definitely better than the others.

  • The Top Three Reasons to Create Pay Grades

    What Pay Grades Can Do For Your Organization

    By Stacey Carroll, PayScale.com

    We talk about pay grades all the time here at PayScale, but not everyone understands why they are so important. So, without further ado, here are our top three reasons to adopt pay grades.

    3.      Easier to Administer Than Individual Ranges

    While this is not the primary reason for developing pay ranges, it is important. In job-based ranges, each job has a different pay range.  In some cases, the difference in one range and another may be quite small, even insignificant. 

  • What’s the Difference Between Performance & Proficiency?

    Just Rewards For Your Employees

    Here at PayScale, we often talk about compensation philosophies answering 3 main questions:

    • How do you define your market?
    • How competitive do you want to be relative to the market?
    • What do you want to reward?

    In working with clients, I find they know the answers to the first two questions within a heartbeat. The third question, however, often leads them to stumble and to look to me for guidance. What are the options? What should we reward? At that point, I have to dig in deeper to their organization.

  • In the Talent Wars, Compensation Matters. So Does Communication.

    Real Life Lessons From VerticalResponse

    By Tim Low, PayScale.com

    The PayScale Talent Wars event series hit San Francisco last week. Among other speakers, Kate Aughenbaugh, Director of HR at VerticalResponse, a Bay Area marketing and social media platform company, spoke about her experiences working with PayScale to implement a compensation strategy. 

  • Managing Employee Pay with Ranges

    Options For Handling Outliers

    By Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, Compensation Consultant at PayScale

    You've just finished benchmarking all your jobs. You’ve established some ranges for your positions. Maybe you even have a structure, with grades, to which you’ve assigned each position. You’re ahead of the game, with most of your work is behind you, right? Well, yes and no. Inevitably some employees will fall below your range, and some may fall above. Now it's time to manage employee pay based on the ranges you’ve developed.

  • Building a Better Incentive Plan

    Blending the World at Work and Brad Hams Approaches

    By Mykkah Herner, PayScale.com

    Last month, I read and reviewed Brad Hams’ Ownership Thinking, and promised to write more on his sense of having the right incentives. While I thought he has some useful suggestions, I found his incentive plan to be both too prescriptive and too detailed.

    Ultimately, I find that World at Work, the experts in the compensation field, explain incentives best. So, rather than spend a lot of time on a plan that can use a little more cohesion and a little more variability, I’ll focus on World at Work’s explanation of incentive plans, and weave in some gems from Hams. World at Work focuses on three stages: pre-design, design, and implementation.

  • Setting Merit Budgets This Year

    Is Three Percent the Right Merit Budget for Your Organization?

    By Stacey Carroll, PayScale.com

    I get the phone call a lot. It goes something like this, “Stacey, my CFO wants to know what the average increase other companies are giving this year so we can determine our merit budget. Can you tell me?”. I can. The short answer is from everything I’ve seen and read recently, most organizations are planning on giving anywhere between a two to three and a half percent increase in 2012. But, the better way to answer the question is: “Why is ‘what everyone else is doing’ our approach to compensation”? In reality, what your organization should pay as a merit increase for 2012 is going to depend on many factors – but here are just three.

  • Listen Up, Mr. Scrooge! PayScale Compensation Plan Advice

    What We Would Teach Ebeneezer Scrooge About Compensation

    Image001“Bah, humbug! Why should I pay my people another dime?”

    Beware, Managers, don't follow Scrooge’s miserly ways when it comes to compensation. As the classic tale goes, through various ghostly visits, our friend Mr. Scrooge learns to get into the holiday spirit and finally rewards his hardworking employee, Bob Cratchit, with a raise and a "discussion of his affairs." How would PayScale advise Scrooge to adjust his compensation philosophy for long-term success?


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