• Performance Matrix Questions

    Q & A Session – Shifting to Pay for Performance

    The following is a transcript of questions and answers from PayScale’s webinar, "How to Play a Key Role in Compensation Budgeting." The topics covered include how to offer meaningful employee rewards on a tight budget, how to train managers on pay for performance, and how to talk to employees who have reached the top of their pay range. Answers are provided by PayScale’s director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, M.B.A., SPHR, Frank A. Cania, SPHR, and Betty Richardson, CCP.
  • Average Salary of Jobs in Manufacturing

    Climbing Back: Average Salary of Jobs in Manufacturing

    By Staff Writer

    If you ask most people to name an industry that really suffered during our recent recession, you’re likely to hear “manufacturing.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the manufacturing industry reached 12.5 percent in November of 2009 then climbed to 13 percent in January 2010. Fortunately, that percentage is slowly dropping and the number of job openings and new hires is growing right now.

  • Why Develop a Competitive Compensation Plan

    Ways to Beat Your Competition with Your Compensation Plan

    By Staff Writer  

    Your company is likely already looking to profit in all of the obvious ways, like sell more products, buy better equipment and invest in more lucrative locations. But, has your company leadership considered that they can beat their competition with smarter compensation planning? Any HR person knows that this approach is not only possible but essential. The key is to know how to get it done.

  • To-Do List for Human Resources Planning


    More Compensation Planning Mistakes and the Steps to Avoid Them

    By Staff Writer

    In a previous post, “Top Compensation Planning Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them),” we discussed the first five of ten most common compensation mistakes and how to avoid them. In this second post, we’ll cover five more habits that can lead you into trouble. We’ve also compiled for each an HR to-do list to avoid these common pitfalls.


  • Setting Compensation Budgets

    How to Play a Key Role in Setting Compensation Budgets

    By Staff Writer

    During PayScale’s recent webinar, titled, “How to Play a Key Role in Compensation Budgeting,” PayScale director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, MBA, SPHR and HR experts Frank A. Cania, SPHR and Betty Richardson, CCP, explain why, in today’s economy, smart compensation planning and budgeting is more important than ever.  And, they explain how you can bring that message to your company.

  • Employee Compensation Plan Design

    Think Ahead: Smart Employee Compensation Plan Design

    When it comes to helping HR professionals utilize our tool to build, maintain, or update their compensation program, I hear myself saying over and over again, “remember it’s a tool, but you have to know what you want from the tool before it can be useful.” It is very important for any organization that is going through the process of benchmarking to work through what their employee compensation plan design strategy is prior to trying to interpret external market data. Part of defining your compensation philosophy is knowing who you compete with for talent and how competitive you want to be. Let me provide you some examples of what I mean.

  • Compensation Planning Mistakes

    top compesation planning mistakesTop Compensation Planning Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

    By Staff Writer

    There are many ways to make mistakes when doing compensation planning. The day-to-day hustle of growing a business can cause anyone to miss key details, fail to communicate fully or skip some step in the process.

    In this post on compensation planning mistakes, we’ll help you learn what’s most important about your communications with employees, ways to boost employee morale and how to create a more efficient work stream when it comes to planning compensation budgets. Below are the first five of 10 suggestions we’ll be sharing with you. Feel free to leave a comment with some suggestions of your own.

  • How to Explain Employees’ Total Compensation

    explaining-employees-total-compensationCommunicating Compensation Plans to Employees

    How well do your employees understand your compensation plan and philosophy? Clearly communicating compensation plans to employees is worth the effort. It can lead to harder-working, more loyal and satisfied employees. “But it’s complicated!” you say. You’re right. Let’s talk about what your organization might do to make compensation plans more transparent to your employees.

  • Average Salary of Jobs in Nonprofit

    Average Salary of Jobs in NonprofitNonprofit Compensation Trends for 2009 and 2010

    Sitting in the middle of a robust economy is one of the best ways for nonprofits to increase their fundraising power. Back in 1986, when the tax on charitable donations was increased, donations actually went up simply because people had money in their pockets, according to The Christian Science Monitor’s “Obama's Right: The Wealthy Don’t Need a Huge Tax Break to Support Charity.” By contrast, the sort of economic health we’ve seen over the last year or so can have a devastating effect on nonprofits’ income.

  • Average Salary of Jobs in Legal Industry

    Average Salary of Jobs in LegalLegal Industry Hopes to Recover in 2010: Have Salaries Changed?

    By Staff Writer

    The year of 2009 was a tough one for the legal industry, with 12,916 people laid off from major law firms, according to “What Will 2010 Bring for Big Law?” published in The Business Insider. Profits are expected to go up in 2010 as mergers and acquisitions pick up again, banks start to lending more and law firms work on the litigation resulting from the economic crisis.

  • HR Questions for Compensation Experts

    HR Questions About CompensationQ & A with Compensation Experts: Pay Ranges, Pay-for-Performance and Merit Increases

    What’s going on these days with compensation and what questions do HR managers have about it all?

    The following is a collection of questions asked during PayScale webinars over the last several months. The topics covered include: having difficult conversations with employees about pay, finding ways to reward a top performer whose pay is already near the top of their range and how to support managers in having conversations about pay with employees. Answers are provided by PayScale director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, MBA, SPHR, and also Betty Richardson, CCP.

  • Compensation Decisions in 2009 and 2010

    Compesation Review 2009Compensation Decisions: What PayScale Observed in 2009 and What's Predicted for 2010

    As part of our look back at 2009 and look ahead to 2010, we asked PayScale’s director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, MBA, SPHR, to describe how the year, and it’s tough economic turn, seemed to affect the HR leaders, small business owners, recruiters and other PayScale clients she works with everyday.

    Ms. Carroll points out three major events that she thinks were unique to 2009 and gives her prediction for what will be happening in 2010 for people who perform compensation planning.

  • Compensation Questions - Analytics

    Compensation Questions Compensation Questions – Applying the Results of Compensation Analytics

    The following is a transcript of the question and answer session that followed PayScale’s webinar, How to Perform Compensation Analytics. The topics covered in these compensation questions include red-circling high performers, benefits and job evaluation tools. Answers are provided by PayScale’s director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, M.B.A., SPHR.

  • Common Issues in Internal Pay Equity

    Common Issues in Internal Pay Equity Roadblocks to Internal Pay Equity: Two Key Issues

    Most of you in HR have seen some common problems with internal pay equity. Perhaps the most common is pay compression, often resulting when the pay market requires you to hire someone new at a higher rate than your longtime employees in the same job are getting paid.

    Much has been written about the most common issues in internal pay equity. So, in this blog post, I’m going to take on some of the most common issues I’ve dealt with that don’t receive attention. The hope is that the information will help you tackle these common issues in internal pay equity.

  • How to Conduct a Compensation Analysis

    How to Conduct Compensation Analysis How to Conduct a Compensation Analysis and Move Salary Ranges

    In a previous post we reviewed why performing compensation analytics can provide value to an organization. In this next post on compensation analytics, we’ll look at how it is used to review salary ranges.

    At many companies, the assumed answer to the question, “Do our compensation ranges need adjustment?” is usually, “Yes.” Compensation ranges are often adjusted every year to match industry trends and economic ups and downs.  But, is it really smart planning to assume that you need to adjust your salary ranges every year – no matter what? I suggest that a key to long-term success is stepping back and having a conversation as a company about, “Do we need to move our salary ranges this year?”

  • The Impact of Compensation Methods and Decisions

    The Impact of Compensation Methods on Employees and Organizations The Impact of Compensation Methods on Employees and Organizations

    It’s time to think about the many, sometimes subtle, choices behind determining appropriate compensation of your employees. The success of your organization can ride on these compensation decisions.

    From the mom and pop shop that needs workers to restock shelves to large corporations whose employees manage million dollar funds, your organization’s compensation decisions can either boost your bottom line or leave it in the gutter. The key is to make realistic, budget-friendly compensation decisions at each step.

  • Compensation Budgeting: Determining Merit Pay Increases

    Determining Merit Pay Increases Perform Efficient Compensation Planning for Merit Pay Increases

    We are in the post-season for HR. It’s open enrollment time, flu season and, for a lot of organizations it’s also the time of the year for performance management and merit pay increases. Basically, there’s so much to do and so little time to do it. Welcome to human resources. Did anyone tell you it was going to be like this? Probably not.

    They also probably forgot to tell you that you would do this event-based activity on top of all of your normal day-to-day hr tasks including employee relations issues and recruiting. But, you are a superstar who can manage an employee relations issue in between phone calls with your benefits broker while drafting a revised sick leave policy to account for the swine flu epidemic. 

    Now, if you could just get some help from your managers. But, here’s the toughest part – your managers need help from you.

  • Employee Compensation Policy

    Writing an Employee Comp Policy Writing an Employee Compensation Policy

    For legal protection and good business sense, every company should have an up-to-date employee compensation policy. What is the status on yours?

    An organization should not wait for dire circumstances, such as a pay inequity lawsuit, to write down or update their employee compensation policy. All organization leaders should create a written policy document or refresh their existing one for legal protection, and as a guideline or framework for the company’s compensation program.

    Below is a list of helpful tips and tools for creating an effective employee compensation policy that is specific to your organization.
  • The HR Role in 401(k) Participation

    401k Participation How to Increase Participation in a 401(k) Plan Among a Young Workforce

    Here’s a known issue, at least in my experience: Most 27-year-olds can’t be bothered to save in their 401(k), unless you bribe them with a 401(k) match. “No match, don’t bother me.”

    Rather than give up on 401(k) participation among 27-year-olds, let’s think through what would make it “inevitable” that they save. The first step to increasing participation in a 401(k) plan involves analyzing this as a sales problem.

    Sales Obstacle #1: We insist on selling 401(k)’s to 27-year-olds as a retirement vehicle.

    If they retire at 70, they’ll retire in the year …. 2052. For most 27-year-olds I’ve worked with, “2052” is just not relevant – yet. 2052 as the focus? No sale.

    Solution: Sell the 401(k) plan as a savings vehicle to 27-year-olds in a way that is compelling to them.

  • What Is a Workforce Planning System?

    What is a Workforce Planning System? Workforce Planning: You Don't Have to Be a Planner

    I am a planner by nature and the choice I made of what business to go into - human resources and policy analysis - reflects this preference. The title of this blog is meant to appeal to the many business owners and managers who hear “workforce planning” and, unlike me, would rather not plan but just jump right in and “get ‘er done.” I’d like you to realize that you’re already doing workforce planning everyday and give you some tips on how to do it better.


Sign up for the latest tips and tricks in compensation from PayScale.
Sign up for PayScale News
Career News