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  • PayScale Insight Summer Edition 2013: New Employee Pay Report Makes Compensation Transparency Simple

    PayScale Insight Summer 2013 Edition

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    How well do your employees understand your compensation plan and philosophy? Though talking about pay with employees is akin to talking about the birds and the bees with your kids, often uncomfortable for everyone involved, clearly communicating compensation to employees is worth the effort. When decisions about comp levels are systematic and communicated with employees, the organization’s expectations of its employees become clear. They will know how they will be rewarded and how to reach their personal career and financial goals. By sharing your expectations, you’re also giving your employees more control over their destiny, thereby raising satisfaction and retention.

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  • Skills gap: a growing concern for employers

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Last year, companies spent 12 percent more on training employees than in recent years. This can certainly be taken as a good sign, showing that companies are investing in their workforce and that the improving economy is allowing them the funds to do so, but it also speaks to the growing concern of the skills gap in America.

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  • Are The PHR and SPHR Sugarcoating or Career Sweeteners? A Sneak Peek of New PayScale Research

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Next week at SHRM 2013, PayScale will release a report showing the impact of human resources certification on annual salaries and career progression. Entitled “The Value of PHR and SPHR Certifications:  Sugar Coating or Career Sweetener?”  This year’s study also compared salaries across positions, industries, geographic location, genders to get the complete picture of the impact of the PHR and SPHR certifications on HR careers. A sneak preview of the report's highlights are above.

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  • Kickball and SHRM13 FTW!

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    Tim Low, PayScale


    As many of us plan the annual trek to Chicago this weekend for SHRM to reconnect with colleagues and friends–and increasingly twitter friends, facebook friends, and linkedin friends–take a minute to consider helping the fine folks at Dice and Dovetail Software who are using the fun and excitment of SHRM 13 to raise money for kids who are hungry. They said their goal was $5,000 but I'm pretty sure they meant $50,000.

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  • How to reduce turnover by building relationships

    Reduce Turnover

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Employee retention is on the forefront of most HR managers’ minds. Though turnover remains relatively consistent throughout the years, the uptick in the economy has brought with it an increase in employee turnover as there are more options for employment. In fact, a recent study of more than 4,000 companies found that 59 percent of employers list retention as their top concern in 2013.

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  • The Top 5 Paid Blue Collar Jobs in America

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    Tess C.Taylor, PHR

    Many people are looking for a way out of their white collar careers that are stressing then out or not giving them the satisfaction they expected. A Brookings Institution study released this week indicates that (science, technology, engineering, and math), so called STEM skills, are rapidly increasing in demand by employers. As of 2011, STEM skills account for 20 percent of the workforce, with some 26 million jobs meeting this category–twice as many since the Industrial Revolution.

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  • Attracting Top Talent with Salary Benchmarking - Why It's Crucial to Your Business

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    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Despite the abundance of candidates on the job market today, hiring managers may still find it challenging to consistently attract high potential candidates. These are the elusive candidates who have outstanding credentials, stable work histories, and a drive and determination that far exceeds that of their peers.
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  • 4 ways to reduce your workers’ compensation costs

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Workers’ compensation costs seem to be growing year by year, and depending on which state you’re in, your costs could continue to rise. Recent legislation and modifications to workers’ compensation laws have affected many areas of the country, making workers’ comp costs a major concern for many employers.

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  • Equity Compensation – Are Stock Appreciation Rights the Right Tool for You?

    Dan Walter, Performensation

    Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs) are a commonly misunderstood component of the equity compensation mix. This is probably because each of three distinct variations has been promoted as “the answer” at different times over the past two or three decades. To participants, SARs offer much of the same compensatory rewards and risks as stock options. To companies, these instruments offer both accounting and tax considerations that generally make them a second choice to stock options. Many SAR programs deliver only cash (we will get to that in a minute) so some refer to these as synthetic equity compensation.

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  • Snackable Content: How Much Does Apple Pay Employees, You Wonder?

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    According to reports of Apple’s recent economic impact study, Apple is paying its corporate employees an average salary of $124,053.  If your business is in Cupertino, CA, where Apple’s new spaceship-styled headquarters is landing, it will be important to pay close attention to the market rates for your positions.  Otherwise, you may find people leaving your company to board the spaceship. 

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  • How Much Vacation Time Do We Really Need to Provide?

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    According to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the United States is the only advanced economy in the world where all workers are not guaranteed paid vacation. While some workers enjoy paid time off provided by employers, this is not an option for all, especially those that may have struggled with unemployment or partial employment during the recession. The report notes that the gap between the US and the rest of the world increases when paid holidays are added to the equation. Currently, there are no laws requiring paid holiday leave in the US, while many other countries offer 5 or more days per year. Austria and Portugal top the list, offering employees the most paid holiday leave.

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  • CFO Corner: Microsoft's New CFO, Amy Hood, Makes How Much?!

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    Tim Low, PayScale

    Microsoft announced the appointment of their new CFO, Amy Hood, as Seattle Tech Blog Geekwire noted recently. Referring to recent regulatory filings, they also gave a snapshot of her compensation.

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  • What Makes a Great Hiring Manager (part three of three)

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    We’re at the end of our three-part series, "What Makes a Great Hiring Manager," and I’ve saved my favorites for last. I’ve talked about what foundational qualities a hiring manager should have and also what specific skills great hiring managers possess, but in part three I’m going to share more of the interpersonal side of great hiring managers.

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  • 4 Steps for Getting Execs to Care About Compensation

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    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    Did you get a chance to attend this informative webinar, 4 Steps for Getting Execs to Care About Compensation, by PayScale's Senior Compensation Consultant Mykkah Herner? This was a well-attended webinar which is really no surprise given that so many of PayScale's customers tell us that having the confidence to talk about compensation with executives is one of their top concerns. In case you missed it, here are the slides and some of the highlights.

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  • What Makes a Great Hiring Manager (part two of three)

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    In part one of this thee part series, "What Makes a Great Hiring Manager,"  I talked about all the different hats that a hiring manager needs to wear. Interviewer, recruiter, networker, relationship builder – the list goes on and on. What I didn’t mention in part one of What Makes a Good Hiring Manager is that the difficult part about wearing all these hats is that to be truly successfully, you need to wear them all exceptionally well.

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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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