Pay and Compensation Data Case Studies

Real-Life Stories: PayScale Fills Compensation Data Gaps

By Staff Writer

Are you bumping up against stopping points in your salary benchmarking projects? You’re not alone. Everyday PayScale hears from companies that are looking to fill gaps in their pay and compensation data that traditional compensation surveys are either
too costly or are simply not able to fill.

Below we’ve listed three examples where PayScale was able to help a customer out of a tricky spot. These examples were reported by the PayScale’s director of customer service and education, Stacey Carroll, M.B.A., SPHR.

Real-Life Examples of Filling Compensation Data Gaps


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1. Compensation data outside of a major metropolitan area

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Company Location: Upstate Maine
Company Size: Medium-sized
Issue: Collecting compensation data for a rural area

Story: Maine is a predominantly rural state. Even its biggest town, Portland, is small when compared with medium-sized cities in more populated states. A particular company in rural Maine sought compensation data from a traditional survey source and found that the data they received was weighted toward major metropolitan areas located hundreds of miles away.

PayScale helped this customer get compensation data for their location that reflected the differences in pay and not just the difference in cost of living or labor for their specific area. Because pay in more rural areas can be dramatically different from pay in major metro areas, but not for all positions, getting data specific to where the business operates is key.

2. Compensation data for a wider variety of job positions

Company Location: Ohio
Compapny Size: Large-sized, regional medical center
Issue: Matching a unique, specific, hard-to-find position

Story: PayScale helped a client find compensation data for a hospitalist – a physician who treats patients in a hospital setting. This organization was interested in learning more about PayScale products because they had purchased two to three major surveys, including an industry-specific compensation survey, but they were having trouble getting data for all of the titles they needed. The hospitalist position, in particular, was important to them because they were doing a lot of hiring in this area.

PayScale product specialists were able to produce a compensation report for this customer and they purchased on the spot. They were glad to find a tool that was able to provide data on more of their titles.

Other examples of hard-to-match positions PayScale has helped customers find data for include: a category manager for a large, national retail chain; an online campaign manager for a small technology company in Canada; and a gunsmith for a medium-sized manufacturing company based in Tennessee.

Because of the way PayScale collects data, we have a broader data set than most traditional compensation surveys. Often, traditional salary surveys cash in on titles that have the most data collected for them and may leave out the positions that don’t have as much data. Because of the way PayScale collects and reports on data we can keep less commonly reported positions available in our database and sometimes, even if it’s a national search, you can find a very specific title and get good data.

3. Compensation data matches for unique skills, education or experience

Company Location: Chicago, IL
Company Size: Small government contractor
Issue: Finding data for an engineering design manager with a Ph.D. in physics

Story: An organization needed data for an engineering design manager position. That’s a very common title. The problem was that, because of the nature of this business, they required an employee who had a Ph.D. in physics, which is not a natural combination with that type of job. So, traditional sources wouldn’t be able to account for that unique educational background.

PayScale produced a report for this job position that was able to account for both “What does the job do?” (engineering design management) and “What kind of education does the position require?” (a Ph.D. in physics). PayScale found compensation data for the position because of the depth of our database and the variety of information it offers. PayScale allows you to identify skills and education and even degrees required for your unique job position.

Do you have a position that you cannot find compensation data for? Give PayScale a call and let us help. We welcome the challenge and the opportunity to serve you.

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Are you paying your best employees enough to retain them after the economy picks back up? Get up-to-date and make sure your external salary market data is specific enough to the education, skills set and experience of employees you want to keep. Give a PayScale demo a try.

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