6 must-haves to choose the right salary survey

If you are visiting the PayScale website, then there’s a good chance you are doing so to learn as much as you can about the power of salary surveys in your organization. A salary survey is a carefully managed set of data based on the trends in salaries and benefits across all job types and industries. It is a valuable resource that many human resource professionals use to adjust and plan for the salaries they will offer within their current organization. Salary surveys are also used to create a compensation strategy for recruitment purposes, so that the organization can attract the best talent.

Features to Look for in Salary Surveys

However, at this time you may be asking yourself “how do I choose the right salary survey?” which is a valid question. After all, the more accurate and detailed the salary survey, the better able your HR department can utilize this critical data for the benefit of the company. There are many salary surveys out there, but very few that can offer you the value you need. Read on to learn how to select the best salary survey for your needs.

  1. Based on Up-to-Date and Peer Reviewed Facts
    What good is a salary survey if the data has not been cross-checked and verified by a panel of peers in your market? When choosing a salary survey, make sure you are working with a provider that has the most accurate data that’s both current and already in use by your peers in the HR and compensation industries. 
  2. Combined with Best Practice Guidelines
    A quality salary survey will also give you guidelines of how to implement practical efforts on your end. This means you will have access to education about building salary and compensation best practices into your organization. Salary surveys are not a stand-alone product; they also require ongoing commitment to improving compensation in the workplace. 
  3. From Reputable Unbiased Source
    One of the factors you will want to look for when selecting the right salary survey is whether the data is slanted towards a particular group (for example Fortune 1,000 companies, or major cities only), or promotion. Avoid using salary surveys which are heavily sales oriented and instead look for one endorsed by industry associations. Seek unbiased sources of salary data for your compensation planning needs. 
  4. Includes Specialized Job Types
    Many salary surveys include too much generic job data and do not drill down to specific sets of jobs based on skills, industries and locations. This can make them difficult to use when trying to plan the compensation and salaries of your specialized workforce. Instead, look for a salary survey that includes specific locations and various specialty skill groups, and is current enough to include emerging skills too.
  5. Provides National and International Salary Data
    The business market is more global than ever before. This is why you need access to salary survey data that includes both national and international compensation information. Choose a salary survey provider that gives you the most recent salary rates in native currency around the world. 
  6. Notification of Updates on a Regular Basis
    Another perk you will want to look for as a salary survey consumer is a company that backs up surveys with regular, strategic updates. This is important because you will be planning improvements to compensation throughout the year, and particularly, during performance reviews and recruitment campaigns. Be sure the salary survey keeps up with these seasons and gives you advance notice of updates.

Want to learn even more about the ins and outs of selecting a salary survey provider? Read PayScale’s ultimate guide to selecting a salary survey: 7 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Salary Surveys.

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