According to Itle-Clark, any new compensation solution had to allow the organization to accomplish two key objectives: "We wanted to be able to do a compensation analysis for the entire organization and ensure that there was an approval process and logic behind our salaries during our hiring process."
Itle-Clark and his team were familiar with the traditional salary survey but were reluctant to rely on the static solution for multiple reasons. "With surveys, you’re not getting the information right away. It’s not real-time. Much of our staff are PhD-level scientists, so there’s respect and desire for a data-driven solution. Plus, with surveys, it’s always a process to sort through and then analyze them. We assumed there had to be a better way." Panthera found PayScale, a cloud-based compensation solution with access to fresh pay data, and implemented the solution in just about a month "There’s an art and a science to compensation, but there was no way for us to manage it effectively in-house."
Retaining talented staff is critical to Panthera’s ability to effect change across the globe. With PayScale, the operations team can now instantly identify out-of-range salaries, spot flight risks, and increase transparency around compensation. "The biggest investment an organization can make is in its people. Our staff is our greatest asset, and we want to make sure we’re always investing in them," said Itle-Clark. "The people who want to work here are mission driven but salary is still a part of the equation. PayScale helps us attract and retain the talent we want and need."
Each person in the small, four-person operations department wears multiple hats, and time is always limited. With PayScale, the team has access to more than 40 million fresh salary profiles and 14,000 job titles. Positions can be priced according to 250 compensable factors, and the team can easily set and adjust pay ranges to improve forecasting—and ensure the organization has room and budget to grow. "With PayScale, we’re leveraging their experts and online software to do the work for us," said Itle-Clark. "For a small department, the ability to free up our time has been a huge benefit."
PayScale enables Panthera to quickly benchmark thousands of positions against multiple markets, without wasting critical time aging, point-factoring, or adjusting any data. "When we compete for talent, it’s not just with companies within our own size. We’re also competing for talent within an international conservation space, with organizations that have huge budgets, and with the private sphere" said Itle-Clark. "PayScale helps us look beyond our own organization at compensation all over the world. It helps ensure we’re competitive and gives us confidence in how we’re paying."