4 Tips for Upgrading Your Compensation Decisions With Data

Does any of this sound familiar to your company’s hiring process?

  • It takes forever to decide what to pay with each new offer you extend.
  • Calculating each candidate’s total compensation is a manual process.
  • You want to make informed compensation decisions, but your data is outdated.
  • You want to stay competitive in today’s hiring market, but you’re not sure if your offers match the market. 

If any of these ring true, then it’s time to upgrade the way you make compensation decisions.

But what kind of compensation data is important, and how can you use it to strengthen your company’s offerings?

Our newest guide dives deeply into the topic. You can download it here. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of some specific steps you can start taking today.

1. Gather, Gather, Gather Your Data

It’s not possible to offer competitive compensation in the current market without pulling quality data first.

Survey-based data takes a snapshot in time and, therefore, is inherently outdated. If you want to make decisions with the most current compensation data, you need real-time data that updates itself.

This real-time data should include external market data to keep your team’s offerings attractive and competitive within today’s hiring market.

In addition to salaries, assign quantitative values for benefits, perks, and stock options. This will take out some of the guesswork for your internal teams and for potential candidates. That hard data will also create a more persuasive picture of the total value of every compensation package your company offers.

2. Create Benchmarks for Reference and Comparison

Benchmarks help your team create a reasonable compensation range for any role. Don’t grasp at straws or guess the ballpark number — let the numbers guide objective decision making instead.

In order to provide competitive and equitable compensation, your team should benchmark data across the following:

  • Internal teams and their pay – Evaluate the salary ranges, stock options, perks, and benefits within different teams at your organization. Look at the high-end, low-end, median and average compensation levels to more easily decide on comp range for any given role.
  • Levels and bands – Use data to understand how associates, managers, VP, and C-Suite compensation compares across different teams. Does your compensation structure factor in years of experience, performance, and advanced education or certification degrees? What qualifications allow a team member to graduate to a new level of compensation?
  • Market rates – Use your data benchmarks to compare internal compensation with current market rates. Ideally, set benchmarks across market standards for job titles, levels of seniority, and locations. Is your company competitive enough to attract top talent? Knowing how you measure up will help your recruiting and HR team to fill any needed gaps.

3. Model Compensation Scenarios

One study found that only about half of employees fully understand compensation package materials. What is the monetary value of more paid time off, or more or less equity in an offer package? Exchanging a higher salary for equity or a different perks package are just a few more examples of trade-offs potential hires may be eager to take.

Explore these trade-offs and possibilities by modeling different compensation scenarios. Your team can then use compensation scenarios to open up a dialogue with the candidate about which would work best for them.

Compensation scenarios should show the total value of compensation beyond salary alone. Displaying two to three options in a straightforward way makes the argument for you.

Everyone loves a good comparison chart, and compensation is no different.

Taking this step will help prospective hires understand the full value of their offer in a persuasive way. Your candidates will also appreciate the experience of having more say in how they’ll be compensated.

Even better? Once new hires decide on certain packages, your team can consider assessing the most popular offerings and applying those learnings to compensation options for current employees as well.

4. Share Data Insights with Internal Teams

Compensation data doesn’t need to belong solely to your HR or People executives. With the most accurate and real-time data, high-level decision makers have the option to manage compensation strategy in a transparent way.

For example, your team can share this information with hiring managers, corporate consultants, and even employees come annual review time. Sharing salary benchmarks with employees builds trust and shows a clear path forward for raises and promotions.

Modeling this information for hiring managers allows them to speak openly with a candidate who may have questions about benefits and compensation, ensuring a smoother and more transparent hiring process.

Taking each of these steps will pull your company’s comp practices away from obscure guessing games or inequitable offerings. With real-time data, you’ll have a solid compensation infrastructure that strengthens your team and company’s offerings as a whole.

Download our guide for more on using real-time compensation data to decide what to pay.

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