RSS icon

Top Stories

DEAR WORKFORCE

Dear Workforce How Do I Find Respected Data on Salary Trends

What resources would help me analyze pay-raise trends, as well as calculate raises?
May 28, 2004
Recommend (0) Comments (0) ASK A QUESTION
Related Topics: Compensation Design and Communication, Dear Workforce, Compensation
Reprints
Dear Crunching Numbers:

Numerous resource materials are available for examining pay trends in the market, from both a general and industry-specific standpoint. The annual WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey, for example, published each August, details budgeted salary-increase data for a spectrum of both public and private organizations in the United States and Canada. It presents pay-trend data by geographic area, industry group, employee category and organization level. The survey also outlines salary-structure adjustments, as well as projections for the next year.
There's also the U.S. Compensation Planning Survey, published annually in July by William M. Mercer Inc., a New York City-based consulting company. The report, based on information provided by 1,800 organizations, provides detailed analyses of how much companies are budgeting for pay increases and adjustment of salary structures. Both the WorldatWork survey and the Mercer study are inexpensive and provide a wealth of data.
Other consulting firms and professional associations provide a variety of published pay-trend surveys or reports. These usually are specific to individual industries, job families, organizational levels or geographic regions. You can get them by paying a membership or subscription fee.
If you presently purchase published salary-survey information, please note that many of these surveys provide information on trends in pay and salary structuring. For example, the Watson Wyatt Worldwide (formerly ECS) surveys provide highly structured analyses of year-over-year pay trends, average increases, bonus-payout changes and pay-structure changes. The data is sliced in many ways and provides a certain level of satisfaction for those of us who like statistics.
Finally, in my opinion, you should be cautious when using "free" paper or Internet-based services, as the accuracy of the source data and the quality of the analysis is sometimes highly suspect.
A good consultant can give you excellent guidance on calculating pay raises, although this type of activity generally is specific to an organization. You'll want to frame this within the budget process and provide some level of manager involvement. For instance, forecasting spreadsheets enable managers to set their budgets or provide feedback on recruitment challenges. Some organizations simply select an overall budget percentage. Then, when the budget is set, they let managers administer salaries within their departments as needed (keeping within the overall budget number).
Whether you provide raises using common review dates or anniversary dates, keep your finance folks happy by providing a full cash-flow analysis. These analysis and planning features are built into some of the more sophisticated HRMS tools.
SOURCE: Robert Fulton, managing director, The Pathfinder's Group, Inc., an affiliate of The Chatfield Group, Chicago, July 3, 2003.
LEARN MORE: Please read How to Conduct an Effective Pay Survey.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
Ask a Question
Dear Workforce Newsletter
ASK A QUESTION

 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

If you have any questions or concerns about Workforce.com, please email customerservice@workforce.com or call 312-676-9900.

The Workforce fax number is 312-676-9901.

Sign up for Dear Workforce e-newsletters!

Comments