Salary Survey Data

I have been an HR Manager for a while, but I'm pretty new to the compensation field. Could someone with expertise in this field give me some ideas on how many sources of salary survey data most compensation analysts look at when market pricing salaries at their companies?  Also, how often should I be looking to update the data I'm relying on?


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  • I personally rely on at least 3 sources at the national and local level to price the salary ranges of each position.   I also take into consideration a few other factors.  I check with the local collages to see how many will graduate in the particular field I'm pricing that calender/fiscal year.  If its a position that requires a licence or certificate I check with the state to see how many are actually licenced or have been certified.  The more competitve the position is going to be, influences my descision on the salary range.  How often you look to update is really driven by how often your market changes and by how often the staff is reviewed.  I check just to make sure I am on the right track right before annual reviews.  If there are big changes I adjust my ranges.  One of my positions is very competitve and I have to make sure I keep up so I may look at it biannually.  Hope this helps a little.
  • Thank you for the information. It helps alot. I have access to BLR's salary data through my subscription and I'm looking at some more specialized surveys as additional sources. You mention that you check salary data right before annual reviews. Do you look for surveys with data that is effective around the same date, say early in the calendar year, or do you try to utilize sources that are released at different times during the year so you can keep track of trends? I know I can age salary data, so I'm wondering if I should look for salary survey data with varying release dates during the year. Any additional suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.
  • One other thing you might want to do is find the % of increase/decrease between this year's salary data for a specific job and last year's salary data for the same job.  Using several different sources of data will give you a fairly good idea as to increase over the year for the specific job.  When choosing data from serveral surveys, I generally try to make sure that the job descriptions match and the data is coming from the same locale. 

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