Running Your Business

Competitive Salary: How Your Company Measures Up

  • The right tools and resources can help determine salary competitiveness
  • If you can't increase pay, offer perks to remain competitive
  • Perks include paid childcare, onsite gym, stock options and profit sharing
Posted by August 11, 2017

Is a competitive salary something your company offers? It can be difficult to know if what you’re offering is in line with the cost of living in your area—and enough to recruit and keep top-notch talent. That’s why having the right tools and resources is a must to determine how your company measures up with the competition.

Are Employee Salaries Competitive?

The following resources can help you determine if your company’s pay is on track with the cost of living and competitors in your area. The U.S. Department of State provides a comprehensive list of websites, books and other publications offering salary analytics and comparisons. Using such tools is a must to make informed decisions about employee compensation. Examples of resources to consider include:

  1. Salary.com’s Cost-of-Living Wizard. This online tool is marketed for employees, but shows how your company’s salary compares with cost of living in different regions. This resource is especially useful if your company is based in a major metropolitan area, as these cities often come with a higher cost of living. If you have employees in different states or remote employees, this tool is invaluable.
  2. Salary.com’s CompAnalyst. A resource specifically designed for employers, Salary.com’s CompAnalyst compensation analytics tool helps analyze your company’s pay practices against market salary rates.
  3. Salaryexpert.com. This resource is useful for employees and employers. The employer portion allows you to review average and median salary ranges, and identify market pay rates for different job titles. It also helps compare cost of living in various job locations, and adjust salaries accordingly for employee who relocate.
  4. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a variety of salary information invaluable to business owners. This includes national wage data, wage information by state and wage data by metropolitan area for a variety of job titles.
  5. Economic Research Institute. This resource helps you determine market pay ranges for just about any career worldwide. You’ll also receive access to compensation trends and compensation forecasts with this tool, and be able to compare pay rates in different geographic regions.
  6. Indeed.com salary search feature allows you to search specific job titles in your area to receive average pay rates, and compensation offered by competitors. Logging into indeed.com (as an employee performing a job search) shows you pay rates for current job openings in different regions.

What If I Can’t Increase Pay?

If job market pay is higher than what your company can afford right now, there are other ways to make employee compensation packages more attractive. Offer work-from-home options to save employees time and gas money. Consider onsite or paid childcare, which is a tax deduction for your company. Pay all or part of employee health insurance premiums (also a tax write-off for you). Offer an onsite gym to save employees money on gym membership dues. Consider stock options, profit sharing or bonuses tied with performance goals.

Bottom Line

Use salary analytics resources to determine competitive employee pay, but don’t break the bank to outbid competitors. Finding a good balance between competitive salary and other lucrative employee perks (like work-from-home options or performance-based bonuses) is an excellent way to attract top-notch employees.

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