Salary Surveys

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Industry and commerce can gather a great deal of relevant information from salary surveys. By watching salary indicators, whether they are up or down, predictions can be made about the job market. This is perhaps the most important general information that can be drawn from such surveys. But in practice, all sectors of industry can draw a great deal of valuable information that they can go on to use in many different ways.

Who Needs Salary Surveys?

To begin with, by studying salary surveys for their own particular market, every employer can judge very accurately what level of salary should be paid to workers in their area to attract a certain level of employee. The right kind of salary survey can help a company or organization structure their salary scale so that it is exactly right for the job market. No ifs, buts or ands!

On the other hand, many employees refer to salary surveys to see how much they can expect to get paid for their work in a certain area. In fact, nearly everyone refers to a salary survey of some kind at some time or another. Existing salary surveys that have been previously commissioned can often be found in libraries or online.

Employer's Needs

But for the most part, salary surveys are used on the employer side. A salary survey can be drawn up with only a small section of the market in mind, or to cover a broad sweep of connected jobs in the same industry. Largely, the kind of information to be included in the survey can be dictated by the organization commissioning it. This means that most salary surveys in existence are skewed to give information on a particular aspect of salaries or the economy as it applies to a certain industry or area.

If you are an organization that is seeking a particular classification of statistics, you may be tempted to use a salary survey already in existence for your purposes instead of having one created specially for you. This may work for you, but first check the range of statistics carefully. Make sure they are in compliance with the information you need.

They may not be suitable at all, and chances are they're not if you need the information for some serious reason such as a complete restructuring of your organization's salary scale. In this case it's a good idea to find a firm that does salary surveys as part of their normal business practice. Doing the job properly to start with is likely to save you a lot of money, rather than costing you, if you are planning some big shake up or change in the way you deal with employees.

Doing it Properly

If you decide to go the professional route and find out how to get salary surveys to suit your needs, you need someone with as much experience as possible so that you get the most from your investment. Ask plenty of questions, not only to make sure you're getting the right people for the job, but also to make sure they understand your project. The more questions you ask at the beginning, the more likely you are to come up with a salary survey that exactly meets your organization's needs and can help you with the task ahead.

If you are a government or private sector organization thinking of commissioning a salary survey, you need to consult with a firm who specializes in this type of work. Looking for the firm that has just the right experience you need regarding salary surveys may not be as difficult as you think. It is rather an obscure specialty but there are more people doing it than at first meets the eye.


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