Making the most of salary surveys

Data helps with compensation budgets, employee communications
By Susan Hunter and Stéphane Paré
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Each year — typically between May and July — HR consulting firms poll employers about actual changes in overall salaries for the current year, along with projections for the coming year. The objective is to provide context for organizations to make salary budget decisions.

Press releases on the surveys generally highlight top-level findings, such as projected and actual increases, salary freezes and merit increases. But much more information is available from the reports, which are often more than 50 pages long.

When the data is considered in its entirety — particularly on a year-over-year basis — organizations can fine-tune and update compensation philosophies, make informed decisions regarding salary increases and consider alternate pay arrangements to ensure they attract and retain key employees.