What is a Salary Survey?

Chapter Highlights
  1. What are Salary Surveys?
  2. Types of data gathered in a salary survey.
  3. Where can I find salary surveys?
  4. Choosing the right survey for you. What to look for in a survey.
  5. Participating in a Survey.
  6. Conducting in a Survey.

What are Salary Surveys?

Salary Surveys are tools used to determine the median or average compensation paid to employees in one or more jobs. Compensation data, collected from several employers, is analyzed to develop an understanding of the amount of compensation paid. Surveys may focus on one or more job titles, geographic regions, employer size, and or industries. Salary surveys may be conducted by employer associations (e.g., SHRM), survey vendors, or by individual employers.
Survey data is often time sensitive and may become out-of-date quickly. Because of the time sensitive information, surveys are often identified by the year or quarter in which the data was collected.

The purpose of salary surveys provide a means for comparison of salaries at the company

An on-line salary survey demo is available at: HR-Survey.

Surveys gather and summarize compensation information and provide a means for comparison of salaries at the company.

Types of data gathered in a salary survey

Salary Surveys are analyses of compensation data. This data may include quantifyable aspects of compensation such as:
  1. Base salaries
  2. Increase percentages or amounts
  3. Merit Increases
  4. Salary Ranges
  5. Starting Salary
  6. Incentives/Bonuses
  7. Allowances and Benefits
  8. Working Hours
Salary Surveys may also include non-quantifyable aspects of compensation such as:
  1. Educational Requirements
  2. Geographic Location
  3. Source of Hire (Internal/External)
  4. Working Conditions

Where can I find salary surveys?

List of on-line survey vendors available at HR-Guide.

Associations conduct surveys of their members including:

  1. Society for Human Resource Management
  2. College and University Personnel Association
  3. ACA
Surveys are also available from various government departments including:
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  2. Occupational Compensation Survey
  3. State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
If you are looking to conduct your own salary survey, HR-Survey can assist you with this process. Example salary survey from HR-Survey.

Choosing the right survey for you.
What to look for in a survey.

How do I choose a salary survey? The results of surveys conducted by third parties (e.g., associations, consultants, survey vendors) can be relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of developing the same results your self. Surveys conducted by associations and vendors are often have a large number of participants which results in a more accurate analysis. Before purchasing survey results, you should make sure the results contain:

Use survey results that will match jobs at your organization within the same industry and/or geographic location.

Participating in a Survey

Have you been asked to participate in a Salary Survey? If so, you you need to do the following things:
  1. Identify the response deadline.
    Often a salary survey will collect data during a specific time frame so that the results will be created and published on time. Responses that are submitted late may not be accepted by the survey vendor.
  2. Match Jobs
    Matching jobs on the survey questionnaire to your institution - Job matching should be based on several factors:
    • Title - The easiest jobs to match on a survey questionnaire are those in your institution that have an identical job title. All companies have a ‘President’ and at least one Secretary. Most have a Director of Marketing, Director of Human Resources, Director of Information Systems, Director of Facilities.
    • Organizational Structure - The next easiest technique for matching jobs is to find jobs in your organizational structure that match the implied (or even displayed) stucture on the survey. Often a survey will examine the salary data for jobs at several levels within a career path. For example, the jobs Accountant, Senior Accountant, Director of Accounting, Chief Financial Officer may be included in the same survey questionnaire. The structure of two or more jobs within your institution may closely match the structure of jobs on the questionnaire.
    • Job Duties - The most time consuming technique for matching jobs is to match them on the basis of decriptions.
  3. Determining what data is needed
    Salary Ranges
    Lists of employees by job title with salaries
  4. Backup your Response
    Make a photocopy of the completed questionnaire before returning

Conducting in a Survey

If you want to conduct a salary survey. Feel free to request a free customized demo to show you how HR-Survey can assist you with web based software designed specifically for this purpose. Request information regarding a customized salary survey.