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Pay Surveys are So Dead. Not.

Pay Surveys are So Dead. Not.

by Frank Roche on September 27, 2006

in Pay, Surveys

I saw a website that claims they can tell you what you should be paid just by popping your job title into this website. (I’ve seen lots of others out there too, this is just one example.) Hey, so much for salary surveys and data checking. Just for fun, put your own job in there.

What troubles me about this kind of “data” is that it’s not adjusted for credentials, company size, experience, competencies or much of anything else (except geography). It’s misleading, kind of like those unscientific pay “studies” published in trade magazines when they ask anonymous readers how much they make. Science has proved that people over report their pay levels (kind of like they do on sex surveys, where they over report on other things). Another thing that’s unclear: Is the number reported the maximum for the job? The minimum? Why isn’t there a range?

I’m not sure what to make of all this. There’s a single number displayed, and it’s not clear if that’s salary, total cash, or total compensation. From a communication perspective, this is more of stirring up trouble than it is about giving substantive data for salarly negotiations. For you compensation professionals out there, here’s another of the “forewarned is forearmed.”


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