What to Consider When Building a Salary Scale for your Employees

Mar. 3, 2016 Hiring Strategies


So maybe you have room in the budget for additional headcount. You may be excited for the help, but perhaps anxious or unsure about one thing – their salary. Are you building a salary scale that is considered fair in today’s job market (especially a job market as competitive as Seattle)?

If you are planning on adding a headcount to your company (and it’s been a while), it might help to have some tips on calculating fair salaries for your soon-to-be employees, and we have provided a few things to consider to help you get started:

Utilize Salary Indexes to Determine Fair Salaries for Each Kind of Job

There are companies out there that make their living off of collecting salary data. Seattle’s own Payscale.com is one of the more famous companies, but you can also get good figures by looking at freely available sources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keep in mind that while these are average, self-reported salaries, they can give you a great place to start. Your job next will be to narrow it down a bit, based on what you want.

Consider the Average Cost of Living When Building a Salary Scale

Your salary is only as attractive as where the work will be done. The Puget Sound is a costly place to live and the salary here should be higher than the same salary in the Midwest, but even on a local level there are great differences to consider. Do you offer parking? If not, you may need your salary higher to reflect the costs of private parking.

Offer Pay Rates Higher than your Competitors to Lure Top Talent

Are you looking for the best of the best? While a higher salary doesn’t mean a higher skill, it does widen your pool of applicants, giving you the best shot at finding your next super-star. In reviewing what your competitors are paying, even an incrementally higher amount can dramatically affect the appeal of your role over theirs.

Determine How Education and Certifications Could Fluctuate Salary Range

Education – Are degrees required for the role? If so, would you pay a higher salary for someone with one than without? What about industry-specific certifications? As you make these decisions, you also start giving yourself an idea of the range you are willing to pay. How much is that MBA worth to you?

Look to your Local Staffing Agency for Referrals and Salary Insight

Staffing agency referrals – Here’s a neat trick. Staffing agencies, such as Parker, recruit on thousands of roles a year and speak with twice as many job seekers. This translates into data. What’s nice about speaking with a staffing agency is that not only do they know how much someone desires to pay for the position, they also actually know what the position actually ended up paying. You’d be surprised to learn about how much certain details such as location and industry can have on a person’s salary desires.

Crush the Wage Gap by Offering Fair Salaries for All

Gender equality – As this Payscale article reveals, it’s no secret that there is a gender gap when it comes to pay. Learn about how it affects your industry – by offering a fair wage regardless of a person’s gender, you can quickly become a great place to work.

I hope this has given you some insight to help you make confident choices for hiring your upcoming roles! Good luck, and if you need an additional resource, just know that, as always, Parker is here to help!