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Make sure you’re up to date on the pay ranges your company is offering. Being competitive with salaries is important for attracting and retaining talent.

Review your pay ranges periodically to compare them with other companies in the industry to ensure you’re offering fair, equitable pay. If needed, make adjustments whenever possible.

I recommend benchmarking your compensation every three to five years. If there are any changes in federal guidelines that affect jobs, such as exemption tables for overtime pay or job classification, you’ll need to do a review no matter how recently you’ve done one. If the minimum wage changes, you’ll need to be certain your pay ranges fall in line with the new rates.

If you’re having difficulty filling a position in your company and you find out through feedback from applicants that it’s the salary being offered, or employees are complaining they’re making less money than their industry counterparts, it’s time to review your compensation. Another reason to benchmark compensation is if you’re hearing outside your business that competitors in the area are offering higher pay.

Some states have adopted laws requiring companies to include compensation in job postings.

When you benchmark your compensation, it will depend on the market trends. What is the going rate for similar jobs in the industry? How large is the company? What are the qualifications for the role? What are the responsibilities of the role? The cost of living in the area also may affect the pay range.

Companies in different regions might have different pay ranges. Companies in Western Massachusetts, for example, are likely to pay less than companies in Boston.

When you benchmark compensation, whether you’re an employer or a potential employee, you’ll need tools to make the assessment. According to process improvement advisor My Driven Team, the eight best compensation benchmarking tools in 2022 were:

You’ll also need to think about which steps to take as you analyze compensation to ensure your pay range is fair and equitable.

Indeed recommends these steps for benchmarking compensation:

  • Collect salary data.
  • Determine a compensation strategy.
  • Set a salary range.
  • Document your results.
  • Consider new and combined roles.
  • Use reputable sources.
  • Match descriptions accurately.
  • Consider all compensation methods.

In one of my corporate Human Resource positions, we did a compensation review of the skilled workforce area of the shop. The employees included welders, painters and machinists, from entry-level to higher-level positions. As the employees’ knowledge about the job increased, they were able to move up. We set out to ascertain whether our hourly rates were competitive and, if not, what was needed to raise them to a fair pay rate.

In most areas, we found we were competitive, but we were surprised to learn that in some areas in which we thought we were on the money, we were actually behind the curve. You can’t be sure how you compare to the industry standard until you review your pay ranges.

If you need advice on where to start with benchmarking compensation, contact melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

I’m always happy to help.

Remote or in-office work?

While not as quantifiable as pay scales, one form of compensation has become workplace flexibility. As more companies are pushing employees to return to the office, the company that was largely responsible for enabling remote work during the pandemic – Zoom – is requiring workers who live within 50 miles of its offices to be on-site two days a week.

The Worcester Business Journal recently conducted a poll to determine how many area companies are planning to require their employees to return to work by the end of the year. They found that a third plan to remain flexible, while two-thirds have changed in-office policies, plan to by year-end, or never offered remote work options.

When asked whether their company has implemented or plans to enforce new requirements for work in the office, 34 percent said they have modified their in-office policy from earlier in the pandemic; 6 percent said they plan to increase in-office requirements by the end of the year; 34 percent said they plan to continue giving employees the option to work where they choose; and 26 percent said there has been no change because they have always required their employees to work in the office.

50+ Job Seekers workshops

The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group’s workshops are free and virtual on Zoom, with some held in person.

Workshops on Zoom for the next few weeks are:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 19, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: “Ageism: It Starts With You,” led by yours truly!

An estimated 20 percent of U.S. workers are age 55 or older, yet many employers question the abilities of the demographic and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have made it harder to prove age discrimination. What’s most important is how we view ourselves.

  • Do we think of ourselves as old?
  • How do we present ourselves to potential employers?
  • Are we perpetuating a stereotype?

Join us as we explore the issue of ageism: others’ perceptions and our own.

Register here.

  • Thursday, Sept. 28, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: “Medicare Enrollment: What Do I Do?” Savvy Seekers Series with Steve Lewis.

If you’re currently enrolled in Medicare, the Fall Open Enrollment Period (starting on Oct. 15) is the time you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.

If you are not enrolled yet, Medicare, Medicare supplements, prescription drug coverage and Medicare Advantage can be confusing.

Join Steve Lewis, MBA/CPA/former CFO and trained SHINE counselor, to learn about Medicare: how the open enrollment process works; when you are eligible to sign up; options to supplement basic Medicare for hospital, physician services and prescription drug coverage; and options for those with low income.

This event is being offered by 50+ Job Seekers in Massachusetts and co-presented with SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders).

Register here.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 3, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: G2G (Give to Get)

G2G is an open forum for Q&A, breakouts to discuss your job search questions, and plenty of time to network and connect with fellow 50+ job seekers. Every attendee’s name will be placed on the Wheel of Names. You could win a free coaching session.

Register here.

The 50+ Job Seekers website is https://50plusjobseekers.org/. For questions, email 50plusjobseekersadmin@mcoaonline.com.

Reach out  

Contact me by downloading my digital business card by texting HRPRO to 21000 or emailing me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.


Melody L. Beach Consulting Group
Proud Member of
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
50+ Job Seekers
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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