Benefits and Compensation

Additional Considerations as You Plan Your Salary Strategy: Job Descriptions, Salary Compressions, and More

Yesterday, Amy Letke, SPHR, GPHR of Integrity HR, Inc., took us through the ins and outs of aging factors: Lead, lag, or lead/lag—which is best for your organization? Today, she looks at additional considerations as you set out your compensation philosophy and strategy.

Documenting Job Content Through Job Descriptions

How often are you reviewing your job descriptions? Remember that the needs may change, depending on your business goals.

Selecting, Collecting, and Using Data

  • Choose several salary sources (industry-specific when possible).
  • Make sure you compare “apples to apples.”
  • Make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck!
  • Use job descriptions for comparisons to benchmark jobs.
  • Attempt to match jobs to an “objective survey source” with a significant degree of accuracy.
  • Slot nonbenchmark jobs into the hierarchy based on comparable positions.

Designing Your Pay Structure

  • Determine relative worth.
  • Use pay grades to:
    • Group jobs that have the same relative internal worth.
    • Set the upper and lower range of compensation for jobs within the pay grade.

Need a sales compensation infrastructure but feel like you don’t have the resources? Start on Thursday, July 2, 2015, with a new interactive webinar, Sales Compensation: Plan Design and Management for Small to Mid-Size Businesses. Learn More


Addressing Compression and Budget Issues

Salary compression is very common (and problematic), occurring when the pay rates for two different jobs wind up being too close together.

Limited merit increase budgets can lead to lessening value on lengthy tenure when you increase pay for new employees—something you definitely don’t want if you’re looking to retain great talent.

The solution to both problems? Money. Letke recommends that you consider reserving a portion of your budget for compression elimination, equity increases, and lump-sum increases.

It Can Be Complicated

Letke notes that an independent third party can often help you pave the way to achieving a solid compensation plan that leads to your desired outcome.

If you handle things on your own, she stresses the importance of appropriate training and education to acquire the specialized expertise required to perform the work effectively.

Of course, you need to also adjust your strategy for specific job roles—especially sales. Small and mid-sized businesses often assume that sales compensation plan mechanics and application don’t translate to organizations of their size and so aren’t something to worry about.

But they couldn’t be more wrong—and it’s important to build a results-driven comp plan right away! How to get there? Fortunately there’s timely help in the form of BLR’s new webinar—Sales Compensation: Plan Design and Management for Small to Mid-Size Businesses. In just 90 minutes, on Thursday, July 2, you’ll learn everything you need to know about creating a sales compensation strategy to fit your company’s unique needs.

Register today for this interactive webinar.


The right comp strategy can drive your sales team to greater heights. Join us Thursday, July 2, 2015, for a new interactive webinar, Sales Compensation: Plan Design and Management for Small to Mid-Size Businesses. Earn 1.5 hours in HRCI Recertification Credit. Register Now


By participating in this interactive webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Unique sales compensation challenges small employers face—and how to meet those challenges head on!
  • Why it pays to invest in a sales compensation strategy, even when resources are stretched thin
  • Key building blocks for your effective sales compensation plan 
  • The difference between hunters, farmers, and others sales types—and how that translates to different pay programs.
  • How product pricing flexibility affects commission payouts
  • How to identify the right salespeople and competencies for your needs
  • Program features that drive achievement while avoiding gamesmanship
  • And much more!

Register now for this event risk-free.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Central)
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Mountain)
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Pacific)

Approved for Recertification Credit

This program has been approved for 1.5 credit hours toward recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).

Join us on Thursday, July 2, 2015—you’ll get the in-depth Sales Compensation: Plan Design and Management for Small to Mid-Size Businesses webinar AND you’ll get all of your particular questions answered by our experts.

Find out more

Train Your Entire Staff

As with all BLR®/HR Hero® webinars:

  • Train all the staff you can fit around a conference phone.
  • Get your (and their) specific phoned-in or e-mailed questions answered in Q&A sessions that follow the presentation.

Find out more