While sitting in front of your current/future Boss and they ask that infamous question; what salary/rate are you currently considering - do they even mean it?

While Compensation Specialists create salary grades and point systems evaluating a position’s worth, Managers have a special number in their mind to work with. Sitting on the other side, our special number may not be achievable depending on the organization and their grading system. The grading system for Project Managers for example varies between industry and trade where the banking sector may pay significantly less then the government sector. How do organizations with lower grading systems keep their top talent?

Not every employment decision is based on numbers. There is the compensation package, growth opportunity, location, and other added incentives. Although are these added incentives enough when salary grades can often stunt one’s growth and potential. I find it almost counter productive to determine caps and glass ceilings to growing workers which can lead to high turnover, low morale, and a bad reputation in the market. Even for larger organizations, there must be some flexibility in hiring top talent.

Employee turnover is the largest expense against any companies operations that includes severance, training, loss of knowledge transfer, recruiting and termination costs.

I wonder if this is worth it to restrict employees to a grading system.

At this time, the Canadian market is picking up, and candidates are flying off the market and jumping ship. How are employers responding to other companies offering higher compensation plans?

I question as to how often compensation structures are evaluated. While working for a company that offers vendor management solutions to high profile clients, we provide a market rate analysis every six months. I’m afraid with the growing dollar, higher competition, and outdated grading systems, market rates are not matching living costs.

As always, your responses are encouraged.



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