How many salary surveys should I participate to ?


  • Analyse salary survey results to decide if you need to create different salary structures, or not, for each industry your organisation operates in.
  • No industry-specific salary survey in your country ? In this episode, learn to use general market surveys to still get results that are relevant for all your industries !
  • If you’re ready to update your salary ranges, it’s time to get data by participating to salary surveys !
  • Watch the video to get the full training or read the transcript below.

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Try to participate in industry-specific surveys in each of your countries of operations
Let data lead your decision-making when designing salary ranges


Hello, and welcome to this episode of Compensation Insider. Today I would like to talk about a question from one of my reader about salary surveys. So, this person was asking me :

“We are a group of 20 companies in different business lines, and our salary grades and scale is a standard for the group, not customized as per business line, which I think is not correct. However, if we would like to make surveys on the current situation, should we do it group wise or company wise?”

Reader question

How many surveys should we participate in?

General advice : participate in industry-specific surveys in each country of operation

I would say that it depends on the number of countries, first of all, because if you have different countries, you will have to participate in surveys in each of the countries where you operate.

Conglomerates are a usual structure in the GCC, and they really range in very, very different types of activities for the different parts of the organization.

The way that I would recommend to go about it, is to sort all your companies by industry, and then see if you can participate in surveys that are specific for each industry. We know that hospitality, manufacturing, and IT sales are really, really not paying at all the same way. And some positions are industry-specific, so you may find more relevant job info in an industry-specific survey.

What if there are no industry-specific surveys available ?

If you can’t participate in industry-specific surveys, try to select the general industry survey that has the widest participation of companies that you consider to be your competitors for talent.

And then ask for multiple pay cuts when receiving the results. So you make sure that you get the general industry results, but you also say, “Okay, I would like to have an overview of those 13 to 20 companies in that industry, 13 to 20 companies in that other industry, and so on.” That will help you.

That could be a way that you participate in only one survey, but still get multiple pay results. The advantage in that approach is that you only do the survey submission once, so that’s saving you time. But you need to make sure that the general industry survey has enough of those organizations that represent your industries, so that you can really compare to relevant companies in your peer cut.

But let’s imagine that this depth of data is not available in the country where you are. Very often survey providers will be able to provide you with some kind of a general index that shows you how the different industries pay compared to the general market. So they will tell you, for example, that if the general market is 100, maybe hospitality is paying at 90, and oil and gas is paying at 113. So now you have multipliers. Simply apply those multipliers to your own data to create your salary structures.

Deciding on whether to create different salary structures in your multi-industry organisation

Now, if you’ve been able to get those multiple salary surveys, I would say that your decision should be first to analyze the data and see if they show significant differences across industries. Then you can decide whether to have different salary structures or not.

Always, always let the data lead you in terms of your decision-making.

You might discover, for example, that maybe manufacturing and hospitality are very different industries within your own organization, but actually, the way they pay is not hugely different. So if you have the same grading structure across the group, you might see that overall you might put your companies in both these industries into the same salary structure because it’s relevant for you. But now you know that that choice is backed by data, it’s not just a company decision based on convenience, or lack of information, or historical choices.

So I hope it helps. If you enjoyed the video, please let me know and follow me across social media. I hope to see you next week !

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