Survey for Creating Market-Competitive Pay Systems

Topic: HR Management
Words: 1246 Pages: 4


Understanding what organizations aim to gain from compensation surveys is essential when developing effective compensation systems. Professionals in this job often want to comprehend other companies’ compensation practices as well as something about the preferences of employees for optional forms of compensation due to fiscal changes. Remaining ahead of new developments in market research will allow these individuals to obtain as much information as possible from their studies. Data to be studied includes base pay levels as well as the mix of total monetary compensation. This paper focuses on how surveys can help obtain information that leads to the creation of market-competitive pay systems.


An organization may set base pay levels higher than the average market pay rate by five percent. Pay mix can be defined as a percentage of employer compensation costs applied to main compensation as well as benefits. For instance, sixty percent of an individual’s core compensation may comprise of the core compensation as well as forty percent of benefits. For each dollar that someone spends on total compensation, sixty cents funds core compensation and forty cents the employee benefits.

Compensation experts aim to make great decisions concerning pay levels according to what the compensation pays. Sound decisions on the matter promote companies’ efforts to maintain competitiveness, while poor pay decisions compromise them. The surveys, as mentioned earlier, allow the experts to reach reasonable conclusions concerning how much an employee should earn. On the one hand, offering much fewer limits a firm’s capacity to recruit as well as retain high-quality people. On the other hand, paying above what rivals are giving shows opportunity costs. Fiscal resources are restricted, and thus, companies are unable to afford everything they desire to have. Excessive payment depicts an opportunity cost since it is the money that could have been spent elsewhere.

Use of Surveys

Studies regarding compensation work as a cornerstone in the development of market-competitive compensation systems. Well-tailored and implemented surveys offer experts adequate information concerning other organizations’ pay rates as well as their practices to start establishing competitive pay policies that are aimed at pay level as well as mix. With sufficient data, the professionals are in a good position to establish structures to fulfill strategic mandates as well as attract while retaining talented individuals (Kornelakis, 2018). Market-competitive pay systems depict firms’ compensation guidelines that suit the requirements of a competitive edge. They play an important part in attracting as well as retaining the most capable employees.

A well-tailored pay system needs to promote a company’s attainment of competitive approaches. Paying more than needed can compromise the lowest-cost plans while excessively put an organization at risk of burden or losses. Additionally, the latter limits the firm’s capacity to invest in other essential strategic activities, such as training and research, since money has become a limited resource. Those that aim to pursue differentiation approaches need to find a balance between providing high salaries to attract as well as retain top talent and offering adequate resources to enable creativity.

How Surveys Enable Creation of Market-competitive Systems

Enable Strategic Analyses

Compensation experts develop market-competitive pay systems according to four activities: strategic analyses, determining guidelines, evaluating rivals’ pay practices with surveys, and incorporating the internal job structure with external market rates. First, a strategic assessment involves a company’s external as well as internal market factors’ examination. Some of the external factors include information regarding competition, industry profile as well as long-term growth prospects. Examples of internal factors consist of functional capabilities and fiscal conditions.

Allow Access to Information About the Competition

Second, compensation surveys entail a collection as well as subsequent assessment of rival companies’ compensation information. The research focused on other people’s wage and salary practices. In recent times, benefits have become a target of surveys since they are an important element of market-competitive pay systems. The surveys enable the experts to have a realistic view of competitors’ pay practices (Ogwueleka & Udoudoh, 2018). When such knowledge is non-existent, the professionals would need to guess in an attempt to create market-competitive systems. Making too much guesswork that is mostly wrong could result in non-competitive systems that compromise competitiveness.

Enable Incorporation of Internal Job Structure and External Market Rates

Third, compensation experts incorporate the internal job structure with the external market rates recognized through the surveys. This leads to paying rates that depict a company’s as well as the external market’s valuation of jobs (Cote, 2019). It is important that top talent applying for jobs realize that a company is paying at a level that is not below the market standard. Most times, these individuals depend on regression analysis which is a statistical method to accomplish this task.

They Suggest Guidelines

Lastly, they suggest paying guidelines that suit their organizations’ standing as well as approaches to competition. Senior management eventually makes compensation policy choices after thorough consideration of the experts’ interpretation of the available information (Kornelakis, 2018). Ideally, firms engage in such measures every year to guarantee that the systems sustain competitiveness as the rates of pay in the market are always bound to rise with time.

Custom Survey vs. Externally-Designed Survey

Recent data from surveys showed that the majority of the companies update their payment structures every year while others change when necessary and according to market conditions. Plans regarding compensation depict the selection and implementation of policies concerning pay level and pay mix over a particular period, mostly one year. A manager needs to choose whether to design their own survey instruments as well as administer them or depend on the outcome of the studies done by others. In theory, a personalized survey is most preferred since an individual can design the questions and choose participating companies to offer the most helpful as well as informative information.

Custom development of surveys needs to enable an employer to monitor the quality of the methodologies. In practice, organizations elect not to develop nor implement their own for various reasons. The first one is that the majority of them lack individuals capable of completing the task. The activity requires a specialized type of expertise and knowledge in the sound design of questionnaires statistical, and sampling methods (Antony, 2018). The second one is that competitors are reluctant to give information concerning their compensation packages since the systems are key to competitive edge matters.

If a company is willing to cooperate, the data may be inaccurate or incomplete. For instance, rival organizations may elect to report the salaries of their lowest-paid accountants rather than of the usual salary levels. Such knowledge may result in the surveying firm setting accountants’ pay much lower than if correct information was complete. This may, in turn, compromise the recruiting efforts of the other. Therefore, using information from customized surveys is risky (Martocchio, 2011). Lastly, this information could also be costly for a firm (Martocchio, 2011). Even though cost figures are not available, it is better to conclude that the majority of companies utilize published data to reduce the costs like benefits and salaries. That is, for the employees involved in designing, evaluating, and subsequently interpreting the information.


The information provided in the paper shows that a proper evaluation plan should consider external surveys instead of custom developed. This not only reduces costs and time consumption but also allows for more accurate and complete data that will help reach a sound decision concerning the pay of employees. When the wages are low, it is difficult to recruit or retain top talent in the market.


Antony, M. R. (2018). A paradigm shift in employee engagement – A critical analysis on the drivers of employee engagement. International Journal of Information, Business and Management, 10(2), 32-46. Web.

Cote, R. (2019). Motivating Multigenerational Employees: Is There a Difference? Journal of Leadership, Accountability & Ethics, 16(2). Web.

Kornelakis, A. (2018). Why are your reward strategies not working? The role of shareholder value, country context, and employee voice. Business Horizons, 61(1), 107-113. Web.

Martocchio, J. J. (2011). Strategic compensation: A human resource management approach. Pearson Education India. Chapter 7 and 8, 13-16.

Ogwueleka, A. C., & Udoudoh, F. P. (2018). The impact of risk and reward dynamics in incentive compensation plans in the Nigerian construction industry. International Journal of Construction Management, 18(3), 247-259. Web.

Appendix A

The use of surveys is an important tool in gathering information about companies.

Appendix B

Time and accuracy are important and, thus, the reason why many prefer using externally-designed surveys over their own.

Personnel Psychology in Human Resources Management
Diversity Management: Challenges and Solutions