Salary Surveys 20|20: Why Use Salary Surveys

Written by Jonathan Sweet

June 29, 2020

Salary Surveys 20|20: Why Use Salary Surveys Hero

In a volatile and uncertain labor environment, it is important to make decisions based on facts and backed up by data.  For compensation and HR professionals there is no better or more trusted data available than employer reported salary survey data.  But why use a salary survey?  What is its relevance now in a crowded market of ‘other types’ of data offerings?

Why use salary surveys?

  • Defensible: Protect your data and understand where third party data is coming from.
    Reputable survey vendors adhere to US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission Safe Harbor Guidelines, have a transparent, documented, and shareable methodology with proven processes employed to collect, validate, protect, and report data.  Additionally, participants in a salary survey should be listed and made available by the vendor (for example:  sample participant list).  All this helps to ensure decisions made in your compensation practice can be supported legally, in the boardroom, and when communicating with employees.
  • Reliable: Salary surveys have been a staple of the compensation professional for decades and continue to be the preferred research tool. From the Fortune 50 to start ups and across all industry segments, more than 80% of organizations use salary surveys to conduct their total rewards analysis (*).
  • Competitive:  Keep pace within the labor markets you recruit with salary surveys.  Understand, your employee(s) is potentially another company’s target so make sure you are competitive internally as well.

Look for future installments of our five-part series, “Salary Surveys 20|20.” In future posts we will provide a broad view of why you should consider salary surveys even now, highlight some things to look for, avoid, and be wary of and provide some helpful tips for managing your relationship with your survey partners.

The Compdata and IPAS survey practice at is one of the largest compensation data providers in the world with compensation and benefits data spanning 100 countries across 17 industry verticals.  To learn more, contact us at 781-552-4596.

(*) SOURCE: 2019 Pay Practices Survey

about the author
Jonathan Sweet is the Director of Survey Sales at where he advises clients with global benchmark and benefits data projects. Jon has over 15 years of experience in sales, service, and operations working with partners in the Human Resources and Compensation space.
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