Written by Connor Harrison
June 17, 2019
A salary benchmark job is defined as a job that is widespread across many industries. For example, Accountant is a benchmark job. Some companies may title the job Bookkeeper or Financial Planner. But if the job descriptions for these roles are the same, they would each fall within the benchmarked job of Accountant.
Compensation surveys use benchmark jobs so that participating organizations can be consistent in reporting compensation data for their employees. They also assure workers doing the same job are paid comparatively to other workers, even if they have different job titles, and even if they are at different companies.
Compensation surveys are invaluable for establishing accurate and effective hiring processes. However, compensation surveys cannot tell you exactly how much you should pay your employees.
Salary benchmark jobs will give you an idea of what similar companies pay their employees in similar positions to your unique roles. To find the right job match, we recommend your organization look for benchmark jobs whose content matches 80% or more of the content of your internal job description.
For instance, Business Development Representative and Sales Representative may seem similar based on job title alone, but a comparison of the job descriptions might reveal one job or the other is a better match for your internal position.
Salary benchmark jobs are usually defined in terms of employee category (e.g., management, individual contributor), department (e.g., sales, marketing), and level (e.g., entry, intermediate). Each of these buckets reflect a common organizational structure so survey participants can more easily match jobs.
Salary benchmark jobs are used in a variety of employer-reported surveys. Among a few of the most common are:
In subscription or custom surveys, employers or HR professionals are reporting data for all employees in specific jobs. But in self-reported surveys, employees report their own compensation data – usually online.
Self-reported data is typically considered less reliable than employer-reported data since:
Ultimately, it is very difficult to know if self-reported data represents the market overall. As a result, specific salary benchmark job data in self-reported salary surveys is not as reliable for compensation management.
Salary benchmark jobs are the compass by which companies can understand a survey and begin the job benchmarking process. Both the Salary.com consumer wizard and CompAnalyst platform for small businesses and enterprises utilize curated, HR-reported data from surveys to generate the most accurate price points available.
Download our white paper to further understand how organizations across the country are using market data, internal analytics, and strategic communication to establish an equitable pay structure.