I'm on the record as saying you ought to get engaged with Glassdoor and figure out how to be more of a marketer with sites that include employee reviews - as evidenced by this popular webinar I did over at Fistful of Talent - “How Smart HR Pros are Becoming Better Marketers – By Using Company Reputation Sites Like Glassdoor”.
HR people need to be in the game to win the game.
But that doesn't mean it's all sunshine and puppy dogs. Example - take a look at this charge on employee salaries for IBM consultants - and let's talk after the graphic (email subscribers click through for picture below)
Ah yes, salary info. IBM's going to be one of the better patches of salary data, and there you go - the range for a IBM consultant is 45K to 170K.
Which means you have to arm your managers with a plan to tell your employees how your comp strategy relates to fragments of competitive info they may find on the interwebs. Here's some things you can arm your managers with to say when employees bring them pay data from a 3rd party site:
The data being cited is mostly self-reported and that’s dangerous. Most of the new models are based on incumbents in the role in question self-reporting what they earn. That’s crowdsourced data, which is not exactly scientific in nature.
The data being reported in a wide geography and most zip codes don’t have the volume to truly help you determine what’s real. Even if the data is accurate, in most cases, there’s not enough volume in the zip code in question to give you an accurate picture of a compensation range in the employee’s geographic area.
The biggest challenge with accuracy is related to the match with your specific job. Many of the third-party sites rely on the end user to report what job they’re in and match it to a certain job description on the site. The challenges associated with that means that you’re not always comparing apples to apples. Sometimes there are multiple lemons thrown in there.
The ranges being used on third-party sites are just that—ranges, and you shouldn’t assume that you should be at the max, or even at the midpoint based on your experience level in this job. You can go back to range theory and remind them that a range is used to progress someone through 15 years in the same job.
You have to get your managers prepped via the training you provide them.
By the way, I heard that mailroom boys at Google make 100K. I looked it up and they only make 90K - you can use that..
(but it's a lie - I made that up. The rest of this post is real.)