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June 16, 2010
Using Surveys to Create a Market Pricing Methodology

In a BLR webinar titled "Compensation: Implementing an Effective Market Pricing Methodology," Chris Kelley, founder and CEO of KnowledgePay, Inc., offered guidance for employers on how to select survey sources to create a market pricing methodology for determining salaries.

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The first step in creating a market pricing methodology is selecting survey sources to use as salary benchmarks. Basically, employers have four alternatives to choose from:

  • Published benchmark surveys
  • Custom surveys by retained consultants
  • Surveys employers conduct themselves
  • Free sources of salary data

Of these, only the first two options will provide reliable data that reflects the relevant labor market.

In fact, there are many published benchmark studies available to employers. Mercer, Hewitt, Towers Watson. HayGroup, Western Management, and many other boutique consulting and survey vendors publish salary surveys. In addition, many of these vendors provide industry-specific surveys. Some trade associations also publish salary surveys.

Chris Kelley is the founder and CEO of KnowledgePay, Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience working in corporate Human Resources/Compensation, and has led one of the largest implementations of market pricing in the U.S. He also serves as adjunct faculty for WorldatWork, and has been teaching Market Pricing since 2005. Visit his company's website at

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