Setting salaries or pay rates for employees can be complicated. Higher compensation rates can attract superior performers, but a company must also be aware of gender, racial, and age discrimination factors when developing a salary framework.

A salary structure must be fair and equitably applied. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 women earned an average weekly salary of $691, which was about 81 percent of the earnings of male full-time workers at $854. Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post reports that, in the health sector in the late 1980s, male physicians earned 20 percent more in annual salary than their female counterparts. This grew to a 25.3 percent gap, a difference of $56,019 per year by the late 2000s.

  • Women and minorities continue to earn less. Employees in lower graded jobs can earn more than higher graded jobs because of overlapping salary ranges. Compounding salaries can benefit older workers over time. New hires often start at higher salaries while increases for other employees may have been frozen during the recession and fallen below market value.
  • Forbes suggests analyzing your company culture concerning racial and gender diversity. Are there women or minorities in leadership roles? Ensure that salaries are applied consistently and equitably and entry salaries are not contributing to the pay gap. Sign-on bonuses and other benefits can be used to lure specialized individuals.
  • In developing a salary policy, use industry benchmarks as a guide and discern competitor compensation policies. Salary.comprovides useful indicators or, alternatively, partner with a local staffing firm such as Hire Standard, which compiles salary surveys from companies in the same geographic area. Other sites with applicable information are the US Bureau of Labor and The local Chamber of Commerce or local business networks are also good sources.

Contact a Hire Standard Staffing professional when designing your salary structure. We monitor industry compensation rates, the local labor market, and understand what motivates skilled candidates. We can provide a salary structure that is fair and consistent and that abides by minimum wage guidelines. Additionally, we can advise you with respect to your choice of hourly or salary pay.