How can I obtain compensation data?

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MrJones
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How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:13 pm

If there are ten levels in a company with the lowest being new college hires and the highest being C-suite, how can I get compensation data for people at various levels? This is for the tech industry in the Bay Area.

Interestingly, it's easy to get data for people at the very bottom through sources like glassdoor since they form the majority, are pretty standard, and tend to be shared. And it's easy to get data for people in the c-suite of public companies since a lot of that is disclosed. But it's levels in the middle that are hard.

For various reasons in our culture, we don't share this data amongst peers. One could ask a recruiter, but then you get a single point of data from a narrow source that is influenced by the recruiter's interests.

How do people know they're being compensated well as they move up? Also:
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:46 pm
There’s really two questions here. How do you know you’re being paid appropriately within your industry, and how do you know if you’re being paid appropriately within your company?
Last edited by MrJones on Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dcabler
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by dcabler » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:17 pm

Unless it's a government job, the answer is "you don't" with the exception of officers of publicly traded companies. There is no requirement for private of publicly held companies to release that information.

You can, however, get an idea of salaries at various levels of companies via sites like glassdoor.com which they gather by people who subscribe, but as you've probably already noticed, there are usually fewer data points at the higher levels of companies...

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:31 pm

Right, but how do I get as close to this data as possible? Can I get general ranges for the company? For the industry? Surely others need this data too?

student
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by student » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:39 pm

Here is the thing. They don't want you to know so that they have the advantage.

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whodidntante
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:40 pm

ADP sells access to anonymized salary data. It is accurate because it is based on what people actually got paid.

HornedToad
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by HornedToad » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:40 pm

Here's one that's for tech: https://www.paysa.com/

Not sure how accurate it is but it's a decent reference point for a role. Some of the stock could be over-estimation IMO as stock prices have went up.

dcabler
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by dcabler » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:57 pm

Many companies do share that information with each other, usually through an intermediary firm like Radford. It allows them to benchmark their salaries against other similar companies, but it's an expensive dataset that mere mortals are unlikely to have access to.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:23 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:40 pm
ADP sells access to anonymized salary data. It is accurate because it is based on what people actually got paid.

How easy is it for an individual to obtain? is the data by industry location or by specific company? Anyone have personal experience with ADP data?

fortunefavored
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by fortunefavored » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:49 pm

This is probably the better question: "How do people know they're being compensated well as they move up?"

You need to interview every 2 or 3 years. Guaranteed you are underpaid after 2 or 3 years if you are not in the top performer rating levels consistently qualifying for extra retention packages. Compensation continues to skew toward top performers. "base" salaries don't move much even with promotions but that extra incentive can be double or triple base salary. These are only available for the top 2 or 3% of the worker population.

Corporate compensation structures are primarily designed to restrain cost which means the bulk of people are underpaid as much as possible. The good news is that if you're an average employee working for an average megacorp they're pretty good at keeping you in the average amount of underpaid because they don't want you to quit.

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Tortuga
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by Tortuga » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:07 pm

Mr. Jones:
For technical specialties with societies that publish and support them, there are salary surveys that are updated usually yearly. This is normally questionnaire-based from the membership of the society. Many engineering and scientific fields have such societies. The data, of course, are not company specific, and I have found them only moderately useful. One of the problems is that someone may identify as a petroleum engineer, but as he grows in the job his position modifies to take over more management/supervisory responsibility which may be compensated by different standards.

Tortuga

quantAndHold
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:46 pm

There’s really two questions here. How do you know you’re being paid appropriately within your industry, and how do you know if you’re being paid appropriately within your company?

Within your company, all companies of any size have a table of pay grades and salary ranges per grade, sometimes broken down by location. Sometimes the company is upfront with it, sometimes you can get it by asking either HR or your management chain. At the last place I worked, I found it by searching on the company intranet, in the HR docs related to performance management. Pay scales for a grade tend to be really wide, so this may not tell you as much as you want to know. Sometimes a company will play close to the vest, and only the execs get to see the doc.

At one company I worked at, a group of employees had a suspicion that the men were being paid more than the women, and started an internal salary survey on the company intranet. The company allowed it to go forward, after some back and forth with the legal department. What we all learned from the exercise was that software developers don’t know how to write useful surveys.

Within the industry, I haven’t found anything useful. Companies can buy industry salary surveys, but you can’t, really.

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:49 pm

dcabler wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Many companies do share that information with each other, usually through an intermediary firm like Radford. It allows them to benchmark their salaries against other similar companies, but it's an expensive dataset that mere mortals are unlikely to have access to.
Yup. Real answer here is meet a friend that has access to Radford and let them cut a report for you ;)

tibbitts
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by tibbitts » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:52 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:46 pm

Within the industry, I haven’t found anything useful. Companies can buy industry salary surveys, but you can’t, really.
Why not? Or do you have to buy the data with data of your own, not with money? If it's just money it sounds like the OP has a somewhat unlimited budget he'd be willing to throw at this.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:55 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:49 pm
dcabler wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Many companies do share that information with each other, usually through an intermediary firm like Radford. It allows them to benchmark their salaries against other similar companies, but it's an expensive dataset that mere mortals are unlikely to have access to.
Yup. Real answer here is meet a friend that has access to Radford and let them cut a report for you ;)
Heh, yes, I was aware of Radford but I too was wondering how that helps individuals. Kidding aside, I'm curious as to who would typically have access outside the compensation department? Internal recruiters? All of HR?

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:58 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:46 pm
There’s really two questions here. How do you know you’re being paid appropriately within your industry, and how do you know if you’re being paid appropriately within your company?
You nailed it, thanks for clarifying the questions I'm really asking. Hope you don't mind me quoting you in the OP.

With the second question, sadly nothing is published where I work. It's clear that the whole topic is taboo, so no dice there. Even if not, the ranges would be too wide to be useful as you observed.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:02 pm

fortunefavored wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:49 pm
This is probably the better question: "How do people know they're being compensated well as they move up?"

You need to interview every 2 or 3 years. Guaranteed you are underpaid after 2 or 3 years if you are not in the top performer rating levels consistently qualifying for extra retention packages.
Interesting, thanks for sharing. One problem I face with interviewing is it seems to be a chicken-and-egg issue. Recruiters typically ask how much you are making now and seem to base your offer on that. If you refuse to put out a number, they start with something to low to be useful. How do you get around this?

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:04 pm

MrJones wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:55 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:49 pm
dcabler wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Many companies do share that information with each other, usually through an intermediary firm like Radford. It allows them to benchmark their salaries against other similar companies, but it's an expensive dataset that mere mortals are unlikely to have access to.
Yup. Real answer here is meet a friend that has access to Radford and let them cut a report for you ;)
Heh, yes, I was aware of Radford but I too was wondering how that helps individuals. Kidding aside, I'm curious as to who would typically have access outside the compensation department? Internal recruiters? All of HR?
It would benefit an individual in the sense they can take all of your data points and use real information from other similar companies and drill down using the responsibilities of your job to give you a very real view of the range of salaries similar companies are paying "you" -- and give you percentiles along the scale of that range broken down by base, bonus, OTE, etc.


No, definitely not all of HR unless the HR department is 1... and if that's the case you probably wouldn't be able to afford it (it's expensive).

Recruiters and HRBPs will have access to internal job architectures and comp ranges and here and there will get glimpses into how they come up with those ranges (for example: non-public, 0-100 employees, $50mm revenue, Bay Area, etc could be a cut that is analyzed...

Nowadays the individuals with perfect info and access to Radford and similar typically have "Total Rewards" in their titles or basic titles like compensation analysts depending on how big or small the company might be.

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:09 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:04 pm
MrJones wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:55 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:49 pm
dcabler wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Many companies do share that information with each other, usually through an intermediary firm like Radford. It allows them to benchmark their salaries against other similar companies, but it's an expensive dataset that mere mortals are unlikely to have access to.
Yup. Real answer here is meet a friend that has access to Radford and let them cut a report for you ;)
Heh, yes, I was aware of Radford but I too was wondering how that helps individuals. Kidding aside, I'm curious as to who would typically have access outside the compensation department? Internal recruiters? All of HR?
It would benefit an individual in the sense they can take all of your data points and use real information from other similar companies and drill down using the responsibilities of your job to give you a very real view of the range of salaries similar companies are paying "you" -- and give you percentiles along the scale of that range broken down by base, bonus, OTE, etc.


No, definitely not all of HR unless the HR department is 1... and if that's the case you probably wouldn't be able to afford it (it's expensive).

Recruiters and HRBPs will have access to internal job architectures and comp ranges and here and there will get glimpses into how they come up with those ranges (for example: non-public, 0-100 employees, $50mm revenue, Bay Area, etc could be a cut that is analyzed). It's important for recruiters to know how the ranges were created so we can speak with candidates properly. The cut Google uses in the bay isn't going to match the cut of a 20 person startup in Dallas.

Nowadays the individuals with perfect info and access to Radford and similar typically have "Total Rewards" in their titles or basic titles like compensation analysts depending on how big or small the company might be.

highdesert
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by highdesert » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:50 pm

You might check glassdoor.com to see if they have any data for your employer.

Edited to add: Nevermind, it would help to read the whole thread before replying :)
Last edited by highdesert on Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

desafinado
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by desafinado » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:57 pm

Try the Blind app and the salary sharing threads on the cscareerquestions subreddit.

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ClevrChico
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:09 pm

desafinado wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:57 pm
Try the Blind app and the salary sharing threads on the cscareerquestions subreddit.
Reddit is a great suggestion.

I've found Glassdoor to be very accurate and cover many career stages if there's a large sample. H1B Salary databases (google it) are actual reported salaries too.

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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:25 pm

I take the average of 3 or 4 biggest pay sites and call it good enough. HR at most companies use market data from, for example, Culpepper to set their pay bands. It isn’t cheap but it’s very objective.

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Watty
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by Watty » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:12 am

MrJones wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:13 pm
Interestingly, it's easy to get data for people at the very bottom through sources like glassdoor since they form the majority, are pretty standard, and tend to be shared. And it's easy to get data for people in the c-suite of public companies since a lot of that is disclosed. But it's levels in the middle that are hard.
One reason that it may be hard to find is that for higher level managers that the pay may vary widely within the same company, and a lot of the compensation maybe in the form of bonuses and stock that can vary a lot for the same person from year to year.

Afty
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by Afty » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:33 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:46 pm
At one company I worked at, a group of employees had a suspicion that the men were being paid more than the women, and started an internal salary survey on the company intranet. The company allowed it to go forward, after some back and forth with the legal department. What we all learned from the exercise was that software developers don’t know how to write useful surveys.
Under the National Labor Rights Act in the U.S., employees have the right to discuss working conditions, including pay. It would be illegal for a company to restrict such discussion.

dcabler
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by dcabler » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:52 am

MrJones wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:55 pm
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:49 pm
dcabler wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Many companies do share that information with each other, usually through an intermediary firm like Radford. It allows them to benchmark their salaries against other similar companies, but it's an expensive dataset that mere mortals are unlikely to have access to.
Yup. Real answer here is meet a friend that has access to Radford and let them cut a report for you ;)
Heh, yes, I was aware of Radford but I too was wondering how that helps individuals. Kidding aside, I'm curious as to who would typically have access outside the compensation department? Internal recruiters? All of HR?
Yeah, I should have mentioned that idea - the friend-at-another-company route. The other thing that can happen is if you find yourself in the management ranks with a company with some sort of job grade scale, you will often see your direct reports' compa ratio data (their salary relative to mid-point for the job grade). If you're lucky, there are separate management and non-management tracks with some documentation as to which management levels are "equivalent" to non-management levels, so you'll then be able to extrapolate mid-point salaries up to just below VP, sometimes at VP level. As for ranges, most companies I've worked for like to keep compa ratios between 0.85 and 1.15 with the lower ranges usually for "new to position" or "poor performers" and the upper ranges for "outstanding performers, perhaps ready for a promo" or somebody who has peaked out and is more likely to get a one time bonus instead of a raise.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:55 pm

dcabler wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:52 am
Yeah, I should have mentioned that idea - the friend-at-another-company route. The other thing that can happen is if you find yourself in the management ranks with a company with some sort of job grade scale, you will often see your direct reports' compa ratio data (their salary relative to mid-point for the job grade). If you're lucky, there are separate management and non-management tracks with some documentation as to which management levels are "equivalent" to non-management levels, so you'll then be able to extrapolate mid-point salaries up to just below VP, sometimes at VP level. As for ranges, most companies I've worked for like to keep compa ratios between 0.85 and 1.15 with the lower ranges usually for "new to position" or "poor performers" and the upper ranges for "outstanding performers, perhaps ready for a promo" or somebody who has peaked out and is more likely to get a one time bonus instead of a raise.
This is interesting, thanks. Is it typical for any manager - even first line managers - to have access to this type of data for all levels up to VP? Or limited to just the levels of their direct reports? The former seems unlikely (else all managers would leverage it for their own comp), but if true, it reduces the problem to finding a manager-at-any-level-friend at another company.

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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by CppCoder » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:28 pm

MrJones wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:55 pm

This is interesting, thanks. Is it typical for any manager - even first line managers - to have access to this type of data for all levels up to VP? Or limited to just the levels of their direct reports? The former seems unlikely (else all managers would leverage it for their own comp), but if true, it reduces the problem to finding a manager-at-any-level-friend at another company.
Personally, I only have salary data for my direct reports. However, my direct reports span all levels between new hire and executive management (a few steps below VP).

I saw an earlier post suggesting you look up H1B salary info. Here is a link:

http://h1bdata.info/

The data seem accurate, at least compared to salaries I know at my own company. One can debate whether or not H1B salaries accurately reflect the overall salaries at those positions, but that would probably lead quickly to a discussion that would get locked on this forum.

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gunn_show
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by gunn_show » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:41 pm

MrJones wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:31 pm
Right, but how do I get as close to this data as possible? Can I get general ranges for the company? For the industry? Surely others need this data too?
Lot of fair responses here, the ultimate answer is that you really cannot find the end-all be-all numbers you want. Just too many variables (age, tenure, experience, location / geo diff pay, pay bands / quartile bands, diff comp plans, bonus, extra points for MBA or retention, etc) to really have hard numbers.

My biggest question is why you are so aggro to figure this out? To the level you are posting about it. I am in tech, and would of course love more granular numbers (and am going through an offer situation at this exact moment), but I understand as much about the game as I can, negotiate, and move on and make decisions the best I can with what I got. I am curious as to why you are willing to so far to get this compensation data. I typically try to talk to 2-5 industry peers every year to get a grasp of their total comp plan, and that helps me understand where I am and need to be.

good luck in your quest
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

dcabler
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by dcabler » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:36 pm

MrJones wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:55 pm
dcabler wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:52 am
Yeah, I should have mentioned that idea - the friend-at-another-company route. The other thing that can happen is if you find yourself in the management ranks with a company with some sort of job grade scale, you will often see your direct reports' compa ratio data (their salary relative to mid-point for the job grade). If you're lucky, there are separate management and non-management tracks with some documentation as to which management levels are "equivalent" to non-management levels, so you'll then be able to extrapolate mid-point salaries up to just below VP, sometimes at VP level. As for ranges, most companies I've worked for like to keep compa ratios between 0.85 and 1.15 with the lower ranges usually for "new to position" or "poor performers" and the upper ranges for "outstanding performers, perhaps ready for a promo" or somebody who has peaked out and is more likely to get a one time bonus instead of a raise.
This is interesting, thanks. Is it typical for any manager - even first line managers - to have access to this type of data for all levels up to VP? Or limited to just the levels of their direct reports? The former seems unlikely (else all managers would leverage it for their own comp), but if true, it reduces the problem to finding a manager-at-any-level-friend at another company.
No it's not typical. I'm going by my own experience where companies I work at have two tracks: managerial and technical. There is a 1:1 correspondance between the managerial and technical ladders, including salaries. If you're on the managerial track, then you can expect that at some point, you will have people reporting into you on the technical track who are at a higher job grade than you - and you have their ranges and, correspondingly, you'll have the equivalent manager range as well.

Afty
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by Afty » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:31 pm

dcabler wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:36 pm

No it's not typical. I'm going by my own experience where companies I work at have two tracks: managerial and technical. There is a 1:1 correspondance between the managerial and technical ladders, including salaries. If you're on the managerial track, then you can expect that at some point, you will have people reporting into you on the technical track who are at a higher job grade than you - and you have their ranges and, correspondingly, you'll have the equivalent manager range as well.
At the company I work for, managers are not allowed to manage ICs at a higher level than they are. So I only get to see compensation info for people at my level or lower.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:40 am

gunn_show wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:41 pm
My biggest question is why you are so aggro to figure this out? To the level you are posting about it. I am in tech, and would of course love more granular numbers (and am going through an offer situation at this exact moment), but I understand as much about the game as I can, negotiate, and move on and make decisions the best I can with what I got. I am curious as to why you are willing to so far to get this compensation data. I typically try to talk to 2-5 industry peers every year to get a grasp of their total comp plan, and that helps me understand where I am and need to be.
I'm in tech and like numbers and data :). And I'm naturally curious. Same as you and seeing if getting granular numbers easily is a possibility. Not sure why you get the impression of this being aggressive.

It seems like a difficult topic to bring up with industry peers. People seem uncomfortable talking about salaries in general. Are the industry peers you talk to friends? Acquaintances? The same ones every year? How do you broach the topic?
Last edited by MrJones on Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:15 am

dcabler, makes sense, thanks. Afty, thanks for the input too.

Cppcoder, Clevrchico, and others who mentioned the h1b database, I had no idea about this, this was very helpful and interesting, thank you! The downside is salaries don't include stock and bonus which would be a significant component. But there are excellent upsides. Among other things, it's interesting to know the ranges and distributions, and interesting to see this data split up by company.

This is all very interesting to know just for the sake of knowing, thanks all for all the awesome input here. Do post if you have anything new to add.
Last edited by MrJones on Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:58 am

desafinado wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:57 pm
Try the Blind app and the salary sharing threads on the cscareerquestions subreddit.
Wow, great subreddit, tons of info. Thanks a bunch for the recommendation!

Blind app seems like a great concept. But they need verification via work email. I understand this is a requirement for trust, but it's giving up too much privacy IMHO, so I didn't sign up.

dcabler
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by dcabler » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:39 am

Afty wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:31 pm
dcabler wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:36 pm

No it's not typical. I'm going by my own experience where companies I work at have two tracks: managerial and technical. There is a 1:1 correspondance between the managerial and technical ladders, including salaries. If you're on the managerial track, then you can expect that at some point, you will have people reporting into you on the technical track who are at a higher job grade than you - and you have their ranges and, correspondingly, you'll have the equivalent manager range as well.
At the company I work for, managers are not allowed to manage ICs at a higher level than they are. So I only get to see compensation info for people at my level or lower.
That's unfortunate, yet understandable from the company's point of view. I've been in situations several times now where there were IC's under me at a higher job grade than me, earning more. Didn't bother me in the least. At least in my industry:
- you go onto the managerial ladder because you really, really want to manage. Limiting you is that there must be a need for a manager in the first place.
- you go onto the technical ladder due to your technical achievements. However, at some point, you need to start being recognized not only by yoru peers, but by the whole industry and that becomes a limitation.

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gunn_show
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by gunn_show » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:09 pm

MrJones wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:40 am
gunn_show wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:41 pm
My biggest question is why you are so aggro to figure this out? To the level you are posting about it. I am in tech, and would of course love more granular numbers (and am going through an offer situation at this exact moment), but I understand as much about the game as I can, negotiate, and move on and make decisions the best I can with what I got. I am curious as to why you are willing to so far to get this compensation data. I typically try to talk to 2-5 industry peers every year to get a grasp of their total comp plan, and that helps me understand where I am and need to be.
I'm in tech and like numbers and data :). And I'm naturally curious. Same as you and seeing if getting granular numbers easily is a possibility. Not sure why you get the impression of this being aggressive.

It seems like a difficult topic to bring up with industry peers. People seem uncomfortable talking about salaries in general. Are the industry peers you talk to friends? Acquaintances? The same ones every year? How do you broach the topic?
Sure, I appreciate what you're after, but posting a thread and talking about acquiring or even buying lists of comp data is just a bit nuts to me. Ultimately what matters most is your individual organization - what pay grades, pay bands, etc. that you fall into and how to maximize that. No comp data from 100 other companies will help there, and you cannot bring some payscale data to the table and think your boss or employer is going to go outside their normal pay bands "just to match what you found on the internet" .. iMHO. I too love numbers and data, but only when I can take true action with it.

I work at a F100 SV tech firm and probably negotiate as hard as anyone at time of hire / perf reviews / role changes, but you are really only negotiating within the grade / band you are in, or trying to get to the next one. That is a very finite delta of numbers. I am not sure how gathering hundreds or thousands of data points from other firms will help you. Some lady in HR doesn't give a rats rear about all that, unfortunately. She is culling from her own internal spreadsheets. So unless you are negotiating with outside offers from various firms you are unfamiliar with their pay grades and bands and total comp offers, not sure how you plan to extract value here. That is one gap in your posting you have not relayed your plan, and I am genuinely curious to understand more about your end goal.

Industry peers being my network of friends inside my firm (there are many roles / grades / comp plans within large F500 firms, often different levels of comp and pay plans), friends from b-school outside my firm also in tech, and friends at other F1000 level firms that are not necessarily in tech but give me good understanding of how other jobs and industries get paid (eg fintech, consulting, etc). Can help you get creative at various points in your career if you need to negotiate other terms or add-on ways to get paid. Many people hate talking about money, but find the 1-10 that are like you and hungry and aggressive in their careers, and they will open up to discuss it over beers, as they will appreciate hearing about your situation as well. If you're an engineer, might be tougher to get that info out of friends, I am in sales and talking numbers / quotas / comp plans is a bit more common. If you've been in tech long enough you should have a solid network to reach out to. Another way to do it is just simply to interview a lot, or network and talk with a lot of recruiters. I can get rough target comp plans out of a recruiter on the first call typically.
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calmaniac
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by calmaniac » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:58 pm

When I moved from academia into Biotech, I needed a way to understand what salary I should expect. I was lucky to have a friend who is a CEO of a small company and he got me the Radford data for my position (Senior Director). When I was negotiating my salary, I asked my prospective boss how the proposed salary compared to the Radford data and he said it would be benchmarked at the median salary of other small Biotechs. Sure enough, the final salary agreed with the Radford data I had gotten from my friend.

Radford: https://radford.aon.com/

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ladders11
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by ladders11 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:47 pm

Salary com has good data.

Companies use compensation consultants like Mercer, Aon, Towers Watson, Korn Ferry.

They share their salaries with survey providers to get a discount in buying the results (can cost thousands). They can't share with each other directly because its collusion and would gave antitrust issues.

However, market data has limits. You need to have an accurate title and a standard benchmark job. Also, your company may not care about market data and have a budget they can't exceed, or various other key employees underpaid by more than you.

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MrJones
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by MrJones » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:10 am

gunn_show wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:09 pm
I too love numbers and data, but only when I can take true action with it.
Sure, some are like that. Others love to learn how certain things around them work even if there isn't a direct and immediate benefit to themselves. That aside, read on:
gunn_show wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:09 pm
That is one gap in your posting you have not relayed your plan, and I am genuinely curious to understand more about your end goal.
I wanted the focus of this thread to be obtaining comp data and hence left the less relevant extended picture out. Having comprehensive comp data allows one to make very many decisions during the course of a career. How does the industry or a given company play the compensation game, and how does that affect one's strategy? Is it worth shooting for a higher position with more responsibilities? How much to push on periodic negotiations? Is one's company paying others well or might they leave as well? Should one consider moving companies? Is one's time worth spending on interviewing? How much to shoot for when negotiating a new offer at a new employer? How much are peers who are contending for the same resources such as housing, earning? And plenty more.
Last edited by MrJones on Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ge1
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by ge1 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:36 am

Before a recent job change I worked a long time at the same company. Early in my career I had Chief of Staff type roles where I would help the overall manager doing comp, so I had a very good idea about the comp structure in the company across almost all levels.

This is just one company though, so the best way to get market intelligence is to periodically talk to recruiters.

2tall4economy
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by 2tall4economy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:53 am

Through happenstance my jobs in finance in Fortune 500 s have allowed me to see specific and average salaries across large populations in many countries and circumstances.

I always found it interesting so I can appreciate Op interest in seeing the data, but agree with other posters that it’s not too useful.

It’s been my experience (which doesn’t mean it’s the only experience or the correct experience) that negotiating salary is usually a losing game once you already have a job. The more you talk about it the more your management will get annoyed with you and view you differently and I’ve never personally had it work for me anyway. I may just be unlucky or a poor negotiator.

I also don’t know that it affects much for interviewing outside the company either.

It’s also been my experience that the field of work rarely matters. A company pays a manager X regardless of whether they do finance or hr or sales. The only exceptions I’ve seen to this are on-staff medical doctors and some lawyers who make more than average for their responsibility but less than they’d make in professional firms.

Geography can matter somewhat but treatment varies (a company based in the Midwest will offer Midwest salaries to a California hire but there usuallly will be an (smaller than realistic) cost of living adjustment.

Size of company matters a LOT. Fortune 500s pay way way better than midsize and small companies.

Industry of company matters either a lot or not at all. Banking and oil gas are paid crazy amounts. I suspect google and whatnot pay better too but I can’t prove it. I suspect there is more than a little hype around those salaries, especially taking cost of living into account. Everyone else seems to be in the range of same.
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HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:10 am

MrJones wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:58 am
desafinado wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:57 pm
Try the Blind app and the salary sharing threads on the cscareerquestions subreddit.
Wow, great subreddit, tons of info. Thanks a bunch for the recommendation!

Blind app seems like a great concept. But they need verification via work email. I understand this is a requirement for trust, but it's giving up too much privacy IMHO, so I didn't sign up.
You can read Blind without an account, just go to their website.

Afty
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Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

Post by Afty » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:26 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:10 am
MrJones wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:58 am
desafinado wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:57 pm
Try the Blind app and the salary sharing threads on the cscareerquestions subreddit.
Wow, great subreddit, tons of info. Thanks a bunch for the recommendation!

Blind app seems like a great concept. But they need verification via work email. I understand this is a requirement for trust, but it's giving up too much privacy IMHO, so I didn't sign up.
You can read Blind without an account, just go to their website.
As a manager at a large tech company, I suggest you take the numbers on Blind with a grain of salt. The compensation packages I've seen reported there tend to be on the high side. I suspect that the numbers are accurate, but that there is a response bias in that only people with very strong compensation packages actually post their numbers.

The numbers on Glassdoor look more representative to me. Though they don't seem to count RSU grants/vesting as part of total pay.

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