Public-Sector Employers Are Using Compensation Surveys Better to be Smarter

Compensation for the public sector is getting trickier. For many years, the public sector paid less but provided excellent retirement benefits to compensate. So good that many Baby Boomers who spent their careers in the public sector are now retiring comfortably and with no interest in prolonging their employment. This is leaving a major talent gap, which is not necessarily being filled by employees who want to spend their careers in the public sector. Moreover, a significant number of public-sector employers are finding their employees leaving for other industries.

There are many ways of approaching this issue. One approach involves understanding the interplay between pay and benefits when determining total compensation. Employers Council publishes a host of surveys each year to help you with this.

Employers Council surveys fall into two broad categories: benchmark surveys, which include positions that any employer has, such as finance or accounting, and industry surveys, which are the jobs in specific industries, such as hospitality or public-sector positions. Employers Council conducts over 30 industry surveys.

While you may think our public-sector survey will be the most helpful, there are other considerations. First, we survey public-sector positions (those unique to the public sector) in Colorado and Wyoming, because this is where the majority of our members in the public sector are located. If you are located in another state, you would want to convert those wages to your geographic region. To do this, either call our survey staff or use the conversion information in the Benchmark Survey.

This Benchmark Survey is a compensation survey public-sector employers should review, because it has jobs common to all employers, and this can help provide an assessment of the competition in all industries for positions like receptionists. When determining which other industry surveys to review, consider the job and the area. If you have an employee who has strong skills in information technology or financial services, you may want to review that survey to determine what is common in the industry. You may be in a locale that has a large number of employees in an industry such as hospitality if you are in a tourist area, or mining if you are close to mining employers.

When you look at the survey information, you will notice that it indicates what the average pay is in the lowest to highest quartile. If you find your pay isn’t matching pay at the higher quartile, you can determine if there are other benefits you can offer that might incent applicants. Of course, we have surveys that provide that information, and we are happy to help you as you consider methods to bring the best employees to your organization.