Compensation Benchmarks & Plans

Struggling to recruit and retain talent? Our data-driven tools and services ensure your compensation practices are driving high performance instead of driving people out the door.

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How Competitive Is Your Comp?

Money isn't everything. But if your compensation practices aren't keeping up, you'll quickly find your organization falling behind. Make sure you're on the winning side of the war for talent.

Compensation Benchmarking

Is your position leading or lagging the rest of the labor market? Our compensation benchmarking reports will show you exactly where your role stands.

And our compensation experts will walk you through each data point, so you know how to best attract and retain the best in today's talent pool.

Why is comp benchmarking important?

A solid understanding of a position's external value is incredibly valuable for:

  • Attracting the right candidates
  • Determining promotions
  • Rooting out internal equity issues
  • Setting a general compensation budget
  • Improving retention

What does a comp benchmark include?

With each compensation benchmark project, we:

  • Review your roles and job descriptions to identify compensable factors and prepare for accurate job matching in the marketplace.
  • Conduct position benchmarking of positions leveraging our comprehensive compensation database, including leading market data surveys.
  • Provide you a report outlining the external value of the positions surveyed.
  • Walk you through how to establish a midpoint for this position within your organization’s salary administration system (if applicable).

Why not rely on my industry's salary survey?

Ever groan when an employee uses a Glassdoor or LinkedIn salary report to justify a pay increase?

In many ways, industry or membership organizations' compensation benchmark reports are the same.

Their sample sizes are often small and self-reported, which can lead to outliers skewing results.

They are also typically industry and/or geographically-specific. If a position could attract applicants outside your region or from other industries, they'll only provide you insights into a small fraction of the labor market in which you are truly competing.

We use a leading provider of compensation analysis software. Their reports pull from over 2,000 surveys, covering 156 unique industries and sub-industries.

What tools do you use?

We use a leading provider of compensation analysis software. The proprietary database pulls from over 2,000 surveys, covering 156 unique industries and sub-industries, and includes compensation market ranges for more than 5,000 positions.

Its data is developed by a team of compensation professionals and data scientists using commercially available, reputable compensation surveys, each of which complies with generally accepted principles and practices of WorldatWork and U.S. Department of Justice compensation survey standards.

Compensation Philosophy & Plans

Do you have a consistent way of strategically and thoughtfully compensating employees across your organization?

Our compensation experts will work with you and your executive team to develop a program that supports your strategic plan and business goals.

Why is a compensation plan important?

Every company should strive to understand how best to compensate its employees thoughtfully and strategically. A formal compensation plan is a vital leadership tool that will help guide decisions around pay increases, budgeting, professional development investments, benefit programs, and organizational structure.

They also play a vital role in:

  • Ensuring equitable practices
  • Improving attraction and retention
  • Addressing disengagement and productivity issues

What does a compensation plan include?

With every compensation plan project, we:

  • Consult with you and your executive team to set a compensation philosophy that supports your organization's strategic plan.
  • Review roles and job descriptions, identify compensable factors, and prepare for accurate job matching in the marketplace.
  • Benchmark your current positions using our comprehensive compensation database, including leading market data surveys.
  • Establish salary ranges and assign roles to ranges.
  • Conduct compa-ratio analysis to determine the placement of roles relative to pay range midpoints.
  • Review position placements, identify internal pay equity or compression concerns, and create strategies for dealing with out-of-range salaries.
  • Set a compensation policy to guide pay/salary administration moving forward.

What is a compensation philosophy?

A compensation philosophy is a formal statement documenting your organization's approach to employee compensation. It:

  • Defines your competitive market position in relation to base pay, variable compensation, and benefit opportunities.
  • Explains the "why" behind employee pay and creates a framework for consistency — making it a powerful tool for attracting, retaining, and motivating employees.
  • Increases organizational transparency. When your managers can easily explain your pay philosophy, compensation conversations become much easier and more equitable.

A well-designed compensation philosophy supports your organization's strategic plan and initiatives, business goals, competitive outlook, operating objectives, and compensation and total reward strategies.

What is a compa-ratio analysis?

Short for "comparison ratio" a comp-ratio is a way for assessing the competitiveness of an employee's pay level.

We calculate it by comparing an employee's current compensation to the position's market average, giving you insight into whether their pay is above, below, or spot on with the rest of the market.

Understanding an incumbent's compa-ratio can help you better attract and retain talent, as well as evaluate internal equity. Compa-ratio is evaluated based on current incumbent pay (or an average thereof) compared to a range's midpoint.

What Sets Our Compensation Services Apart?


Every organization and position is unique. We benchmark against responsibilities, not titles.


The war for talent crosses sectors. We can help you stay competitive across all fronts. 


Our experts only use top commercially available, reputable sources.

Results In Action

Impact stories

City upgrades human relations coordinator role to director

"The city of Holland’s human relations coordinator, Esther Fifelski, will soon have a new job title and a pay raise to go with it .... A wage study of all non-union city positions by Grand Rapids-based human resources firm HR Collaborative came back confirming the recommendation to upgrade the human relations coordinator job title and compensation."

Holland Sentinel

What our clients say

Laura Zaloga, Sr HR Generalist, Natural Choice Foods

If you have any HR consulting needs, HR Collaborative is a wonderful resource! I recently worked with HRC on a compensation planning project for my company and Lisa was great to work with!

She was very detailed in her research and when presenting us with the information, and also answered questions regarding the software and tools she used in the process. I especially appreciate how open she was/is to sharing her knowledge. Highly recommend working with the team at HRC!

Ready to connect?

Reach out to us today, and let's start collaborating!