As the job market continues to evolve, the cost of living, salaries and benefits are all rising globally. This quick evolution presents a difficult challenge for hiring managers and HR reps who want to keep up with their local market and what competitors are offering new employees. That’s where salary compensation benchmarking tools can help.

SEE: New employee checklist and default access policy (TechRepublic Premium)

By providing up-to-date data on salary averages for different industries and even specific positions, compensation benchmarking tools can help HR teams compare their salary offers to the market rate to ensure they offer competitive wages. In this guide, learn about some of the best compensation benchmarking tools available today and how they can help your recruitment and hiring efforts.

Best compensation benchmarking tools: Comparison table

A key part of finding the right candidate for any role is offering an attractive salary that works for both the company and the candidate. The best compensation benchmarking tools can help you and your candidates get on the same page regarding salary expectations.

These tools provide data on salaries in your area, considering factors such as experience, cost of living and benefits. You can then adjust the salaries you offer according to your own needs and business goals.

With that knowledge in mind, here are some of the best compensation benchmarking tools:

ToolsEmployer dashboardSalary-comparison report downloadsBenefits informationFree to use
IndeedYesNoYesYes
Salary.comYesYesYesLimited
PayscaleYesYesYes (paid version)Limited
ZipRecruiterYesNoYesLimited
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)NoYesYesYes
SalaryExpertYesYesYesLimited

Indeed

The Indeed logo.
Image: Indeed

Indeed is an online job search engine that allows job seekers to search for jobs posted by employers, create résumés and apply for jobs. It also provides employers with a platform to post job openings and manage recruitment.

In addition, Indeed provides a compensation benchmarking tool that allows employers to view detailed salary insights for informed compensation decisions. With Indeed Salary, employers can compare salaries for specific job roles, locations and company sizes to see how their compensation stacks up to the competition.

The tool allows employers to see how their compensation stacks up against industry averages and national and local salary trends. And job seekers can use the tool to understand what salary they can expect in a certain market or job type.

Key features

  • Salary estimates: Indeed provides an estimate of the average salary for a job title in a given location.
  • Salary comparison metrics: This tool allows users to compare salaries for different locations, job titles and industries.
  • Multi-source data: It includes salary data from multiple sources, including job postings and surveys.
  • Advice for job seekers: Indeed offers salary ranges and salary negotiation advice to users.
  • Salary calculator: Indeed includes a salary calculator, which can help users estimate their market value and negotiate salary offers.
  • Company profiles: Indeed creates company profiles with information on job openings, ratings, and reviews from current and past employees.

Pros

  • Mobile app available for on-the-go access
  • Detailed salary comparisons between different roles in the same industry
  • Updated regularly with new data and job market trends
  • Free to use

Cons

  • No information provided on potential bonuses
  • Data filters can be improved

Pricing

The tool is free to use and provides a detailed look at salary data for job seekers and employers.

Salary.com

The Salary.com logo.
Image: Salary.com

Salary.com is an online resource for salary information and surveys that help employers, employees and job seekers make informed salary decisions. It features salary data from employers, compensation research from Salary.com’s internal database, job listings, career advice and other resources.

Salary.com is an interactive and comprehensive resource for pay data from hundreds of thousands of organizations across the U.S. It allows employers to compare their compensation data against industry and geographic benchmarks.

With Salary.com, employers can access salary surveys, job descriptions and other data to ensure they offer competitive wages and benefits.

Key features

  • Compensation tools: Salary.com provides various compensation tools, including salary surveys, calculators and job descriptions.
  • Employer tools: Employers can access resources such as job postings, salary surveys and salary calculators to help them determine competitive compensation packages.
  • Compensation reports: Salary.com provides comprehensive compensation reports that include salary information, bonuses, benefits and other compensation data.
  • Education resources: Salary.com offers educational resources, such as podcasts, articles and career development tools to help users stay informed about the latest compensation trends.

Pros

  • Access to a comprehensive database of job titles, salaries, benefits and other compensation information
  • Salary database is updated regularly
  • Reporting and analysis of up-to-date market data

Cons

  • The cost of using advanced Salary.com features can get expensive
  • User interface is not super friendly

Pricing

  • Salary calculator: Free
  • Personal salary report: $29.95 to $79.95

Prospective buyers should speak with Salary.com directly for additional pricing information. A 14-day free trial is available.

Payscale

The Payscale logo.
Image: Payscale

Payscale is an AI-powered compensation tool that helps employers and job seekers make informed decisions about salaries. It offers access to salary data on millions of job titles across hundreds of industries, including U.S. and international markets. It also analyzes job titles, pay trends and salary data for specific locations.

With its reports, employers can compare their pay structure to industry averages and adjust as needed. Job seekers can use the data to inform their salary negotiations and compare potential salaries for different job titles. Payscale also includes salary surveys, cost-of-living calculators, job descriptions and employer-specific salary data.

Key features

  • Salary information: Payscale provides salary information to help employees make informed decisions about their careers and compensation. This includes average wages, salary ranges and salary trends.
  • Job search tools: Payscale allows users to search for jobs by salary, location and industry.
  • Career resources: Payscale offers career resources to help users make informed decisions about their career paths. This includes resources for job seekers, career changers and employers.
  • Cost of living calculator: Payscale’s cost of living calculator allows users to compare the cost of living in different cities.
  • Negotiation tips: Payscale provides negotiation tips to help employees maximize their salary.

Pros

  • Compensation scenario builder
  • Custom user profiles based on current job role
  • Comprehensive database of reported data from over 65 million employees

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

Pricing

  • Price a Job tool: Free
  • Payscale suite: Quote available on request

ZipRecruiter

The ZipRecruiter logo.
Image: ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter is a free online salary and compensation comparison tool that allows employers to compare their salaries and compensation packages with industry averages and data from other employers. It includes salary data from over 17 million job postings and 35,000 job titles in various industries.

Employers can filter salary data by job title and location and compare their salary information with the rest of the market. The site also makes it easy to filter through some of the most popular job salaries with categories like trending salaries, top part time salaries and top entry level salaries.

Key features

  • Access to a comprehensive database: ZipRecruiter offers a comprehensive database of over 17 million active job postings, allowing employers and job seekers to compare salaries across different job titles and locations.
  • Customizable benchmarking reports: ZipRecruiter’s customizable benchmarking reports provide employers with a detailed analysis of their current compensation structure and the market rate for their industry.
  • Salary data filtering: ZipRecruiter’s salary data filtering feature allows employers to select specific criteria, such as job title, location and industry, to generate a more specific and accurate report.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • AI matching
  • Proprietary technology that scans millions of résumés, posts jobs to more than 100 job boards and sends relevant job notifications to job seekers

Cons

  • Relatively expensive compared to other recruitment and salary benchmarking software
  • Data filters are basic

Pricing

The basic ZipRecruiter salary comparison tool is free. Pricing information for its paid services is available upon request.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) logo.
Image: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a governmental agency within the U.S. Department of Labor. It is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating labor-related statistical data to the public.

The BLS manages data on various topics, including employment trends, wages and benefits, inflation, productivity, and workplace safety. And it produces reports on special topics such as occupational injuries, job openings and separations, and labor force participation.

Key features

  • Access to comprehensive labor market data: The BLS provides access to the latest labor market data from the U.S. Department of Labor, including employment and unemployment statistics, occupational outlook data, and labor force projections.
  • Interactive data visualizations: The BLS provides easy-to-use visualizations, allowing users to explore and compare data quickly.
  • Jobs and wages database: The BLS provides access to a comprehensive database of job titles and corresponding wages, enabling users to compare wages across occupations and industries quickly.
  • Industry-specific data: The BLS provides industry-specific data, allowing users to compare wages within a specific industry easily.

Pros

  • Robust data filters
  • Downloadable reports
  • Comprehensive database

Cons

  • Interface could be improved
  • Steep learning curve

Pricing

This tool is free to use with no limits.

SalaryExpert

The SalaryExpert logo.
Image: SalaryExpert

SalaryExpert is a salary and compensation data platform that provides salary reports, cost of living comparisons and salary survey data. It acts as a comprehensive resource for employers and job seekers to compare salaries and plan their career paths.

The tool offers salary analysis tools, industry trends and job market insights to users. SalaryExpert allows users to access salary data for various jobs and locations and compare salaries among different industries and regions.

Key features

  • User-defined regions: Use user-defined regions to get average pay rates for different locations.
  • Detailed labor cost information: SalaryExpert covers cost of labor and cost of living differentials as well as minimum wage and FLSA alerts.
  • Import/export: Import job data and export customized salary reports.
  • Extensive databases: It offers compensation databases with over 11,000 job titles, 1,100 industries and 8,500 locations.

Pros

  • Gathers data from three sources
  • Conducts advanced analytics
  • Provides data for executive pay

Cons

  • Cost of living data for cities outside the U.S. is limited

Pricing

This is a quote-based tool. Potential buyers should contact the provider for a custom price.

What are compensation benchmarking tools?

Compensation benchmarking tools are software applications that enable employers to compare their compensation practices with those of other organizations in their industry or geographic area. Combined with HR analytics software, benchmarking tools can be used to identify areas of opportunity and to develop a comprehensive, data-driven compensation strategy.

SEE: What does ‘data-driven’ really mean? (TechRepublic)

Salary benchmarking tools provide a comprehensive view of the market, allowing employers to assess their competitiveness and decide how best to attract and retain top talent. They typically include salary and bonus information, benefits packages, pay structures, job descriptions and other factors. These tools can be used to identify compensation trends, assess the current market and develop strategies to remain competitive.

Benefits of using compensation benchmarking tools

Optimized talent acquisition

Compensation benchmarking tools can provide data to help organizations identify areas where they need to invest more to attract top talent. This data can inform decisions about how to structure compensation packages to recruit quality employees.

Improved employee retention

Compensation benchmarking tools can be used to develop competitive pay practices, ensuring an organization’s salaries remain competitive and attractive to current and potential employees. By utilizing compensation benchmarking tools, organizations can develop competitive salaries and benefits structures to retain their top talent.

Increased employee satisfaction

Employees are more likely to feel satisfied and motivated when they believe they are receiving competitive wages and benefits. Compensation benchmarking tools can be used to identify and correct any pay disparities. They also offer a level of salary transparency that a growing segment of employees and job seekers want to see from employers.

Better pay transparency

These tools enable organizations to create and maintain transparent and equitable compensation structures by providing a clear view of the external market for each job. This can help reduce pay inequities and ensure employees are compensated fairly. Further, pay transparency often builds trust between employees and management, improving overall morale and productivity.

More equitable compensation structures

Compensation benchmarking tools can identify and address any pay disparities within an organization, helping to ensure all employees are fairly compensated regardless of gender, race or other protected characteristics.

Compliance with government regulations

Compensation benchmarking tools can help organizations confirm their pay practices comply with applicable government regulations. This can help employers avoid costly penalties or fines that might be imposed for non-compliance.

Using compensation benchmarking in a competitive market

Job market, role requirements and job seeker expectations continue to evolve, particularly in fast-moving industries like B2B and B2C technology. If your HR team is having trouble keeping up with all of these changes, compensation benchmarking tools can supplement their work with the most recent data on salaries in your industry. Knowing the average salary for a given role can help you adjust your offer to remain competitive.

Read next: The best applicant tracking systems (TechRepublic)

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