04/05/14 By Jennifer Brown

SalaryDetermining how much to pay for a position and ultimately an employee is critical to maintaining and growing your business. You need to ensure you are paying enough to attract and retain employees while managing to your budget. So be sure to research the pay for your positions. While you want to ensure you aren’t paying too little, you also want to be sure you aren’t paying too much!

Large corporations often spends tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) purchasing market studies about pay for positions in their industry. For small businesses, spending this type of money on a study often just isn’t in the budget. Thankfully, there are a number of FREE and low cost ways to gather pay data.

• One of my favorite pay resources is the Department of Labor-sponsored website, O*NET Resource Center. This site has average pay information for hundreds of jobs and presents the data based on your chosen state as well as nationally.

Online job boards (e.g., careerbuilder.com, monster.com) can also be

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a great source of compensation information. Run a search on similar positions in your industry to see what other companies are paying for these positions.

• There are online pay range websites such as salary.com and payscale.com. However, my experience has been that some of the data on these websites can be inflated — so be sure to use other pay resources as well to inform your pay decisions.

Many associations offer to their members free or low cost pay surveys for positions in their industry.

• As part of your phone screening process, be sure to ask candidates what they are currently making and what their desired pay is – this is a very easy and quick way to get pay data.

YOUR TURN: What resources do you use to gather pay data? Please reply below.

photo credit Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net