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06/26/2014

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Hi Jim,
Nice post. Having managed comp surveys early in my career the data behind the curtain is interesting.

If you have an executive that does not understand how the math works and is not willing to spend the money to have the survey vendor create a special cut of data than all you can do is create an educated swag. Your post gives everyone a better perspective on how to do it.

Thanks, Trevor. Hope the tips prove helpful, because we really need to know a bit about survey statistics to respond effectively to some compensation challenges.

Good to pass on the details. Even if CEOs aren't usually interested in details it's good to have them just in case.

The only time the CEO will ask for a detailed explanation of some issue is when you don't have it available. Isn't that one of Murphy's Laws, Jacque?

For the same reason, when I created court expert witness testimony repots, I always prepared for the toughest questions I could think of, realizing that the opposing expert was likely smarter than I was. If a challenge occurred to me, a smarter person surely would raise it, too.

All of this assumes that compensation is a science. i submit that it is at least as much an art.

Hi Jim,

Excellent piece.

I am sure many readers would find it helpful to see some data curves for different positions. It often seems like many non-comp people believe that all positions result in either a standard bell curve or some sort of robotic pyramid progression.

Does ERI have some example of data curves for a variety of positions?

When I need to calculate a position between known points, say Median and Q3, I call it "virtual percentile" to highlight it is not coming directly from the survey.

Just recently I prepared a look for examining and measuring for specific skills while positioning relative to the CR or to X% of the range. Following that process then adjusted the quartile payments to recognize the separate group(s) based on the targeted "rate" or position in range.

Jim, as usual, your comments are "spot on".

One option for those wanting to use the 60th %ile of the market is to request the 3rd party survey to provide it. This is an option in at least one major survey purveyor that caters to the high tech community.

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