PayScale Releases 2011 Compensation Survey

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Results Indicate Economic Recovery Beginning To Take Hold

Retaining and attracting good talent are the two chief compensation objectives for 2011 (as they were in 2010). Less than 10 percent of respondents feel employee retention will be of little or no concern in 2011

PayScale, Inc., the world's largest real-time salary data provider, today announced its 2011 Compensation Practices Survey.

According to the survey results, companies are optimistic about their potential for success heading into 2011. About two-thirds of employers think their company's financial performance will improve in 2011 and most plan on increasing salaries at some point in the year.

The 2011 Compensation Practices Survey was conducted in December of 2010. PayScale's survey results were reviewed several ways, with comparisons done between small companies (<100 employees), medium-sized companies (100-1,500 employees) and large companies (1,500+ employees), as well as a closer analysis of three major industries: healthcare, manufacturing and not-for-profit.

"There is a growing confidence about the economic recovery and the evidence rests with the majority of respondents' (67%) plan to make performance-based pay increases in 2011. In another change from last year, over 50 percent of companies say they expect their workforce to stay approximately the same in 2011, while about one-third plan to increase their workforce" said Mike Metzger, Chief Executive Office at PayScale. "Retaining and attracting good talent are the two chief compensation objectives for 2011 (as they were in 2010). Less than 10 percent of respondents feel employee retention will be of little or no concern in 2011," said Metzger.

Survey highlights include:

Over 70 percent of respondents say their organization size stayed the same or increased in 2010, compared to 2009 when over 40 percent of respondents said that their organization size decreased.

In 2010, the top reason for employees leaving an organization was personal reasons (marriage, family, medical, etc.) (53%), compared to 2009 when poor performance (termination) was the top reason (46%).

The majority of respondents (39%) felt employee retention was a top concern in 2010 and also felt employee retention would continue to be a top concern in 2011 (49%).

Over 50 percent of large companies decreased their organization size in 2009, while only 20 percent did so in 2010.

Companies in manufacturing were most likely to increase their organization's size in 2010. In 2009, over 60 percent of manufacturing respondents said their organization size decreased, while in 2010 only 19 percent said this.

In both 2009 and 2010, the majority of respondents chose the CEO as the one responsible for setting compensation at their company: 50.5% in 2009 and 52.2% in 2010.

Salary ranges per job group are common, but varying the target market percentile per job group is not.

The most important compensation objective guiding respondents' 2010 decisions for all company sizes was "Retaining Top Employees."

Regardless of company size, organizations are likely to conduct market and compensation analyses throughout the year: 32% of small and medium sized companies and 44% of large companies.

The majority of companies plan to reward and retain high-performing employees through a merit-based pay plan (50%). The next most common approach is to provide learning and developmental opportunities (45%).

"Employers are generally optimistic about their potential for business success in 2011, with small companies leading the pack. Seventy percent of respondents at small companies think their financial performance will improve in 2011, compared to 65 percent of medium-sized companies and 60 percent of large companies," added Metzger.
About PayScale ( is the leading online provider of employee compensation data. With the world's largest database of individual compensation profiles, PayScale provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers. PayScale's patent-pending, real-time profiling technology collects and indexes employee pay attributes worldwide and makes this compensation data available through its online salary tools and salary benchmarking reports. PayScale was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Seattle. For more information, visit:; Follow us on Twitter:


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