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December 8, 2016
May 9, 2017

How to Stay Competitive by Paying a Fair Wage

Sheila Grosdidier

In today’s competitive market, how do you know if you are offering a fair wage for any given position? Are you having to offer increased wages to attract the quality of candidates you desire? Let’s take a quick look at some tools that can help you evaluate the wages you are currently providing and determine wages for new recruits.

When considering what a fair wage would be, we need to consider what other veterinary clinics in our area offer for similar positions; we also need to consider how much the employee will cost the clinic in comparison to revenue generation.

When looking for a job, candidates are extremely likely to compare offers. They will consider the pay and benefits offered, the working environment, the personnel, and a host of other factors. Using payscale.com, glassdoor.com, and salary.com, we can better understand the appropriate wage in our area and keep ourselves competitively aligned.

We also want to make sure we consider the cost of the employee – obtaining a range is generally sufficient. You need to consider the cost of recruiting (less for hourly employees, more for salaried veterinarians) as well as the cost of benefits offered. The US Bureau for Labor Statistics is a good source of information in this area.

Finally, when determining compensation, it is essential to consider the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits employers from offering different wages to men and women for the same position. 

When you are determining compensation, you are finessing the delicate balance of the employee’s value to cost and positioning compensation within the industry standard to attain the right talent for your practice.

Below are several resources to help you achieve that balance:

  1. Payscale.com: PayScale, Inc. or payscale.com is an online salary, benefits and compensation information company, which launched its service on January 1, 2002. It was founded by Joe Giordano, a former Microsoft and drugstore.com manager, and John Gaffney. On this site you can research and compare average salaries in your area to match an exact job profile.
    PayScale also includes information regarding benefits offered for similar positions in similar sized businesses in your area. 

  2. Glassdoor.com:  Glassdoor is a recruiting site that has a database of benefits offered, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, and company reviews. The information obtained on this site is shared entirely by company employees. Glassdoor is headquartered in Mill Valley, California, and was founded by Robert Hohman, Rich Barton and Tim Besse in 2007.

  3. Salary.com: Salary.com was launched by Kent Plunkett with the vision to reinvent how employers and employees access compensation data via the web. They aim to use technology to provide data and software products to provide answers to common compensation questions. They use Certified Compensation Professionals (CCPs) to create compensation products that are used in businesses to leverage best hiring practices. 

  4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics: The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides employment cost trends, producing quarterly indexes measuring employer costs for employee compensation (ECEC),  the employment cost index (ECI), and the changes over time in labor costs – important items to consider when thinking of offering higher wages. It also provides information about average raises provided.

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