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Salary Range Benchmarking Tips

I've had a number of clients recently ask me about how to figure out the whole salary range game. Here's my thoughts:

1. How can you benchmark where your salary should be?

Personally, I use Glassdoor when I'm trying to determine what a salary range target should be. I search both by company and by title to get an understanding of what the particular corporate pay range is and compare that with averages for roles/titles. I also try to consider location in the mix (I live in Pittsburgh and the pay scale here isn't the same as some of the bigger markets like Philadelphia and NYC). This isn't a perfect methodology, but it's a start.

2. What kind of range should you give in salary negotiations?

Once you've done your research and have an idea about where the market is, think about your own personal situation. What will it take for you to leave your current job? What about PTO and benefits? Use all of this to figure out what your pay range should be. Please, don't low ball yourself! Leave plenty of room for a large raise - especially in this job market.

3. When should you ask a potential employer about pay range?

I recommend not bringing it up until the potential employer asks you what your range is or until you are offered the job. Which really is unfair in some ways - it would be so much smarter for employers to be upfront about what the salary range is. In fact, it's so smart that Colorado is requiring employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings. However, SHRM is reporting that some employers are so against airing this information that they are excluding Colorado applicants from remote roles - this is how much some employers want to keep this information private!

In a perfect world, salary ranges would be an important piece of job postings. But until we get there, conduct some competitive intelligence and think through your requirements before you enter salary negotiations.

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