Tag Archives: salary surveys

Africa Compensation and Benefits Event – Feb 7th

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Are you interested in Compensation and Benefits in Africa?  If you are nearby to Johannesburg, you should plan to attend the Employer Roundtable sponsored by Birches Group, Emergence Growth and Aon Hewitt on February 7, 2013.

The event will be held at Aon Hewitt South Africa offices in Sandton.  You must register in order to attend.  Click here for more information and to reserve your seat.

I look forward to meeting you!

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Salary Scales – Why Can’t We Have Just One?

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Organizations operating in dozens of international locations have a lot of work to do to maintain separate salary scales in each country. Every once in a while a client suggests they are considering using just one scale for all their countries globally, or in a region. Then they ask me what I think. I tell them it’s a bad idea.

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Two Surveys Are Better Than One

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

If you work in international HR, you know how important market data is for the management of your international operations.  Finding reliable data in all of your countries is undoubtedly a challenge.  Each country has different survey suppliers, different employers participating in the surveys, and variable levels of quality.  So naturally, when you find a survey you trust, the tendency is to stick with it.  But is one survey enough?  I don’t think so.

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Salary Survey Insanity in Small Markets – Are You Looking for the Wrong Data?

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Benchmarking compensation in smaller countries is challenging.  The usual approaches often do not work well, mostly because the market is small!  If the country is developing (most small ones are), then economic and social instability and immature labor market conditions contribute to the problem, too.

Some of the most common problems expressed by our clients include:

  • Not enough employers in my sector
  • Insufficient job matches for my company
  • Volatile results from year to year
  • Gaps in coverage, with a lack of information for specific levels

There are lots more, but you get the idea.

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Birches Group, Aon Hewitt, Announce Partnership

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

I am delighted to announce today an exciting new partnership between Aon Hewitt and Birches Group.  Under the partnership, Aon Hewitt will make Birches Group surveys in developing country markets available to their clients, expanding their survey coverage to over 170 countries globally.

The two firms will also collaborate closely on consulting projects and promotional activities.

Here is a link to the full Press Release.

Creating Salary Scales in Developing Countries

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Many companies use salary scales together with salary grades to manage their compensation programs globally. There are many advantages to doing so, including cost management, positive employee relations and transparency which enables managers to be directly accountable for pay decisions.

In developing markets, creating salary scales is more challenging than in countries with more stable economic conditions. Developing country markets are volatile and often fluctuate from year to year based on a combination of factors. Cost of labor (supply and demand), tax and labor law changes, general economic conditions (such as inflation), business growth and expansion,  as well as unplanned events such as natural disasters, civil unrest and the like are all in the mix.

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Square Peg in a Round Hole: Balancing the Global Salary Budget

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Managing salary budgets on a global basis is a real challenge.  In some companies, the process is often dictated by the corporate finance department, which establishes the amount of growth in the budget “salary line” which is acceptable for the following budget year, say 3%.  That’s 3% in the currency used for budgeting, usually the headquarters country currency.

So how do compensation professionals make the global salary budget “come in at 3%?”  It’s kind of like fitting a square peg in a round hole.

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Special Announcement from Birches Group and Emergence Growth

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

This post is a bit of a departure from our normal content, which usually focuses on the “how-to” of international human resources management.  Today we are making an exception to bring you some exciting news.

This week, my company, Birches Group LLC entered into an agreement with Emergence Growth, led by another one of our authors here, Yendor Felgate, to work together to expand our customer base in Africa.  Emergence will become the exclusive agent for our compensation and benefits surveys in Africa, focused on private sector companies that operate across multiple countries.

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Benchmarking Regional Roles – What Works?

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

More and more companies are consolidating operations into regional centers, using a base in one country to manage businesses in multiple markets. This makes good sense for several reasons:

  • Efficiency - regional offices eliminate duplicate resources and allow organizations to focus on customer-facing positions in smaller markets.
  • Expansion - a regional approach allows for gradual expansion into new markets, permitting “testing of the waters” before entering a market.
  • Local knowledge and expertise – staff in a regional center are usually familiar with more than one of the markets in the region, so can often help bridge market, language and cultural differences.

So regional offices sound like a great model for many companies. But how does a regional role impact compensation? This is a subject of considerable debate amongst compensation professionals. Continue reading

Competitive? It’s All Relative.

Author:
Jacque Vilet – Vilet International

With globalization comes added complexity for Human Resources.

Multi-national companies often have a well-documented compensation policy that outlines the specifics of their competitive market positioning.  But should there be one market position across the entire global operations of the company?  I don’t think so.

Let’s explore the realities.  Assume, for example, that the company decides on the 50th percentile (median) as their desired a market position.  Here are the problems with this approach:

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