Category Archives: Compensation

Postings and discussions about compensation topics

Africa Compensation and Benefits Event – Feb 7th

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?

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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Excel Resources for Compensation Professionals

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Calling all compensation professionals!  OK, some of you prefer the term “comp geek” but either way, I want to share a great resource.

Recently, I discovered a great new website called XLCalibre.  It’s hosted by a chap in the north of England, who prefers to keep his identity a secret for now. I can confirm, however, that the author is male, hence I shall continue to use the male gender for references to him. Continue reading

Two Surveys Are Better Than One

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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Maxi-Devaluation in Malawi – HR Response

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

One of the most challenging situations that compensation professionals face is how to respond to unexpected or unusual external events such as maxi-devaluation, civil unrest, or natural disasters.

Flag of Malawi

On Monday May 7, the new government of Malawi agreed to the demands of the IMF and other donors, and floated the Kwacha, resulting in a 47% devaluation versus the US dollar. The new exchange rate, 246.26 Kwacha per US Dollar as of May 13, is fairly close to the parallel rate that has been in effect for the last several months, so in many ways, this move just makes official a rate that has been operational already in many parts of the economy. Continue reading

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

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

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.

International HR Forum Best of 2011

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

As we reflect back on the 2011 year just completed, we have compiled a list of the most popular posts on the site during the past year.  Each of the posts listed below had more than 1,000 views during 2011.  If you did not have a chance to view these posts when they were first published, here’s a great opportunity to see what you missed.

Why Culture is Important in International Business
Ten Steps For Building A Salary Structure
International Employment Law “Quick Facts”: Brazil
How Top Companies Manage Talent Development
The Way To Identify Your Future Leaders (Part 1)
International Employment Law “Quick Facts”: India
Global Salary Grades or Global Salary Structure?
Global HR Issues That Keep Executives Up at Night – Part 1
International Annual Leave Rules — Or I Want to Live in Brazil!
The Way to Identify your Future Leaders – Part 2
Square Peg in a Round Hole: Balancing the Global Salary Budget
Base Salary – Not So Basic!
Reverse Culture Shock (or Why Do I Hate Being Back Home?)
Creating High Performance Teams
From Training Departments to a Company Academy Part 1

We have much to look forward to as we enter 2012. We will be adding some new regular contributors to the site, and will be revamping the entire site over the next few months. We appreciate your support and encourage you to add your comments on how we can make the site even more valuable for you. Also, let us have your suggestions for future posts and other ideas you think would be helpful in advancing the site as a resource for international human resources professionals.  Finally, if you are interested in submitting a post, we welcome your participation.  Please contact me to discuss your interest.

Ten Questions HR Should Ask When Your Company Expands Internationally

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Companies are increasing the pace of international expansion, constantly seeking new opportunities and new markets.  One of the most commonly asked questions through our Ask the Experts feature and on other sites is how to prepare, from a human resources perspective, for international expansion.  It might be opening a new office, or just hiring one or two sales reps, but either way, there’s work to do.  If your company is expanding to a new country, what questions should you ask (and answer) as an international HR expert to help prepare your firm?

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Job Evaluation: Why Bother?

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Recently on LinkedIn there was a somewhat heated and lengthy debate about job evaluation.  Many were questioning why companies should even bother with such an “archaic” exercise, while taking pot shots at a well-known job evaluation methodology that shall remain nameless (but begins with the letter H).  Some folks proclaimed market pricing was the solution to everything and rendered job evaluation a pointless and unnecessary process for a modern company.   Continue reading