4 Ways to Use Compensation Data

to Find and Win Talent

Published on May 28, 2021

Updated on Aug 22, 2023

Written by Haley Yamane Melhart

make the right hire

Updated August 22, 2023

The higher the salary, the more attractive the offer, right? If only it were that easy. The reality is that most employers can’t simply throw more money into an offer when trying to attract talent. However, thanks to compensation data, that doesn’t mean they’re out of luck! Lightcast compensation data helps you carve a clearer, more efficient path toward making the right hire.

Let’s break down four ways to use compensation data in your talent strategy:

  1. Understand pay rates across your entire market

  2. See what specific competitors are offering

  3. Track wage trends over time for your roles

  4. Benchmark talent availability at certain price points

Understand pay rates across your entire market

When you know what the market is paying for the talent you’re pursuing, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Let’s say you need to hire office administrative/support workers for a client in the greater Portland, Oregon area. The offer includes a $45K salary and requires 5+ years of experience.

By looking at the market pay rates (see chart below), you can understand how much of the available talent might be interested (or even qualified) for that job offer. In this case, a $45K offer is just above the median pay rate. Sounds like a reasonable offer, but on the other hand, that means you’re only able to attract half of the total market (and the bottom half at that).

compensation by experience

We can also see that, by requiring 5+ years of experience, the employer excludes a huge chunk of the total available talent. And with the war for talent as fierce as it is, a better strategy for the employer would be to remove the experience requirement altogether in order to cast the widest possible net.

See what specific competitors are offering

Lightcast compensation data reveals which competing companies are posting for the same jobs as you and how much they’re claiming to pay for them. This narrows down your research from the market-level to the company-level—giving you more specific insights for salary benchmarking.

Let’s say, on your hunt for admin professionals, you decide to see how the US as a whole is advertising to this group. From that search you find that your offer of $45,000 is well above the median salary for this role. You also see that the median salary is especially low in the Houston-Austin area. If you have flexibility with where you hire from, you might have the most success if you target these specific markets.

advertised salary for administrative support workers

Track wage trends over time for your roles

Looking at salary data trends over time can also help you make informed decisions about the wages you should offer. If you set a wage offer for admin postings using unbiased data, how do you know that offer is still competitive one year or even six months later? That’s where advertised wage data helps.

Advertised wages is what employers are claiming to pay for specific job postings. This data can help you determine if you’re keeping up or way behind the compensation trends taking place. If your offer is above the trend at any given time, it’s likely going to attract more candidates.

advertised wage trend admin support

Benchmark talent availability at certain price points

You can also use compensation data to see how much of the total talent pool is available at specific price points. You want your posting to attract as many candidates as possible, so you ought to know how far each dollar in your offer will stretch.

workers available at 45K wage

For Portland, a wage of $45K for an administrative support role only unlocks the bottom half of the market. Using this information, you can decide if you should push the hiring manager for additional dollars, or adjust expectations (and your strategy) for how difficult it might be to fill this role.

Let compensation data help lighten the load

It can be stressful not knowing whether an offer is too high or low. The wage offer you put out there can make or break the number of people it reaches, how attractive it is, and the likelihood of filling the position efficiently. That’s exactly why using compensation data in your process is so important: it takes out the guesswork. So no matter what your strategy is for finding talent, compensation data can help.

Fill out the form below to chat with one of our data experts about how you can use compensation data for your specific hiring needs.