Salary information is one of the deepest secrets of the labor market. However, today many large organizations, management consultancies and websites are conducting salary surveys and coming out with reports on compensation and benefits that helps both employers and employees take a right decision. Such surveys can be online as well as offline (paper pencil ones) and are generally done for the purpose of comparability.
The most valuable information that employees get out of such surveys is whether they are getting their actual worth or not. You can compare your salary with those of others occupying similar positions and equally qualified as you are. Thus, you will get a clear picture about whether you are underpaid or rightly paid by your employer. If you are planning to switch to a different sector you can check out what others are being paid at your level in that particular industry. This also applies if you are planning to relocate to a foreign country. Thus, you can take an informed career decision. Knowing what the industry standard is will help you when you are negotiating your salary with your current employer during the performance appraisal process. Even when you are looking out for a new job it will help you frame a figure in your mind so that you can negotiate well with your future employer.
Salary is perhaps the main criteria of accepting or declining a job offer. So it is important that the employer offers a competitive salary to the candidate. The data obtained from salary surveys helps organizations design and manage their compensation structure so that there is internal consistency and at the same time it is at par with the industry standards. In addition to knowing the market rates employers also get an idea of what its competitors are paying. In the process of negotiating salary with any candidate the concerned HR professional knows exactly to what limit he can stretch. By setting the right compensation package, organizations will have that competitive advantage and employees will be attracted, retained and motivated to work in such a workplace.
There is no doubt that salary surveys are important both for the employee as well as for the employer. But care should be taken so that both individuals and organizations choose the most relevant survey and also assess it correctly. Then only one can get accurate information and make good use of it.