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Hitting the salary sweet spot is a challenge. You should be able to pay your employees at a competitive rate and still offer company perks.

Hitting the salary sweet spot is a challenge. You want to pay your employees enough to attract and retain great talent, but you don't want to pay too much more than the rest of the market.

Here are some tips to determine what the typical salary ranges are and how to build a workplace that has advantages other than just a hefty salary.

Check the Competition

You can start your search with Glassdoor, a website that posts job listings, company information and employer reviews. Glassdoor is also a great resource for employers and employees to submit information about their salaries. You can use this information to help tailor your offer based on what other people are getting paid for similar job titles based in your area and industry.

Alternatively, a lot of trade organizations have salary information for their members because that's a way of advancing a particular industry or profession. Consider calling your public library's reference librarian. It may seem old-fashioned, but reference librarians are very good at finding specific facts and have access to databases that you may not.

Utilize Other Resources

If you're listing your job opening at a college placement office, consider asking the staff there for insight into what recent graduates expect to make. While you don't need to set your salary based on what new graduates want, it's still important to consider — especially if you're offering entry-level positions.

Another source of salary information the federal government's pay scale. Federal employees have standardized job classifications with salaries that vary with the cost of living in each community. This is especially useful if your business is in a less-populated area.

Researching salaries will give you a good idea of what someone expects to make for a given position. This can help you budget and negotiate for your new employee, but it's only the first step. What can you offer other than salary? Paid time off, flexible schedules, a relaxed work environment, a shorter commute or the opportunity for continued education can make up for a lower salary.

The dollars aren't the only reason your employees come to the office. Most want to surround themselves with people who respect them and their work. Figuring out your benefits and office culture as an employer can help you design a compensation package that you can afford and that your workers appreciate.


This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.

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