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Old 19.03.2011, 21:09
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How to benchmark a salary package?

Hi folks,

contrary to what the thread title might suggest, I'm not asking about wages in Switzerland. Rather, I've been made an offer to go back home (local contract, of course) and I've been asked to give them "a number" but I'm not sure where to begin.

My difficulty is not new; I've been away for a while now, and I've no idea what's the going rate for the position, and even if I did, the offer was made based on my education/work experience in Europe and ability to speak german, so I'm not sure how this goes into play. The interviews were conducted in Germany, but the contract will be local.

My question is simply, how would you go about coming up with "a number", and how would you justify it?

Thanks!

-H
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Old 19.03.2011, 21:20
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

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Hi folks,

contrary to what the thread title might suggest, I'm not asking about wages in Switzerland. Rather, I've been made an offer to go back home (local contract, of course) and I've been asked to give them "a number" but I'm not sure where to begin.

My difficulty is not new; I've been away for a while now, and I've no idea what's the going rate for the position, and even if I did, the offer was made based on my education/work experience in Europe and ability to speak german, so I'm not sure how this goes into play. The interviews were conducted in Germany, but the contract will be local.

My question is simply, how would you go about coming up with "a number", and how would you justify it?

Thanks!

-H
If it is the same company, you can tell them this is what you have right now. You give them your current compensation package with every single thing included and you send to the local HR team and wait for their feedback.

From what you give them, they will probably come back to you with a ajustment package which will reflect was is given locally. Because they have their own tools and calculations methods.

If it is a different company, you could use the annual report from PWC which compare domestic purchasing power, average salaries, living cost, etc. of around 100 cities in the world.

That should give you an idea of what you could ask...

Nil
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Old 19.03.2011, 21:38
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

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If it is a different company, you could use the annual report from PWC which compare domestic purchasing power, average salaries, living cost, etc. of around 100 cities in the world.
Excellent tip, thanks
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Old 19.03.2011, 22:03
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

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Excellent tip, thanks
You're welcome!

I look like a smart ass now.... but it is Hubby who told me to tell you that!

If you have any other questions, he might be able to help you. We are in the same process right now but with the same company. We are doing a lot of costs of living research and what will be our budget compared with the salary offered, the ajustment, etc...

Look at this website for cost of living range. It compare the city of your choice with 300 other cities. Very good info indeed!

www.xpatulator.com


Good Luck!
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Old 20.03.2011, 08:55
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

Sorry, I don't know where "home" is for you so I can't make specific suggestions, but if you work in a country that publishes salary information for job adverts, I'd start by looking at the employment section of a local newspaper for similar jobs.

Adjust the market average by whatever multiplier you think is correct to reflect the shortage of language skills etc available in the market. If they're desperate for a German-speaker and have few candidates, you have more leverage.
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Old 20.03.2011, 19:47
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

Depending where home is, I would also have a look at glassdoor.com, where you can explore salaries across the world. Very useful to get a feeling. PWC report is not public, and it is quite expensive to get... if you are willing to pay for that, I suggest Mercer, it is used by most corporations.
I also suggest: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp, http://www.leighthompson.com/books/M...appendix_4.htm, http://www.salary.com/mysalary.asp.

I find a bit strange that they are asking you to come up with a number first... it may be a good idea to ask them for a range. Normally, they should have a grade for the position, that correspond to a specific salary bracket; unless the company is too small to have such a method in place.
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Old 20.03.2011, 20:50
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

Another tip outside of this is what I have used in the past multiple times not to mention that I do negotiations for a living. Don't quote a number and wait for them to give you an all inclusive package number and then add +15 to 20% and start to haggle.

Standard practices in most comp & benefits teams across the world is that they usually have salary bands based on high the role definition fits in the company. Comp and benefit teams will calculate a lower band salary for your work experience etc and education background for that position as a first offer in a majority of cases. You have an ability to negotiate to the middle band salary or up on how hard you will push and how far they are willing to go.

Like I said I negotiate for a living so I push aggressively until I see tell tale signs that I've hit the ceiling with the offer and then decide.

If negotiating or haggling is not your cup of tea then this will prove difficult for you.

All the best.

p.s. the other resources pointed by the other folks are spot on for research and getting your ducks in a row but you will still need to come up with a number at some point which you will need to let them know but some negotiation always helps.
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Old 20.03.2011, 20:56
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

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I look like a smart ass now.... but it is Hubby who told me to tell you that!
oh, you is cheeky, you is! please give your hubby "thanks" on my behalf

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Adjust the market average by whatever multiplier you think is correct to reflect the shortage of language skills etc available in the market. If they're desperate for a German-speaker and have few candidates, you have more leverage.
I guess that's the big question mark for me, how does one come up with a reasonable multiplier? are there even methods for that?

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Depending where home is, I would also have a look at glassdoor.com, where you can explore salaries across the world. Very useful to get a feeling. PWC report is not public, and it is quite expensive to get... if you are willing to pay for that, I suggest Mercer, it is used by most corporations.
I also suggest: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp, http://www.leighthompson.com/books/M...appendix_4.htm, http://www.salary.com/mysalary.asp.

I find a bit strange that they are asking you to come up with a number first... it may be a good idea to ask them for a range. Normally, they should have a grade for the position, that correspond to a specific salary bracket; unless the company is too small to have such a method in place.
Thanks for the info, there's some really useful stuff there!

Is it not part of the "dance" that the employer asks for one's expectations, without (perhaps even ever) revealing their range? If one knew the range, one could easily ask for the upper quartile?

pardon me, if I seem ignorant in these matters, under normal circumstances, I already have some idea (especially if I know someone internally), but in this case of relocation, it's all a bit tentative

PS: PPPs from the Salary/Cost of Living Information Benchmarking Idea thread, offers some insight into relative cost of living.
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Last edited by Hsiang; 21.03.2011 at 00:55. Reason: PS
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Old 21.03.2011, 00:14
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Re: How to benchmark a salary package?

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but I'm not sure where to begin.
-H
My theory on salary negotiations is to give them a number that's vaguely plausible but makes them laugh (no, not the low end).
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