By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
You don’t need BV comp data very often. However, when you need it to attract and retain top talent, you need it. Why can’t you find it?
As part of delivering a report to your clients, you work every day with highly detailed data. Whenever you need something, you know where to get it. Naturally, you would assume that statistically valid data about BV compensation ought to be available somewhere.
It’s not, unfortunately. We thought you deserve to know why, based on our experience conducting BV salary studies.
As a starting point, the participant universe is small. It can’t be a surprise to you that BV/LS is a small world. Therefore, a much higher percentage of participation is required to accumulate a volume of data that will produce statistically reliable analysis. Ethics rules in the compensation studies profession, for example, require a minimum threshold of data in a given category order to publish any data in that category.
Even those who want to participate face a challenge because data input takes time. Delivering statistically valid data starts with the need to gather detailed data about employees. Roughly a dozen questions must be answered for each employee. Pulling this data from various files takes time. Inputting the data into a survey form takes even more. Many (most?) BV practices are like small businesses, without the administrative resources to handle these tasks.
The expense of analysis can push the cost of the final publication beyond what practices might consider being good value, given how infrequently they require the information. Raw, unfiltered comp data does you no good. First, it has to be accurate. That requires confirming and correcting input errors. It also means validating information which may be accurate, but which falls outside expected ranges.
You also need comp data to be analyzed so you can make comparisons for practice size and geography. Moreover, mere averages don’t give you much to go on. The data needs to be arrayed in percentiles so you can make smarter decisions about how you want to compete for talent.
Bottom-line: Statistically reliable BV comp data can be made available. It’s just that the cost (in time, effort and $$$) is beyond what the market will bear.
We would be glad to hear from you on the subject. Direct your questions or comments to JohnB@BorrowmanBaker.com