Compensation Benchmarking Practices in Large U.S. Local Governments: Results of a National Survey

Source: Michael Thom and Thom Reilly, Public Personnel Management, OnlineFirst, first published on May 18, 2015
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From the abstract:
Growing competition over human capital has reiterated the importance of strategic practices to maintaining a high-quality public sector workforce. But how often does the public sector study pay and benefits among competitive peers? This study presents the findings of a national survey of human resource professionals regarding compensation benchmarking practices. Just over half of respondents indicated they conducted a benchmarking study within the last decade. A majority said their jurisdiction only compares compensation with other public employers, with a smaller number including both public and private competitors. Salaries were the most frequent topic of concern; fringe benefits and paid leave time were less often compared. Several jurisdictions conducted benchmarking studies for purposes other than compensation; about one quarter gathered data for purely informational purposes and 9% carried out a study in anticipation of labor negotiations. A series of best practices for benchmarking studies is offered in conclusion.

A Better Way to Set Public Pay
Source: Thom Reilly, Governing, Voices of the Governing Institute, June 29, 2015

Too few local governments are taking advantage of a valuable tool: benchmarking compensation among their public- and private-sector peers.