Have you ever eaten at a restaurant with stellar Yelp reviews only to be disappointed by the meal? Or read a book you loved and then saw it averaged only minimal stars on Amazon? Online salary estimates and total compensation ranges are similar: They can be ballpark figures but likely are inaccurate.
Too often, we see candidates flock to the internet for salary information without understanding that the numbers they find are an amalgamation of vast variations on a role or title. Companies have deeper data and much more to consider before tendering an offer. Companies tailor specific offers to specific candidates – hopefully you – and that’s a good thing.
Why don’t we trust online salary ranges? Several examples compare and contrast recent hires we placed, with the same title, same industry, similar sizes and in the same city. Also, each salary was perfect for each job. Why do we think they were each the correct salaries? Here’s a quick breakdown.
$420,000 base plus a 50%-200% bonus
$130,000 base plus a 30% bonus
$220,000 base plus a 50%-70% bonus
$130,000 base plus 30% bonus
$140,000 base plus a 25% bonus
$350,000 base plus a 30%-35% bonus
Everyone loves to search their own job’s salary ranges online and see that really high “shoot -for-the-stars” salary number that makes our eyes pop and heart skip a beat. The reality is, a similar online salary search can likely support lower estimates. Whether you are looking for a new job or are an employer working to source a position, pay more attention to the realities of the current job market and less to the job title when formulating salary expectations.
Peter Keseric and Monica Vida are managing consultants at Korn Ferry Futurestep.
Photo credit: Murat Giray Kaya/GettyImages