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What Do Compensation Managers Do?

Job Descriptions September 30, 2013

Compensation managers are the ones responsible for researching a company’s payroll and pay systems. This job description not only implies research but also setting up a pay system and sustaining it.

A great part of the job is ensuring that employers are being paid according to competitive industry rates, while also ensuring the payments are equitable to maintain company profit and loss.

Goals and Perks of Managing

If you were to work in a large company as a compensation manager you might have the option or duty to work in a specific field, such as market pay studies or job classification. A compensation manager could work with staff specialists, and also take surveys to learn more about salary expectations and how rates compare with other companies in the same industry. They may also form working relationships with online sites that specialize in market comparisons and finding useful data to work with.

The goal of the compensation manager is to protect the company name, making sure that employees are as happy as can be within their chosen industry. Managers want to see that the company pay is over the average and yet still profitable, while also meeting state and federal guidelines.

You might also be asked to read the performance evaluation of employees and departments, while also supervising benefits. Workers cannot and will not perform at their best if they do not have some sort of incentive-system, such as bonuses, raises, and performance-based additional compensation.

You may or may not have a specific job title, like compensation manager, or you may have a general title like H&R manager or even a Generalist in Human Resources. Depending on the size of the company, you may have to work with other managers and come to agreements on staffing needs, human resource guidelines, or profit and loss.

Other Requirements in Compensation

While this may seem like a job of strictly negotiation, there are also technical requirements and strong analytical needs. You will work with data systems, monitor financial trends, and develop policies based on hard financial data that must be interpreted. This requires a working knowledge of presentation software.

Creative abilities are valued here, since you will be writing job descriptions, and mathematical skills are just as valuable, since you will be deciding on multiple factors including salary versus hour wages, exempt and non-exempt positions, and creating severance packages and hiring packages.

Negotiation skills are prized, as you will often be in the middle of labor disputes, including the very worst case scenarios of harassment claims, discrimination claims and other escalated situations. This position is to “go to” role within the company, and the worker is expected to resolve payroll problems immediately.

Remember that a company’s reputation and success is partly determined by its ability to attract new workers, maintain the best workers, and treat everyone with something beyond the minimal level of respect. A hard working and honorable manager can develop employees into assets for the company, ensuring maximum profitability because of his/her ability in employee retention.

This is an excellent position for ambitious learners who have a solid financial education. The schools listed below can certainly help put your foot in the door!

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