Benchmarking salary: How do you compare?

February 16, 2017
Benchmarking salary

Image by Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock, Inc
Benchmarking salary is important. It’s how you avoid losing top talent to competitors who offer a much more attractive pay package. But it is a very different exercise to benchmarking sickness absence, like we showed you last week.

With absence, you can reasonably aim for a similar score across your whole workforce. But with salary, everybody is paid wildly different amounts based on things like job role, qualifications and length of experience.

Don’t worry though. Even if you don’t use special HR software like People® (which automatically benchmarks employee salaries against industry averages), there are still ways of finding out how much you should be paying.

How to find out the average salary for any job role

By far, the easiest way to quickly check the average salary for any job role, is to use a crowdsourced benchmarking tool. These tools are normally run by online job boards, which gather salary from multiple open or historic vacancies, to provide you with an average salary for any particular role.

There are many of these tools available, but here are some that we have found to be the most helpful, and the easiest to use:

  1. Glassdoor Glassdoor is probably the best free service for checking salary. Why? Because it doesn’t rely mostly on advertised salaries. Glassdoor’s salary checker focuses more on crowdsourced data from employees who are actually working the jobs right now. They anonymously report their role, location and salary, which is factored into Glassdoor’s calculations.
  2. Indeed Indeed lets you search and compare more than 200million salaries for free. You can search by job role, or even by specific company – which might help you do direct competitor research.
  3. Reed One of the things that is nice about Reed’s average salary checker, is it lets you search by skill or industry. This is helpful because job roles are sometimes difficult to define. If you know what skills you are hiring for, then you can simply type this in, and select one of the job roles from the list of suggestions.

There are many more tools for benchmarking salary. These are just three of our favourites.

What is the average salary in the UK?

It won’t help you set a fair salary for specific job roles, but maybe you’re curious. What is the average salary in the UK?

According to, the average UK salary for 2016/17 is £30,000.

According to ONS (Office for National Statistics), the average UK salary for the year ending 2016, was £28,200.

Salary benchmarking to help you be more competitive

There’s something we do here at People® to help our customers improve their performance, and we call it Competitor Benchmarking. It’s part of how we provide expert advice and insights through our HR software.

When you add employees to your HR system, our software measures key metrics against companies similar to yours. This gives you insights into areas like salary, sickness absence and turnover. In turn, this helps you build a stronger employer brand, and become more competitive.

If you don’t use HR software that lets you benchmark salaries, then make sure you regularly check industry averages for key roles within your company.

Stay ahead with HR

Get free HR insights, expert tips and exclusive interviews, and start making more impact at work

Please enter a valid email address

See People HR in action

View our short video demo

Get started absolutely free

No credit card required

Talk with an expert to learn how People HR could help your organisation