Culture & Engagement

Benchmarking salary: How do you compare?

Featuredsmalla 7 (1)

Benchmarking salary is important. It helps you offer a fair and competitive salary, which is vital for retaining and attracting top talent.


However, it is a very different exercise to benchmarking sickness absence. With absence, you can aim for a similar score across your whole workforce. With salary, everybody is paid different amounts based on things like job role, qualifications, levels of responsibility and length of experience.


Don’t worry though. There are numerous sources that can help you benchmark employee salaries against national, industry and regional averages to help inform 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:


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.


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.


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?


According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in their report ‘Employee earning in the UK: 2021’ the median average annual pay for full-time employees was £31,285 for the tax year ending 5 April 2021, down 0.6% on the previous year.


The ONS report details how the average annual pay in the UK was greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic during the tax year ending in April 2021, so it’s important to keep this in mind.


Looking at the average UK salary isn’t the best indicator for setting salaries for specific roles, but it can really help to have a good overview and know what information is out there.


A deep dive into the salary benchmarking process


If you want to dig even deeper, the CIPD (professional body for HR and people development) provide an in-depth guide to job evaluation and market pricing with many further sources of pay data, how to interpret the data and methods to set fair and competitive pay.


People HR


Our HR software allows you to automate all routine people related HR processes in one place, at a click of a button. It frees up your time, so you can focus on what really matters.


The software provides specific features to support both recruitment and employee performance tracking. Find out more about how these features could support you:


4 minute demo

Our 4 minute video tour will guide you through some of the most powerful and useful features of our HR system.

Other blog resources from People HR you may find useful