While researching the topic for this month’s newsletter, I came across a few websites that claim to provide up to date online salary surveys for most places in the world, for free. One of them in particular impressed me with its ease of use and the fact that a few random entries for Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, actually look reasonable. I even signed up with them to provide this service from our websites.
However, when I played around a bit more, I was amazed to find that it gave salaries (broken down by our cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando) for every job category in its extensive list, including such uncommon careers as archivist, chimney builder and horse exerciser. They claim that “these numbers are derived from real, area specific, survey data”.
Perhaps we will consider developing our own salary data instead. Is this something you might find useful? If so, what criteria should we use?
CRS can query our recruitment database for actual salaries currently being earned by candidates with particular education and experience. This has proved helpful to many clients who want to know what to offer to make their jobs attractive to the best talent. Let me know if you are interested in our salary survey service.
It is natural to want to know whether or not you are adequately paid for the job you do. Companies also want to know whether they are underpaying their staff so that they don’t lose people to much better paying jobs elsewhere. On the other hand, if staff are overpaid then this is at a cost to company profits. It’s a delicate balance of getting the best resources for an affordable price.
Of course there are other factors that can make a job desirable and I wrote about this in a previous newsletter http://www.crsitjobs.com/Newletters/CRSNews-Retaining%20I.T.%20Staff.html .
Salary surveys are a useful tool to gauge what someone with a given job title and defined education and experience should be earning. Employees can certainly use this information to support their case for salary increases. However, the data provided in salary surveys is just a guide and is subject to inaccuracies.
For instance, how was the salary data gathered and how long ago, and how many were surveyed?
Salaries are rising quite rapidly for I.T. staff in Trinidad because of the booming economy. There is an increased demand for technical staff to create new or upgraded computer systems to help companies compete locally and globally. It’s not helpful to be guided by a survey that was taken a year or more ago, as the data is out of date.
Salary surveys are always organised by job title. Yet, the I.T. industry is notorious for being inconsistent with the meanings of its job titles. For instance, someone may have a title of project manager but he is really a technical support engineer. His salary of TT$6,000/month may get lumped in with a senior project manager with a salary of TT$30,000/month. You can see how the average salary for a project manager could get seriously skewed here.
Salaries also vary widely according to the company and industry that employs people. A network engineer working for a wealthy oil company will earn considerably more than one working for a small manufacturing company – this is just a fact of life that some can afford to pay more. Also, someone working in a large company may well have more complex duties to perform than a similar position in a small or medium-sized company, and this is reflected in a higher salary.
Another important factor is the number of people in the survey. Trinidad is pretty small in terms of population. If there were only 2 people in the survey with the title project manager and they both worked for oil companies at salaries of $20,000 and $30,000, say, then the salary range for project manager would show as $20,000 – $30,000, when in fact there are many earning $15,000 or so elsewhere.
So, while salary surveys are certainly interesting to us all personally and to those who have to decide what salaries to pay, you have to be very cautious about using them as your main source of information. As mentioned above, we at CRS can help by querying our recruitment database for actual salaries currently being earned by candidates with particular education, experience, etc.
Tell Us What You Think
It has been a pleasure receiving your newsletter for the past two years that I have been a subscriber. As a young professional in the IT field, I have found your newsletters to be quite informative while trying to develop my career and would like to ask that you keep up the good work and keep them coming! :o) … Vishard
I always appreciate the encouragement to keep these newsletters going. Many thanks to those who have expressed appreciation …. Susan
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