However, out of the sample group, Salary.com found that fewer than 20% were actually underpaid, meaning more than 80% of these workers who feel they’re underpaid are not, according to a news release. In fact, detailed analysis of the latest compensation data from Salary.com shows that some are actually overpaid.
“There are a variety of reasons people may mistakenly think they are underpaid,” said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation at Salary.com, in the news release. “For instance, many people benchmark their salary based on title, rather than job responsibilities. They then assume a higher title justifies a higher salary than their actual job description merits. When it comes to salary, it’s what you do, not what you’re called, that counts.”
According to the announcement, a second factor could be the phenomenon of “over-titling;” a practice that occurs in the tough economic climates like that of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, when many employees were offered inflated job titles in lieu of salary increases.
As a result, their actual experience level and value to the company may not be on par with the market salary level for their title. Salary.com found that nearly 30% of workers in the sample group were likely over-titled (paid less than 70% of their job’s market value, based on their job title, industry, geography and company size). The study also found that nearly 35% of the employees were paid fairly relative to the market, and nearly 20% were actually overpaid.
The preliminary findings are from an online poll of nearly 14,000 workers and nearly 400 human resources managers, across a wide range of industries. Salary.com will release the complete results on January 30, 2006.