August 21, 2014

Bosses Take Pay Cuts to Keep Others Working

Amy Keller | 8/1/2009
Compensation Challenge

While salary structuring is an inexact science, most of the companies who landed on our Best Companies list put a fair amount of research into determining wages. Many rely on the external labor market to set their wages. “We subscribe to a lot of salary surveys and have a software program to put them together,” says Angela Biever, chief administrative officer at Raymond James (No. 8 Large). “We look at two things: What are companies in financial services paying and also what are people paying locally.”

Shared Technologies (No. 2 Midsized) employs a similar approach. “We have a structured compensation plan that values each individual job against the market,” explains customer support manager Katy Moreno. “Jobs are placed into a salary grade with a minimum, midpoint and maximum salary. Then new employees are offered positions within the minimum to midpoint of the range.

Here’s what a few human resource directors had to say about setting pay:

FCCI Insurance Group
(No. 7 Large)

FCCI in Sarasota relies on data from insurance industry organizations to “benchmark where we stand with our salaries,” says Lisa Krouse, the company’s vice president of human resources. “It’s not easy to find an actuary located in Sarasota, and there aren’t a lot of other insurance organizations housed here,” Krouse says. “We want to make sure we’re competitive on a national basis.”

BayCare Health Systems
(No. 22 Large)

Craig Brethauer, vice president of Team Resources at BayCare, says his company surveys the market every six months to “make sure we’re not slipping” when it comes to wages. By paying at the “upper end” of the market, he says, BayCare is able to recruit the best employees.

Trenam Kemker
(No. 7 Midsized)

“With staff, you learn what people are getting paid by competitors,” says Richard Pollock, director of human resources and recruiting at the Tampa law firm Trenam Kemker. That said, employees who come to Trenam aren’t necessarily looking to make the most money possible, Pollock says. “People realize that if they get paid more, there’s a different set of demands there. People appreciate the work/life balance they have at Trenam.”


If your pay has been frozen, you’re not alone. In Florida Trend’s 2009 Florida CEO Trends survey, more than one in 10 (14%) of CEOs said they would have to freeze wages and one in three (33%) said they didn’t expect their company’s wages to keep pace with inflation. Nearly half of those CEOs surveyed (48%) said that the portion of healthcare premiums paid by their employees would increase in 2009.

Florida's Best Companies to Work For 2009
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