On Our Minds
Working with so many organizations across multiple issue areas gives us a unique view into what’s happening in the social sector. This is where we share our insights and ruminations.
The Compensation Conversation - Updated
Since we last wrote about “The Compensation Conversation”, many states and cities have passed laws explicitly prohibiting prospective employers and search firms from asking about current compensation. These policies are intended to stop pay discrimination (the practice of unfairly paying some employees, typically women and people of color, less than others) based on compensation history. These policies are a good start toward limiting pay discrimination (though they don't go far enough, in my opinion). These new laws create challenges: in the absence of using current salary as the baseline for your compensation requirements, what information should you use? What’s the best way to approach conversations about pay during an interview process? Know what to expect. If you live in a state or city that doesn’t allow interviewers to ask about compensation history, you will be asked about your “compensation expectation.” Your response should be your target compensation. Know your facts. Your compensation expectation should be based on research - there’s no substitute for knowing what similar roles in similar regions pay.
- Review relevant compensation studies. While these studies are imperfect, they can provide a helpful starting point. Bridgespan has compiled a list of resources, which can be found here.
- Talk to your professional network. It’s important to understand what others are seeing in the market (functional area and/or region). While talking about money can be uncomfortable, don’t be shy about bringing up the topic - greater transparency benefits everyone.
- Look at publicly available financial statements (aka: Form 990s). These reports contain the compensation packages of the five most highly paid members of a nonprofit’s executive team.