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Case Study

Compensation and Benefits Analysis

Overview

As part of Conscient Strategies’ work with a national think tank located in Washington, DC, following an assessment of the culture of the organization, we found that there was a need to confirm questions around salary equity on the team.  The client requested that we undertake a compensation study that analyzed different salary ranges from organizations similar to the think tank in the Washington, D.C. geographic area. The objective of the study was to enable the organization to compare its salary brackets for the major job levels to those at similar organizations.

What We Did

Conscient Strategies evaluated data from a list of comparable institution as agreed in partnership with our client.  All of the institutions we compared were based in the local D.C. area to ensure we had a like-like comparison to the organization for whom we were working.  Not only did we look at specific organization, we also included an assessment of position-level salary estimates published by a variety of sources, including recruiters, job posting sites, and organizational review sites.   We included the following positions for evaluation:

  •  Executive Director/President/CEO
  • Deputy Executive Director/EVP
  • C-Suite Level
  • Senior Director/VP
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Coordinator
  • Program Assistant

And, although we look holistically at the organization as it compares to other organizations in the geography, we also tested for disparity for gender and ethnicity based on the findings of our culture assessment.

The client requested that Conscient Strategies undertake a compensation study that analyzed different salary ranges from organizations similar to the think tank in the Washington, D.C. geographic area. Conscient Strategies evaluated data from a list of comparable institution, not only looking at specific organization, but also included an assessment of position-level salary estimates published by a variety of sources.

What we Discovered & Results

Overall, our assessment indicated that compensation at this organization veered increasingly to the lower end of the market as positions become more senior.

At most senior-level positions, the majority of benchmark organizations pay at a higher salary level than our client. For the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director levels, our client was in the lowest 5% of benchmarked organizations for compensation. These two positions also have the greatest range in salary of any position.

Our client generally pays in the middle of the market range at the Senior Director/VP and Director levels. 

This organization pays at the high end of the range at the Manager level and is similar to the market range for Coordinator and Program Assistant positions.

Because outliers can skew a statistical comparison, we also evaluated the data excluding the highest and lowest salaries at each position level.

Upon delivery of this information, we were able to give leadership data to base compensation and performance evaluation activities.  It also allowed the organization to respond to perceptions that compensation was inequitable across demographic groups on the team.

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