Annual HR Salary Survey: Training and Development Pay Trends Reflect the State of the Economy and Labor Supply. (Salary)

Article excerpt

In a shaky economy, many organizations may be tempted to save money by scaling back training and development budgets, including pay raises for staff. However, the current economic slowdown has been counterbalanced by an unprecedented labor shortage in the United States, resulting in a varied, compelling compensation scenario.

In fact, changes in median total cash salary this past year ranged from increases of less than 2 percent for some t&d positions to increases of more than 14 percent for others, according to the 2001 Human Resource Compensation Survey.

The survey, conducted annually by consulting firm William M. Mercer in conjunction with the Society for Human Resource Management, examines compensation trends and issues for a wide range of HR positions. This year's edition includes data provided by more than 1,150 U.S. companies that collectively have more than 10 million employees, and covers more than 37,000 employees in 103 HR jobs, ranging from top management to clerical positions. Of those jobs, 14 are specifically related to training and development.

For each job, the survey report contains statistical summaries for base salary, short-term incentives, total cash compensation (base salary plus short-term incentive), salary ranges, and short- and long-term incentive eligibility.

Note: The pay levels reported in this article and the accompanying tables are based on all incumbents in a given job. This data represents general trends, not definitive statements of competitive compensation. Actual pay for these positions typically would be correlated with such factors as industry and organization size.

Pay increases

Of the training and development jobs included in this year's survey, six had relatively large increases in median total cash compensation (8 percent or more), five had relatively small pay increases (less than 4 percent), and increases for the remaining two jobs fell between 4 percent and 8 percent. As a point of comparison, median base pay increases in the United States continue to hover around 4.2 percent and 4.4 percent.

Those differences are driven in part by the available pool of talent and the required job skills. For jobs requiring talent that's readily available or more general skills, pay remained relatively flat. For jobs requiring specialized or in-demand skills, pay raises were higher--sometimes significantly. For example, the largest increases among the t&d jobs were for two technology-related positions--technical training manager and technical trainer--at 14.4 percent and 15.2 percent. That may signal an emphasis on developing technical people internally as a partial solution to the scarcity of talent in the external market.

Incentive eligibility

Incentive pay continues to grow in importance as a component of overall compensation for t&d professionals. Generally speaking, the more senior the position, the more likely the applicant will be eligible for both short- and long-term incentives, although short-term awards are much more prevalent for t&d jobs. At least eight out of 10 top executives are eligible for short-term incentives, as are about three-quarters of r&d professionals in mid-level jobs. Even at more junior levels, more than 50 percent are eligible for short-term rewards.

Far fewer t&d professionals qualify for long-term awards, which include incentive stock options, nonqualified stock options, phantom stock, restricted stock, and performance units and shares. While more than half of the most senior t&d executives are eligible for long-term incentives, only 25 to 40 percent of employees in mid-level jobs are eligible. Fewer than one in five lower-paying positions qualify for long-term benefits.

Pay by functional area

This year's survey continues to show sharp differences in pay among HR'S functional areas. Among HR managers, the survey shows that labor relations managers receive the highest pay (median total cash compensation of US$105,200), followed by organization development training managers ($92,000), compensation managers ($90,000), and EEO and diversity managers ($90,000). …