Compensation: Getting the Right Balance to Recruit and Retain Your Best-Fit Employees

Wages and salaries for US private-sector workers grew 5.7% year-over-year from June 2021-2022, according to recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With compensation increasing this fast, even in the midst of Federal Reserve action to cool the economy and slow inflation, this certainly impacts employers’ ability to recruit and retain quality “best fit” employees.

With this in mind, how does your company’s compensation program compare to those in your industry’s peer companies? How do you know if you’re paying your employees appropriately? One way to answer these questions is to do a compensation market study, which helps you know if your company’s compensation structure is in line with the marketplace.

A compensation study typically comprises three tracks:

Establish a compensation philosophy which is a statement that helps you clarify where you want to be positioned in the marketplace; how you want to use compensation in your organization; and what specific behaviors you’re trying to reward.

Ensure there is a clear understanding of the responsibilities of each job you want to compare to those in peer companies. This is done by evaluating each of your company’s job descriptions (typically short, precise summaries of a job’s duties). It’s key to focus on a job’s specific duties, responsibilities and requirements because job titles by themselves vary considerably across companies in related industries.

Decide which published salary survey sources to use for the compensation study. It’s important to use salary survey sources that are reputable, valid and reliable to best represent the company’s specific industry, revenue size and peer organizations in the marketplace.

With these three tracks in place, the compensation study reveals market composites for each of your company’s positions, accurately reflecting their standing relative to the marketplace.

To be sure, compensation is a sensitive subject in most organizations. This is often based on differing beliefs among employees about what their job skills are worth versus what related market data reveal in compensation studies.

When you review market trends in compensation, you’re ultimately able to offer fair compensation and drive better employee recruitment, retention and overall job satisfaction.

impactAction: If you’d like to learn more about compensation market studies for your company, contact us at or 443-741-3900.

impactHR Receives Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland’s 2022 Torch Awards for Ethics

impactHR has been awarded the 2022 Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Greater Maryland Torch Awards for Ethics – the BBB’s most prestigious business honor.

The BBB of Greater Maryland’s Torch Awards for Ethics annually honors those businesses that meet the highest trust and ethics standards when it comes to their customers, employees and local communities. The awards manifest the BBB’s mission of advancing trust in the marketplace. Winners and finalists were selected by a panel of judges, comprised of local business leaders, BBB board members and previous award honorees.

As part of the 2022 competitive awards process, this year’s honorees, including impactHR, were judged on a range of criteria including an organization’s commitment to: building and maintaining ethical business practices; working toward a culture of trust through clarity of purpose; empowering employees and opportunities for growth; and going above and beyond to maintain transparency with customers.

“On behalf of all of us on the impactHR team, we’re very grateful and honored to receive a BBB of Greater Maryland 2022 Torch Award for Ethics,” said Kelly Mitchell, Founder and Principal of impactHR. “I’m beyond proud of everyone on our team for upholding the highest standards of customer service and care – and certainly grateful for the trust our valued customers have in us every day.”

Torch Award honorees were celebrated at this year’s BBB of Greater Maryland Signature Event late last month at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Read more.

impactHR Team Fills Backpacks with School Supplies to Help Students Start the School Year Prepared

The impactHR team (including Vanessa Snyder, Senior HR Consultant, Client Services, in photo) gathered recently to help our client, Building Families for Children – a nonprofit that partners with families to build safe, stable and loving homes for children – with its annual “Pack a Backpack” school supply drive.

Building Families for Children each year distributes backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need in Maryland to help them start the school year confident and prepared.

In its school supplies drive last year, the Building Families for Children team supplied 234 students in Maryland with full backpacks for the start of their school year (as well as a number of full back-to-school outfits and gift cards).

Learn more about Building Families for Children and how you can get involved.

Maryland Anti-Discrimination Law Expands Scope of What Constitutes Harassment in the Workplace

Maryland has amended its anti-discrimination law to expand the scope of conduct that might be considered harassment.

Beginning this past October 1, Maryland harassment law departs from the general standard that offending conduct be “severe or pervasive.”

Under the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act (MFEPA), state law (as of Oct. 1) will define harassment as unwelcome and offensive conduct when it’s based on a protected characteristic and when one or more of the following is true:

Submitting to the conduct is a condition of employment
Submitting to or rejecting the conduct is the basis for an employment decision (e.g., promotion or termination)
The conduct creates a hostile work environment
In addition, under this new policy, sexual harassment will now be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other conduct of a sexual nature that meets any of the conditions listed above.

impactAction: Make changes in your employee handbook to ensure your harassment policies do not reference the “severe or pervasive” standard. In addition, consider conducting training for supervisors and staff in regard to this change and how to recognize and respond to conduct that could constitute harassment.

If you have questions about your organization’s harassment policies and compliance, contact us at or 443-741-3900.

Employee Retention: Getting the Onboarding Process Just Right

There’s little doubt in today’s job market that employers are focusing not just on recruiting best fit employees, but also finding ways to retain their most talented team members. With this in mind, one tactic that tends to get overlooked in optimizing employee retention is the onboarding process for newly hired employees.

A smart, practical onboarding process generally can go a long way to help new employees begin their roles and experiences in a fully positive manner. For a quick check-list on setting up an effective first-day onboarding process, provide your new employees with:

  • The tools, equipment and instruction they’ll need to do their job
  • Time to read and reflect on company policies in your employee handbook
  • Opportunities to get acclimated to their new environment
  • Introductions to members of their team and time to connect with people in the company they’ll be working with closely
  • A great first impression of your company (which is more likely than not to carry over well into their tenure in their roles)

As with hiring, it’s important to keep improving and refining your onboarding process. Ultimately, the more you extend a truly warm welcome to your new employees the more likely they’ll remember this dynamic and choose to stay with your organization.

impactAction: If you have questions about setting up an effective onboarding process in your organization, contact us at or 443-741-3900.

In case you missed these impactNews articles . . .

Key Steps to Prevent Workplace Violence

The Importance of Documenting Employee Performance Issues

Unlocking the Mystery of How Much To Pay Your Employees