John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
Every practice makes pay decisions differently. What do you know about the rationale behind how those decisions are made where you work?
Most BV/LS practices make pay decisions based on a particular philosophy, though they may not do a perfect job of explaining it. If your boss makes pay decisions in a seat-of-the-pants mode, you will probably notice it fairly quickly.
In any case, don’t be shy about asking what the compensation philosophy is at your firm.
How far do they stretch when they think of “pay?” What else is it beyond a W-2? Maybe they see pay as including flexible hours, insurance premiums, remote work, growth and learning, and more. If you don’t know, you can’t make a valid apples-to-apples comparison with an opportunity that comes your way.
How competitive do they want to be in actual dollars? A little above the market? Or further up the scale to attract the best talent? Or maybe they pay what they pay to people who work for them because they know those people will be doing that work for eighty to ninety hours a week.
How do they balance regular pay and incentive pay? Does the reward of a higher bonus balance the risk of a lower base salary? This question can be toughest when you’re facing it the first time.
There is no reason you shouldn’t ask about your employer’s compensation philosophy. Understanding what it is will help you make smarter career choices.