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Are we paying our people fairly? What kind of retention issues do we have? Are we focusing enough on compensation? Do we understand its strategic value?

These were the questions asked at Unleash America last week. Held in Las Vegas, the event brought together HR practitioners from across the US to discuss the future of work and technology. At past events, it felt that compensation was largely underserved, with previous debates often stalling before they even got started. Developing technologies and a growing need for increased transparency means that now might be the time for compensation to be fairly addressed.

Up until recently, most of the talk has centered around the use of data to make educated decisions during the recruitment process. Whereas there is a growing realization that strategic use of compensation data has the power to provide as much value, with the potential to help not just in the recruitment cycle, but also later on, as a tool to mitigate any retention issues that a company faces. 

When strategized, compensation can be applied to be competitive, market-based, and gender-fair. As social agendas—such as initiatives from California to report on the gender and CEO pay gap—increase, it is more important than ever to know that your compensation data is applied correctly.

Armed with the knowledge that the decisions you make are fair, market-based, and transparent will naturally promote loyalty and recognition, leading to an increase in retention, freeing up the mind from the worry of losing top talent.

If you are really looking to manage compensation strategically, analytics have to be applied to understand pay fairness and pay equity on a geographic and gender basis. It is only once paired with additional data from an organization—survey, benchmark, and retention data—that meaningful analytics can provide true effectiveness, opening up the ability to finetune compensation and answer the questions from the top of this post.

With such a rich repository of data to do meaningful analytics with, you should understand the importance of having the data centralized—no longer living in a wealth of separate systems, across various servers. Centralizing this data, and viewing compensation as a strategic differentiator allows you to think beyond the capabilities of a HR system, giving you visibility across your entire compensation processes.

Whether it’s been a reliance on homegrown or spreadsheet-based systems, the shortcomings of HRIS, or additional factors that have delayed the discussion on compensation, the growing requirement for increasing transparency means that it’s a conversation that can no longer be delayed.

By strategizing compensation management—and improving the perceptions of fair pay—companies can make informed and consistent pay decisions, showing employees how their pay is managed—giving them a deeper understanding of their purpose within their organization. beqom provides this strategic value to customers by taking a unified approach to compensation management.