One of the most important components needed to a successfully run core is the recruitment and, just as importantly, the retention of, appropriate personnel. There are a number of factors which impact on the success of this activity, one of which is the remuneration package which is offered. Since this will vary significantly with the geographical location, type of institute and scope and complexity of the core facility, it becomes necessary to objectively determine what is an appropriate package for comparable positions. Other factors that need to be taken into account are the scope of an applicant pool in a given region and whether recruitment outside the geographical location will be necessary. This is of particular importance when dealing with institutions located away from major metropolitan areas which may necessitate relocation expenses. In addition it may be necessary to adjust salary offers to make qualifying candidates consider relocating, regardless of local cost of living. Movement between economic areas may also be a factor e.g. within the European Union, there are few restrictions on rights to work but candidates for European posts from outside the EU have to fulfil certain criteria laid down by law.
One method for determining what the 'ballpark' range for a salary would be for a comparable position in a comparable location and institute type is the use of a salary survey. This serves a number of purposes in addition to just obtaining the data - it will serve as an appropriate budgeting tool as well as an objective justification to a Human Resources/Personnel official for a salary offer or a salary increase. Typically the data collected in a salary survey include:
- Base salaries
- Salary ranges
- Number of years experience
- Allowances and benefits
- Working hours
- Job complexity
- Geographic location
- Institution type
There are several methods available for collecting this type of data. There are a number of web-based resources which have very large databases of salary information for a large range of jobs. This may or may not be adequate depending on how specifically the position is defined. As positions in cytometry core facilities tend to be highly specialised, the information may not be available in these databases.
There are also companies which can conduct a survey with your specifications as well as compile and analyse the data. There can be significant costs associated with these types of services but they do provide a complete and professional solution.
Some Institutions Human Resources Departments are able to conduct salary surveys but again it would be critical that the core facility manager had input to ensure that the specifications are such that data would be meaningful and an adequate match for the position being surveyed.
Some professional organizations such as ISAC may have already conducted these surveys and may have data available to members free of charge. Alternatively these organizations may be able to provide a source of respondents to a specifically designed survey. Regardless of the method chosen to collect the data, it is important that the data is timely (current) and adequately segregates the surveyed population in order to find an appropriate match. The Purdue University Cytometry Labs mailing list is a good place to request this information and the results of a recent (2007) survey for the US can be downloaded here (Excel file).
TotalJobs Salary checker (UK)
Conducting your own survey
How to conduct a salary survey (pdf)