Practice managers and physicians often feel like they’re fumbling in the dark when negotiating salaries with prospective employees, and feel unsure about whether their compensation structure is adequate to retain their best people. But, this is at least partly because they’re not utilizing all of the tools available to stay on top of market compensation rates — some of which have only really taken hold in the last five-ten years.
For example, sites like Salary.com provide market data on job content and salaries — all matched to your local market. (This type of data used to be available only in pricey salary surveys! On Salary.com, the base data is good — but, more detail can be had for a fee.) Even scanning online ads, such as on Craigslist, can give you a quick read on what others are offering.
We often work with physicians and practice managers who are very concerned about over-paying staff. If you’re among them, take heart: as this story from Freakonomics observes, sometimes getting the ‘best deal’ on labor is no deal at all. I’m usually much more alarmed when practices are under-paying than over-paying by a bit.