COMPENSATION SALARY SURVEYS – Some of our favourites and why

As companies compete for talent, salary surveys provide organizations with data on the pay for jobs in the market. This data allows companies to know if they are paying employees competitively and target a competitive pay position.

We recommend purchasing third-party salary survey data that collects data directly from employers of the participating companies. This ensures that the data reported is accurate, as there can be many errors when asking employees or candidates to disclose their role and pay information.

Companies pay between $2,500 to upwards of $10,000 per year for a single compensation salary survey for one geographic location. Why? Compensation surveys provide valuable information so employers can build pay ranges that reflect the market, supporting making informed pay decisions. They allow employers to proactively make adjustments to retain employees and avoid making uninformed pay decisions that lead to costly mistakes by overpaying or over hiring.

When we work with our clients, we often recommend survey options based on their location, industry, and budget. While all surveys have their advantages and disadvantages if you are in the market, here is a list of our favourites:

Economic Research Institute (ERI)

We use ERI data with many of our North American clients. The benefit of ERI is that it has a global list of locations for data and can be used for certain countries outside of North America (i.e., India). In addition, ERI is known for data integrity, a wide range of survey matches (Tech, Media, General Industry), and a user-friendly online platform. ERI includes both private and public company information. We like ERI so much, we have purchased the data to use with our clients that do not want to buy a complete salary survey.

Option Impact

As a leader in private company (over 3,000 companies) compensation data, the data includes executive and employee data in Canada and the USA. The data is free for venture-backed organizations if you submit your data to participate in their survey. You can also pay a fee ($500) to expedite the data. For non-venture backed organizations, the survey costs ~ USD 2,500. The data includes equity and granting information for all levels of employees. We love this data for our privately held technology clients. You can cut the data by revenue size, the number of employees, round of funding, location, and industry.

HR Tech Group Survey (Mercer)

The Mercer HR Tech survey has very good company participation for British Columbia and includes many high-growth technology organizations. The survey, specializing in the technology sector, is about CAD 2,400. It is a great, budget-friendly option for private BC-based companies.


Radford specializes in pay information for technology companies and has a global presence of ~90 countries. Radford focuses on highly targeted technology jobs. The cost of the survey is 5,000 – 6,000 USD for one country. We recommend this survey for our large publicly traded clients competing on a global level for talent. The companies that participate in the survey include Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Tesla, Zoom etc.

Pay scale

Pay scale has an incredible tool (i.e., a “wizard” recommends survey matches, merit and structure modelling). However, although pay scale is especially beneficial for companies with multiple salary data sources and global locations, it is also an expensive option that ranges between $7,000 to $30,000 depending on the number of locations.

If you are in the market for compensation data, reach out! We would be more than happy to share our experiences and thoughts!


  1. Can you recommend a wage and salary survey for a small start-up instrument bio-tech company located in northern California that has just been funded currently tasked with finalizing the product and taking it through production. The manufacturing will be outsourced. Looking to staff senior and junior financial manufacturing and marketing personnel.

    1. Hi Andrew, Apologies for missing your comment. I would suggest looking into Pave as they have good data for start-ups. Surveys like Radford and Mercer are great but often more costly. We are also happy to help market price your jobs using data we have available for our clients.

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