Compensation / Salary Studies

Organizations often come to us wondering whether their senior executive and staff compensation packages are in line with those offered by other airport industry organizations. Few employers routinely have access to this information and gaining relevant information can be challenging. ADK has been conducting salary surveys for all sizes of airports since our start up over sixteen years ago and have knowledge of the complexities of compensation at airports thoughout the Unitied States. We are also compliant with federal guidelines. See Avoiding Antitrust Violations.

Avoiding Antitrust Violations

Many HR staff are aware that the use of salary surveys can violate the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and are familiar with the more recent U.S. Justice Department published guidelines referred to as Antitrust Safety Zone that informs employers on the exchange of salary data and information without running afoul of the law. These guidelines were developed initially for the health care industry and now apply to all employers.

The guidelines require the following conditions:

  • Compensation surveys must be managed by a third party. HR professionals cannot conduct formal or informal salary surveys on their own.
  • Data must be more than 3 months old.
  • All of the salary data employers use must be derived from at least five entities, and no individual entity can represent more than 25% of the data. Any information disseminated must be aggregated so recipients cannot identify the compensation paid by a particular organization.

Legal advice is recommended if in doubt. For more information, go to Society for Human Resources Management and search for “Avoiding Antitrust Violations”. There are also government sites to review the government regulations.


Why conduct compensation surveys?

Organizations will lead, lag or match the market with regard to compensation levels. Having data to benchmark against others will be helpful in developing a competitive compensation and total rewards strategy to hire and retain top talent. Communities throughout the United States are in competition to attract and retain the best talent for their airport. Best practices to secure and retain personnel include periodic review of compensation. Compensation and total rewards strategy and programs should factor in items beyond the base salary when evaluating the market competitiveness. The salary structure in relationship to comparable airports and the market, the retirement offerings, final incentive programs based on performance and regional cost of living are considerations along with other components.

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