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What Salary Should You Offer?

What salary should you offer that new employee?

How much of a raise does that promotion warrant?

Is your pay competitive enough to attract the best talent?

These are all great questions – but ones that can be tough to answer. After all, determining the “right” salary or pay rate can be tougher than it appears. You need to consider several factors, including:

  • how much money a good employee in the position could earn for (or save) your company;
  • how available (or scarce) qualified candidates for the position are;
  • how much the “vacancy costs” are for a position that remains unfilled;
  • how much your business can reasonably afford to pay for the work done;
  • how much the work performed in the position frees your other employees to accomplish their top priorities.

No matter what industry you’re in, or what types of employees you hire, you need to know what’s fair – and what’s enough – to hire and keep great people in a competitive market. And guessing just isn’t a good option.

So don’t do it! Instead, find the up-to-date salary information your Middle TN business needs, using these resources as a start:


Salary.com is technically directed at job seekers, showing users how much they are worth based on their experience and skills, but you can use the same criteria to develop competitive compensation packages.

Monster Salary Center

The Monster Salary Center is powered by Salary.com, therefore it offers similar functionality. Monster’s version also comes with a paid option that offers you access to more robust data, providing a more accurate final calculation.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

This survey by the BLS provides data on occupational wages for localities, broad geographic regions, and the nation. The BLS is fairly accurate, but can be slightly behind the times.

Local Professional Groups

Getting involved in local professional groups like the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will help you keep your finger on the pulse of compensation and hiring trends in your industry.

Pay Scale

PayScale.com is a popular cloud-based service that gives you real-time access to compensation data based on job title, skills, education, geography and responsibility.


BLR provides national and state-specific compensation data. There are paid options available, but the free trial version is a good first choice.

Local Nashville Market Experts

Staffing and recruiting firms like Wood Personnel can ensure your compensation packages are on par with the market. We know what’s happening in the Middle Tennessee employment market and your niche, helping you stay competitive – and hire the best people.