Whether you are an employer or an employee, compensation is critical. Employers have a number of laws and regulations that must be followed to properly pay their staff. Both parties are also concerned that they are being paid equitably, compared with the external and internal (in comparison to their peers) market.
If a company has money to spare, it may elect to contract a firm to do a salary survey. Firms such as Hewitt Associates, Mercer and Towers Perrin all do this type of work. For the smaller company, jobs may be benchmarked by going to www.monster.com and looking at what similar jobs pay, or to www.salary.com, which gives salaries for hundreds of positions in cities all over the country.