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Pay Structures – Develop a Framework from Start to Finish

In this course, you will learn how to develop, administer and maintain pay structures that are aligned with your organizational goals and pay philosophies—giving you the flexibility to perform this work in house, saving time and money.  You will begin the course with an overview of pay structures and job evaluation methods, and then move into other important skills.

  • Explore how to perform job evaluation.
  • Learn to apply different types of salary grades.
  • Utilize market data and company pay philosophies.
  • Gain an understanding on how to use tools and formulas to help develop a pay structure.
  • Discover how to manage employees’ pay using the pay structure.
  • Consider key issues when reviewing the pay structure each year.

What You Will Learn  |  More Info

Learning Options

Course Schedules
No events are currently available.


What You Will Learn  


  • What is pay structuring
  • Total Rewards Model
  • Balance conflicting issues when designing the pay structure
  • Introduction to the Case Study

Job Evaluation

  • Grade basis for pay structure
  • Alternatives to formal job evaluation:
    • Informal assessment, ranking jobs, market pricing, skill / competency-based pay
  • Formal job evaluation:
    • Defining and establishing purpose of job evaluation
    • Benefits and concerns about job evaluation
    • Common formal job evaluation methods
      • Point Factor
      • Classification
  • Grade structure alternatives
  • Case Study – Job Evaluation:  Evaluation of positions in the organization using a classification method

Base Pay

  • Base pay for pay structure – alternative options
  • Benefits of using a flexible package base
  • Creating scattergrams and lines of best fit / trend lines
  • Case Study – Pay Base:  Drawing the line of best fit / pay midpoint for the internal pay data

Measuring the Market

  • Market positioning of pay structure
  • Factors to consider when choosing which market to measure
  • Lead lag scenarios when choosing a date for market comparison
  • Choosing different target market positions,  e.g., 25th Percentile, Average, Median, 75th Percentile
  • Survey criteria when choosing which surveys to use
  • Case Study – Measuring the Market:  Adding market data to the scattergram and re-drawing the line of best fit / pay midpoint for the data

Pay Mechanics (Structure Design)

  • Pay mechanics
  • Number of grades:  career bands, broad grades and narrow bands
  • Pay ranges:  formulas and guidance on best practice
  • Pay slopes:  formulas and guidance on best practice
  • Pay overlap:  formulas and guidance on best practice
  • Smoothing the pay curve: techniques and guidance on best practice
  • Case Study – Pay Mechanics Part 1:  Calculating pay slopes and assessing the appropriateness of a smoothed pay line for this set of data
  • Case Study – Pay Mechanics Part 2:  Deciding on appropriate pay ranges, calculating pay slopes, ranges and overlaps for this set of data
  • A live web session will be held during the 5th week of class

Positioning Staff in the Pay Scale

  • Options for employees below minimum of pay scale
  • Options for employees above maximum of pay scale
  • Market premiums:  guidance on types of premium and when they are necessary
  • How to deal with sales positions
  • Different ways of measuring position in the pay scale
  • Policy positioning options for linking position in pay scale to performance and expertise
  • Performance increase options
  • Case Study –  Positioning staff in the pay scale:  Dealing with staff below minimum and above maximum; dealing with sales staff; deciding which staff need market premiums, the quantum of premiums and how they should be paid

Reviewing the Pay Scale

  • Reviewing the pay structure
  • Timing and frequency
  • Measuring current position
  • Measuring market movement and inflation
  • Other external factors
  • Other internal factors
  • Differentiation for performance
  • Structuring the review proposal
  • Case Study –  Reviewing the Pay Scale:  Putting together a pay review presentation based on a scenario of internal and external factors


  • Case Study and final presentation
  • Live web session
Who Should Register

This seminar is designed for compensation professionals and HR professionals with a need to understand theory and application of design and maintenance of pay structures and the processes that are integrated with them, such as job evaluation and market pricing.  Participants should have a basic understanding of Excel and general knowledge of compensation fundamentals.

How to Register

Dianne Auld, GRP, CCP, CSCP

Dianne Auld, GRP, CCP, CSCP, owns a consulting practice, Auld Compensation Consulting, in Cape Town, South Africa. She consults in all areas of total rewards to a wide range of organizations across Africa and the Middle East. She has developed and taught courses in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.

Dianne is also a faculty member at WorldatWork and a reviewer for the WorldatWork Journal. Well respected and known as an expert in Excel, Dianne has worked with WorldatWork to develop several products to assist compensation professionals with their day-to-day tasks in Excel. Together with WorldatWork, Dianne has developed two new WorldatWork Blended Learning courses, “Excel Skills for Compensation Professionals” and “Pay Structures – Developing a Framework from Start to Finish”, as well as Excel Tips for Compensation Professionals, which include sleek visual and audio demonstrations of tasks compensation professionals need to perform in their job function.

More Information
 Course Credits
Recertification: 2 credits
CEUs: 1.5
 Course Book Amendments


  • 877-951-9191
    (United States and Canada)
  • +1 480-951-9191
    (other countries)