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Board of Commissioners Approve Compensation Study Recommendations

a photo of the Buncombe County Administration building

The Board of Commissioners approved a multi-year compensation study at the May 19 regular meeting, resulting in increased compensation for 649 Buncombe County employees and a new living wage minimum of $17 per hour for regular employees. Significant impact will be seen in the historically lowest graded positions – 76% of employees assigned to positions in the four lowest salary grades are recommended to receive pay changes based on their qualifications above the minimum job requirements. With the approval, the new pay plan will go into effect May 21.

The compensation study has been enacted in four phases:

  • Phase one: Job analysis and descriptions
    • Review job analysis information and write Q1-Q4 descriptions
    • Define market peers and prepare survey
  • Phase two: Job evaluation and market study
    • Survey market peers for salary data
    • Identify job family structure
    • Define compensable factors
    • Create data models for reviewing salary results and internal pay
  • Phase three: Internal equity analysis
    • Analyze internal classification, pay disparities, and identify opportunities to improve equity
    • Provide management with recommendations for addressing pay inconsistencies
  • Phase four: Compensation planning and salary administration
    • Establish compensation grading system
    • Finalize pay calculations taking into consideration the new grading system, market data, compression, and budget constraints

In order to ensure Buncombe County data reflects current pay in our region, 16 counties and cities were surveyed about nearly 200 job descriptions. That data helped create salary grade market rates and showed us the need to separate IT salary grades from county salaries to align with IT industry market rates.

In addition to regional data, a five-factor classification evaluation was used to determine the scope of each position. Those factors include:

  • Complexity
  • Scope of knowledge
  • Problem solving
  • Contact with others
  • Leadership

Based on those scores along with each employees’ years of experience, employees were placed in sub-quartiles within each salary grade.

To view the presentation to Commissioners, click here. To view the new FY23 classification and compensation plan, click here.

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Updated May 23, 2022 09:08 AM
Published May 19, 2022 08:19 PM


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