Coworking with Jill Langhals

Manager of compensation services at the Employers Resource Association
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· 3 min read

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Jill Langhals, manager of compensation services at Ohio-based HR consultancy Employers Resource Association, started her career as an HR generalist before specializing in compensation. She recently told HR Brew about the skills needed for a career in compensation.

How would you describe your specific job to someone who doesn’t work in HR? I educate our members about how to appropriately reward their employees, and I provide market equity reviews, build pay structures, and create incentive pay plans for them.

What knowledge should people have when trying to understand compensation? It is really important to have a good understanding of the market that you want to compare to, and also a good understanding of where your market data is coming from, [for example] salary surveys and…what the different results mean. There is a little you have to know about statistics…once you understand where all that data is coming from and best practices on how to use it, then from there, it’s just a matter of understanding the best way to use that data for your organization.

What’s the best change you’ve made at a place you’ve worked? I implemented a salary-survey database (Payfactors), which allows us to provide better market compensation data and to store the job matches we make so we can more quickly and easily provide updated pay information to our members.

What’s the biggest misconception people might have about your job? I hear from a lot of other HR folks that compensation is scary and complicated. It’s honestly not much different than other HR specializations. With the proper tools and training, almost anyone can learn to do comp well, unless they’re not detail-oriented. If you’re not into details or numbers, comp is not the best space for you.

What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your job? I love it when I finish a compensation project for a member and they tell me how much it helped them with hiring and retaining people and how much they learned in the process. 

What trend in HR are you least optimistic about? Why? The push to get employees back to workplaces and/or trying to force connection through events. Honestly, any time I’m not working, I want to spend [it] with my family or friends, and I imagine that is how most people feel. We don’t need forced connections with coworkers in order to be productive.

Tell us one new or old HR tech product or platform that’s made your life easier, and why. Marketpay—hands down the most robust and most customizable salary survey database I’ve used. Marketpay is a salary survey database; it gives you results from all sorts of different salary surveys.

Want to be featured in an upcoming edition of Coworking? Click here to introduce yourself.

HR is challenging. HR news doesn’t have to be.

HR Brew keeps you effective in the fast-changing business environment.