Expert Advice on Salary Transparency and Negotiations

October 31, 2019

Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, shared insights and advice on how companies can foster a transparent and healthy work environment when it comes to salary transparency and negotiations. The Creative Group just released its 2020 Salary Guide, revealing current hiring trends and wants.

When creating the salary guide, what were the priorities when it came to the information gathered and curated?

Our parent company, Robert Half, has reported on salaries since 1950. We publish annual salary guides to help employers and professionals make informed hiring, management and career decisions in the current market.

In The Creative Group 2020 Salary Guide, you’ll find compensation information for 90 positions in the creative, digital, marketing, advertising and public relations fields. Salaries are based on actual placements in our offices throughout North America, an analysis of the demand for each position, the supply of talent and other market conditions. The guide also includes information on hiring trends, including popular benefits, perks and incentives. In essence, it’s a valuable — and free — resource all employers and job seekers should have on hand.

Was there anything surprising about the information reported?

Companies continue to face recruiting challenges, particularly for professionals with digital expertise. In fact, 45 percent of creative managers we surveyed reported being understaffed in digital areas, and 75 percent said it’s difficult to find and retain professionals with up-to-date digital skills. To overcome this, employers must be prepared to offer robust compensation packages to attract top talent.

When it comes to benefits and perks companies are providing employees, do you think there has been a general improvement or change within the last several years?

Our research and insights from The Creative Group staffing experts across North America show improvements in benefits and perks over the past several years.

Employers are catching on that professionals expect a comprehensive compensation, benefits and perks package when looking for a new role. And our teams say that this is often a deciding factor for in-demand candidates who are weighing multiple job offers.

Do you believe salary transparency within and outside of companies helps employees and prospective talent?

Salary transparency can help employees and job candidates better determine their market value and ensure they’re being paid fairly. According to a survey by The Creative Group, 77 percent of advertising and marketing managers said their organization offers some level of salary transparency. These policies can help create a workplace culture of fairness and trust and boost recruitment and retention.

But it’s important to understand that not all companies have an open salary policy, and some professionals may not feel comfortable talking about pay with others.

In your own experience, is the growing need for strategic creative and technologically savvy talent helping foster diversity? If so, how?

In today’s business environment, marketing teams need to be diverse in order to serve diverse audiences. And as such, leaders are looking for strategic, tech-savvy professionals who can offer new perspectives and ideas. Diverse teams — made up of people with different backgrounds, personality types, work styles and life experiences — are often more innovative and effective at decision making and problem solving.

What would you like both companies and talent to get from the report? How do you think it can help both parties in negotiating and implementing policy?

Employers and professionals should never go into a salary negotiation without doing their research. Companies should reference compensation resources to help ensure they’re offering competitive pay to current and prospective employees.

At the same time, marketing professionals can use the Salary Guide to find out what their skills and experience are worth. Negotiating compensation can be nerve-wracking, and many job seekers and employees avoid it altogether. However, it’s important to regularly check that you’re getting paid fairly. Our research shows that 73 percent of workers have compared their salary against market rates within the last year, and nearly half of professionals felt they were underpaid. When you have hard facts about what salary range you should be making, it’s a lot easier to walk into a negotiation with confidence — and walk out with success.


"Expert Advice on Salary Transparency and Negotiations." ANA, 2019.