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Jon Wilcox

Sift Media

Technology Correspondent, Sift Media

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Agresso: The future of salary reviews

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As the recession continues to bite, technology correspondent Jon Wilcox speaks to software developer Agresso about what it thinks is the future for salary review software.

 
 
 
In an interview with HRzone.co.uk, business software developer Agresso has prophesied the future of salary review tools, and revealed one issue it’s experienced during the marketing of its own module.
 
Speaking with us this week, the company’s HR & Payroll consultant Vicki Sanderson commented that salary review software would continue to develop and propagate: "I can’t see [salary review] tools diminishing in any way, shape, or form. They’re on the increase. They’ll become more sophisticated, with benchmarking figures and looking at what others are doing to make people and organisations more competitive. Not just with salaries, but the whole package."
 
The idea would better equip HR departments and management to assess and contextualise the performance and salaries of its staff compared to other companies.
 
Sanderson is also quick to point out a key piece of advice to HR teams and managers: "I think the thing in general is not to panic. Many organisations have panicked and just cut people to cut costs. That’s all well and good, but I think HR departments need to look at the bigger picture and think about the impact of doing that longer term – when everything has calmed down and started to get back on its feet."
 

Necessary pay cuts

 
Looking at the bigger picture and beyond the dark curtain of recession is something that several major corporations have undertaken in recent months. Earlier in July, British Airways pilots voted overwhelmingly to a 2.6% pay cut, a decision which will save the UK national carrier up to £26m per year.  BALPA, the British Air Line Pilots Association, described the move as an "unaccustomed position" for a union to find itself in but was "satisfied that this step is necessary". 
 
Overall, the airline industry has been substantially hit by the recession; the Air Transport Association (IATA) has claimed up to $9bn could be lost over the course of 2009 alone – the airline industry lost $10bn in 2008. 

Once the recession is over and air travel begins to pick up, the demand for more flights – and therefore more pilots – will increase, so retaining as many key personnel is vital. After all, BA’s rivals would no doubt be happy to recruit pilots axed by ‘the world’s favourite airline’. Hence the development of salary review tools.

But whilst Sanderson talks about how "technology can help to achieve or initiate cost savings" and give you the "basis to perform further analysis", she openly admits that pitching salary review tools during the recession hasn’t been easy. "I think a lot of organisations believe a salary review tool can’t help them when the economy is in a downturn," she comments. "A lot of companies don’t make the connection, and that’s something I think we’ve struggled with."

The company launched its salary review module earlier in the year, but has made a concerted effort in marketing the tool to its customers. Hopefully this will help better communicate the advantages of salary review tools – especially if Sanderson’s prediction is to come true. "We’ve only started to market it over the past couple of months; we have a few customers live now, and they’re finding it really useful and user-friendly. As they get more comfortable with it, companies are devolving it [beyond HR] to line managers or senior managers."
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Jon Wilcox

Technology Correspondent, Sift Media

Read more from Jon Wilcox
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