The hiring process would be much simpler if business owners had a standard guideline for determining employee compensation. Though fair compensation will naturally vary depending on the specific experience and education level of the candidate, a set of rules or step-by-step instructions could act as a baseline to ensure that a competitive salary range and benefits package are on the negotiating table.

Of course, no such instructions exist. The onus is on the business owner to create competitive therapy compensation packages that the company can afford to offer, and that will attract the top echelon of therapy practitioners. Here’s what every business owner should consider when creating fair therapy and general compensation packages.

Use Available Resources

Several online sites give insight into other company compensation practices. It’s worth it to invest the time to thoroughly research these sites to find out what others are reporting. Sites like, and Randstad are good places to start.

In addition, online discussion forums that relate to the therapy private practice industry can yield nuggets of gold regarding what others are paying. When searching for specific mentions of pay, use strategic keywords like “pay”, “therapy pay”, “paycheck”, “salary”, “private therapy compensation”, etc. In forums, past and present employees sometimes give hints about how a company pays.

For best results, track the data you discover with a spreadsheet that lists the company and source of the information. As with all data, you’ll do well to pay attention to patterns and averages rather than single instances that may just be an anomaly.

Just Ask

One strategy for determining fair pay for employees is to simply ask the candidate certain questions relating to compensation. While it’s not a smart negotiating strategy to come out and ask what he or she wants to be paid, it’s fair and savvy to ask the following carefully worded questions:

1. What was your previous salary?

2. What would you expect a position with this job description might pay?

3. What would you need to see in terms of compensation and benefits in order to seriously consider this position?

When you have a conversation like this with a short-listed candidate, it sets up a rapport that bolsters feelings of trust and transparency. Not only will you gain some insight into fair compensation, but your candidate will begin to feel vested in the job offer.

Pay Attention to Existing Employee Feedback

Often, your existing employees will provide valuable feedback regarding fair compensation. During employee evaluations, many employees will start the raise conversation by offering evidence that other companies are paying more for that job role. Listening carefully to the feedback that your current employees give can go a long way toward understanding compensation trends in your industry.

Consider All Your Benefits

Employees are motivated by more things than money: In particular, millennials in the private therapy industry may be motivated by challenges in the workplace, workplace autonomy and freedom to periodically use their home as a base. When you do compare your company’s salary offerings, don’t just look at the money. Consider all the benefits that you offer your employees, and make a point of highlighting them during any compensation negotiating conversation. Your company shouldn’t have to pay the same high salary of a competitor if you have additional valuable benefits to offer that the competition doesn’t.

Consider the Value That the Position Brings to the Company

Try not to make the mistake of attempting to get away with as little as you can when paying employees. The purpose of the exercise is to pay fairly, not just competitively. If you have a job role that brings considerable value to your organization, you should pay accordingly. Calculate how much it would cost you to replace that person, including the time spent searching for viable candidates. Often, this calculation alone is enough to come up with a fair compensation package that both you and the candidate will be content with.

These tips for determining fair compensation for employees should suffice for the next time you need to figure it out. Using resources, asking the right questions, paying attention to employees and considering all the value metrics will get you to the right place.

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