Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What's your worth?

posted by Andy Leff
You're not lazy. Quite the opposite. You're a hardworking entrepreneur who wears every hat at your small business -- from clerk, to beancounter, to CEO. As a result, your time and your nerves are stretched to the breaking point.

That's why you'll love this Web 2.0 resource compilation from Null and Void, a definite must-read for a Web 2.0 beginner-slash-business owner.

It breaks down the top 25 Web 2.0 applications by business function, including finance, marketing, and workflow management. (The list even includes social networking. Be still, my beating heart!)

While you're at it, check out, one worthwhile resource overlooked by Null and Void. Think of it as the people's version of, in that it relies on user-reported data to generate salary ranges and reports.

It's a great tool for employees who need help figuring out their workforce worth. Also, the service's user-generated aspect stays true to Web 2.0 principles, and gives control to customers, rather than site owners.

But employers derive the most benefits from a site like PayScale. On its most basic level, it sidesteps industry payroll trend analysts, saving them time and money, and shares all pertinent info in one convenient location.

Employers can also get averages of what a specific position in an industry makes, and compare their payrolls to actual industry numbers. This helps cut costs where applicable.

Moreover, the data clues them in to the marketplace climate, which improves their recruiting methods. For example, if an employer is offering 35K a year for a bookkeeper position, but bookkeepers actually average 45K a year, the employer can align the salary to expectations before posting to the classifieds.

This information also helps during salary negotiations. Employers already know the salary ceiling, which alleviates concerns about over- or under-offering. Plus, they have solid numbers backing them up if potential hires question them.

Of course, the usual caveat still stands -- do you trust the users behind user-generated content? The info is only as good as the data supplied to PayScale. And if people misrepresent their salaries, or too few employees in a given field submit data, then reports will be skewed or incorrect.

That said, PayScale seems reliable for most professions, and, at the very least, can augment additional salary research. Happy headhunting!

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