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min read

What is Pay Tracker Live by HR DataHub?

Written by
David Whitfield
What is Pay Tracker Live by HR DataHub?

Pay Tracker Live makes live and in-the-moment pay market data accessible to everyone. 

Until now, HR professionals had to rely on salary surveys, typically done annually, to assess the pay for specific roles in their organisations. However, salaries fluctuate fast, especially in current times, and the market is highly dynamic. I’d even dare say that there are correlations between the dynamics of the stock and job markets. Needless to say, it’s high time to move beyond annual pay data collections and provide tools to help HR professionals, hiring managers and recruiters navigate the markets of today and tomorrow.

One thing I’d like to mention, however, is that there are limitations that come with Pay Tracker Live. I will elaborate on how it works further down in this post, but in short, Pay Tracker Live analyses data from job boards. Now, this stands in contrast to salary surveys, populated with data from HRS systems — understand the actual pay levels — which might differ from what is advertised on job boards.

It will be exciting to combine data from salary surveys with Pay Tracker Live as it will also make differences more visible and provide in-depth data that will help mitigate the risks in recruitment and, therefore, allow companies to adopt the right pay strategy to retain staff and hire new talent. 

Note that the HR DataHub platform already provides pay data, and, in the future, we plan on combining both to provide the best experience to our users.

Why Pay Tracker Live is needed now

Before we dive into the use cases and future developments with Pay Tracker Live, let me explain why we built the tool in the first place

I speak daily with HR professionals from different organisations as part of my work at HR DataHub. And something that often comes back in our conversations is the countless hours spent reviewing job ads and checking competitor websites to get a more accurate view of the salaries they should offer. With Pay Tracker Live, our customers can do the same in about 30 seconds.

In addition to saving time, HR is also pressured to improve recruitment and talent management processes, in a holistic way. And finding and retaining talent is a key differentiating factor which is only growing in value with time.

This brings me to the second reason for launching Pay Tracker Live; We are currently experiencing a perfect storm: There are more vacancies than people to fill them, inflation levels are rising, and businesses need to ensure that salaries match the growing costs of living.

Let’s take an example.

Say you operate a logistics company delivering parcels. A small hourly salary increase could make a big difference for your staff and incentivise them to join a competitor. To prevent such a situation from happening, you need a tool to see hotspots in the market and understand where your pay policies stand on the market now — and not 10 months ago, when you looked at the yearly salary surveys.

In other words, live pay data is now crucial for businesses to manage costs and make sure they can hire and retain top talent while running a competitive pay strategy.

The third and most important reason why we built Pay Tracker Live is because it links to diversity and inclusion, which is the pillar of our mission at HR Datahub; help organisations build more diverse, inclusive and fairer workplaces

Pay Tracker Live allows us to analyse job adverts to see how inclusive they actually are. 

For instance, research has shown that job ads that don’t mention a salary range typically result in men getting a higher pay because they will ask for more.

Pay Tracker Live implicitly makes pay more visible and creates incentives for companies to be transparent about salary. We believe that being transparent on pay is a prerequisite to being a truly diverse and inclusive company, simply because it ensures equity for all.

Not just for knowledge workers

At this point, it may sound like Pay Tracker Live is designed for companies employing knowledge workers.

It’s not.

Pay Tracker Live is designed to help all organisations offer the right pay and benefits to attract, hire and retain top talent.

Now, studies find that one in two new hires will leave in less than 12 months. Having said that, the right salary may play a crucial role in extending their stay. Keep in mind that employee churn can be very costly, regardless of the roles. In other words. retaining people longer will drastically reduce recruitment costs.

We are also aware that one of the main reasons why people leave their job is a lack of perspective. Still, offering the right pay and benefits might not fix the problem forever, but it will help retain talent longer.

For frontline workers, whose salary negotiations are more on a collective level, raising everyone's salary by one pound per hour will make a difference for the staff, but also for the company as a whole and, therefore, needs to be carefully considered. Here again, live and accurate data can help make the right decisions.

Use Cases - Accurate and fair pay vs. the Great Paradox

We are now living through The Great Paradox

COVID-19 caused a never-seen-before wave of resignations, leaving HR professionals faced with the great challenge of attracting, hiring and retaining new talent. 

The world we now live in has changed, irrevocably. And at the time I’m writing those lines, we are at a point in history where a lot is left uncertain. However, inflation is growing strong and the recent waves of tech layoffs have taken the world by surprise.

At the end of the day, many organisations struggle to find talent when others need to lay their staff off to survive — From the Great Resignation to the Great Paradox.

Agile operations – also when it comes to pay

Companies need in-the-moment data insights to be agile and make the right calls. The market requires it.

After all, everyone who had to wait longer than usual to get their parcels delivered at the pandemic's peak felt the negative effects of non-agile recruitment operations in rapidly changing times.

Data on niche roles

Pay Tracker Live provides pay data on more niche and non-standard roles than salary surveys would. With Pay Tracker Live, all salary data on every single job ad out there can be analysed, also retroactively (we are collecting data from June 2022 onward).

Drill down on skills within roles

Say you need to hire a driver with an HGV licence. 

Of course, you could dive into the job adverts and search for similar positions. But if you want to drill down on a specific qualification — in this case, the licence class — it will get pretty tricky. 

Guess what? Pay Tracker Live makes this quick and painless.

Spot market trends early. No last-minute surprises.

The Great Resignation also saw many lorry drivers resigning, considering the pay too low. To retain talent, organisations employing lorry drivers had to offer higher pay and benefits. While it stopped the bleeding, the remedy came late.

Pay Tracker Live allows HR teams to see pay developments for roles and spot where the market is heading before it’s too late.

For instance, you could spot a surplus in open positions for a specific role or, in turn, a limited amount of vacancies, which might help you to time your recruitments and ensure you adopt the right pay strategy.

Make sure you use the right job titles

Did you ever find yourself in a position where you struggled to use the right naming for your job ads? With Pay Tracker Live, you can research jobs based on skills and see which titles other companies use.

Having the right job title will help: 

  • Receive top-fit applications
  • Shorten your recruitment process
  • Mitigate the risk of not filling vacancies

I could even take this further. 

Say you are understaffed and need to hire urgently. In such situations, your current staff needs to compensate for the staff shortage, putting them at a higher risk of burnout. 

This is, of course, an extreme example. But inefficient recruitment can negatively affect multiple layers of an organisation and result in tremendous risks for people.

Offer the right pay for the right location

Salary surveys don’t always provide regional, city or town-based data.

When hiring in a specific location, you need accurate data to offer the most relevant pay. 

  • If a salary survey includes data from all over the country, you could end up underestimating the pay for a job in a major city.
  • On the other hand, you could offer way-above-the-market benefits in rural environments. Great to find talent quickly, but most likely a bad idea, financially speaking.

Retain staff

You could analyse live pay for the roles in your organisation to identify disparities to be proactive in terms of retention. 

The best thing you could do is offer top talent a pay raise to make them feel valued and appreciated.

You may have heard the old adage that says ‘you can get a 3% raise, or get a 20% salary increase when looking elsewhere’. The reason for this is that salary levels within companies are often static and by the time you review salaries, someone (hello Finance!) has decided that salaries can be increased by a certain percentage.

What is important to remember is that whoever sets the baseline for salary increases is most likely not a talent management professional. In other words, they will not consider the risk of losing staff and its associated costs.

Pay Tracker Live makes it clear if/when you are above or below the market for specific roles, thus helping HR professionals to aim right from the start.

To summarise, Pay Tracker Live helps cut bad-fit recruitment costs and reduce recruitment time.


How it works

We built a system that collects data from job boards on a daily basis. Data is then stored and aggregated on our system, making it available for further analysis.

I need to highlight that we collect data in an ethical way.

  • We are doing it with 100% transparency
  • We only update data daily to prevent server overload.

For instance, we leave our contact information so that job boards know who is pulling data, and we use tools for indexing on Google jobs to get data without increasing job boards’ server load.

We are currently covering a wide range of job boards — From Indeed to TotalJobs — and we can expand based on customer wishes.

The real game-changer

When most salary comparison tools are built for applicants and salary surveys are only completed at set intervals, Pay Tracker Live is fully built for recruitment managers.

What will be most impactful in the future is the fact that we store data. We will be able to anticipate market changes by looking at how pay has evolved over time for specific jobs in specific locations and industries.

Additionally, the breadth of data is going to be a game-changer. Our tool has over 2 million job adverts that can be searched, but the user interface is extremely easy-to-use. 

What’s more, Pay Tracker Live speaks the language of HR DataHub’s existing tools and trackers. It means that it will soon be possible to build reports to cross-reference pay data with a ton of other relevant HR KPIs.

What our customers say so far

Our customers are excited about this!

The aha moment happens when we demo Pay Tracker Live and make a simple job title search. They have never seen anything like it before.

It’s especially exciting for them to see that even laser-focused search terms display results. I’m not saying you’ll always find something. But you will, in a vast majority of cases.

One of our customers summed it up quite well: 

It now takes me 30 seconds to do something I needed a day or more to complete”.

Another of our customers, James Fleetwood-Lowe (Senior Reward Manager at Royal London), told me he is impressed with the results he found for a specific role they are currently trying to fill and that he particularly appreciates the ‘export to excel function’ which lets him analyse the data in more detail.

What’s next for Pay Tracker Live?

We are just rolling out Pay Tracker Live and are granting access via a waitlist. We are just at the beginning of what’s possible with Pay Tracker Live, and we are receiving feedback from our customers to prioritise our next feature developments.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s cooking:

  • Nudges and alerts’, so companies could be notified when our tracker is picking up on sudden market evolutions. Say you and your competitors are suddenly looking to fill a similar position. Thanks to alerts, Pay Tracker Live would alert you when the job is less in demand and you might be able to hire at a more opportune pay.
  • Insights. In my vision, Pay Tracker Live would be able to offer insights just like Google Analytics does. For instance, it could offer insights to proactively notify a user of shifts in the market when it comes to the pay for a specific job.
  • Talent Tracker. Pay Tracker Live could show which roles are advertised, where, at what volumes, and what the current talent pool for this function looks like to help companies stay competitive.
  • More data sources. For example, demographic data would let recruiters know what the market looks like and how likely they are to fill a position in specific areas — or if they should look elsewhere. This is especially interesting when you factor in the possibilities for remote recruitments.
  • Include benefits. We all know salary is not the only motivation for employees. There are many more factors to take into account. If able to analyse the benefits mentioned in competing job ads, HR professionals could offer similar and/or higher benefits.
  • Careers pages. Pulling data from each company’s recruitment page would allow us to understand the benefits and maybe even deep dive into company culture. A segway to track inclusivity and other diversity KPIs.

Anything’s possible. But, essentially, we want to build what our customers need. This is why, now more than ever, we are committed to developing our tools in close collaboration with our customers.

Try the Pay Tracker Live by registering for Hr DataHub Essentials, our free forever plan.