Think back to when you were an employee for a second. When you applied for jobs, what were the biggest factors you considered? Was it location? Your new title? The reputation of the company?

 One factor we’re willing to bet played a role in your decision was compensation. And guess what? Your employees are too! Understandably, everyone wants to know their time and effort are being put to effective use and that they’ll be rewarded fairly for what they put in.

 But now that you’re an employer, pay creates a whole new set of challenges. How do you know if you’re paying your employees well? How can you keep things fair? How do you make sure your employees know they’re valued?

 It’s a lot to consider. So today, I’m dropping in with 4 tips to help you understand how you can create fair pay for your new employees.  

 Tip #1: Create Salary Ranges for Each Position

Look, not every person in the same position is going to be paid the same salary. Things like experience in similar roles, time in the industry and relevant education are just a few factors that might influence starting pay. But no matter how varied the candidates are, there should always be a defined salary range for a role before you hire someone.

 Why? Well, for starters, it gives your employees pay equity and an expectation around how the company values each position. It stops Employee A from wondering why Employee B is making twice as much as they are. And it helps you control your pay expenses.

 Tip #2: Develop a Performance Evaluation System

Now, performance-based raises are a part of every employer’s annual tasks. But deciding how much to give and how to decide this number is a struggle. Coming up with a number shouldn’t be random. In fact, you should have plenty of data and evidence behind your decision.

 Developing a performance evaluation system for each role in your company is the best way to award raises. The system you develop will depend on your company and the duties of each role, but making sure it’s consistent will help you give fair raises that each employee can understand.

 Tip #3: Don’t Ignore Market Data

When you’re deciding starting salaries and raises, you can’t base your decisions on internal factors alone. It’s incredibly important to know what the market is like and make sure your pay doesn’t stray too far from the norms for job title and location.

 For one thing, knowing the market will stop you from subjectively paying your employees for their duties. But staying true to the market also helps improve employee retention and morale. Seriously, no one wants to Google “average salary for Job X” and discover they’re making $20,000 less than others in similar positions!

 Tip #4: Know Your Philosophy

Once you have a good understanding of the market data for the roles you’re filling, it’s time to think about your company philosophy. You can talk the talk about caring for your employees, but unless you’re able to show it, your team will see through the act quickly. So, what values are important to your brand and how will you show it once you onboard your team?

 Now, this doesn’t mean all your perks have to come in salary form. Maybe you offer a well-being reimbursement for employees who want to join a gym or take Peloton classes. Or maybe you offer a few mental health days throughout the year to give your team a chance to unwind. Monthly lunch on the company? The possibilities are endless!

Barbara Mason is a career consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and her passion is helping career professionals stay, flow, or go in their career.

To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.