A California-based company called Comparably is trying to drum up publicity today for its new “fair pay” reporting tool. The idea is you put in your department, job title and zip code and it spits back an estimated salary. They don’t ask for years of experience, though the job titles sometimes reflect junior or senior roles.
Comparably is competing head-to-head with existing pay estimation tools, such as Glassdoor.
We wanted to test out this new tool for Austin. After all, we did our own tech salary survey of the Austin tech industry last year and I was curious to see how Comparably’s data stacked up.
First, I put in “engineering,” for the department and “DevOps” for the job title, which is basically a job that combines software development with IT operations. For zip code I put in 78701, which is downtown Austin.
Comparably, of course, blocks out some of the more interesting data. Still you get a rough idea of the average of Austin. I wasn’t surprised to see a salary well above six figures.
I was curious if the data would change much if I put in the zip code for Dell Technologies in Round Rock. Comparably then made me sign up for their service and offer salary information to see more.
I reluctantly did. The company promised to keep it anonymous.
Comparably then sent me a confirmation email and after you click on it they ask for yet more information about you, such as your age range, the company you work for, and your years of experience. I felt like a sucker -- this whole reporting “tool” was just a way to gather more data on us. I put in a bunch of half-true information just to get out of that screen and get back to the salary tool.
After doing that, Comparably spit me back on to a dashboard screen that had salary information specialized to my industry and job title. I wanted to get back to that main salary tool. Comparably allows me to put in a different job title, but it wouldn’t let me switch out from the “media” industry selection.
Just in case all the tech workers reading this need to feel better about themselves, check out what Comparably says is the average wage of a reporter in Austin:
I explored every link and random corner of the Comparably website trying to find it again and I couldn’t. I felt a little bit like Alice in Wonderland, lost in a maze and desperate to find the right door.
Structuring their website to focus on you and your specific job and industry is helpful, but also a hindrance to anyone who is thinking about switching careers, or nosy reporters. (Also, it’s worth noting that when you put in the additional information, Comparably does break down salaries by years of experience.)
Stumbling around their website, I did discover some other interesting tools Comparably offers, such as an equity calculator geared toward start-up workers that allows you to see what sort of equity compensation you should expect. I tested it by selecting “marketing” and then putting in “social media manager” for job title. That gives you this screen:
And guess what happens when you click on “view dashboard?” I’m transported right back to where I started, the dreaded dashboard screen with reporter salary information.
I even looked for a way to log myself out of the website and start fresh as an anonymous person, and couldn’t figure that one out either. I’d probably have to delete cookies to really start fresh.
Have you tried Comparably’s tool yet? Send me a tweet or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know whether you think it’s helpful or accurate.
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