Aker Solutions benchmarks its benefits package on a global basis to understand what the market norms are in each of the countries in which it operates.
Philip Hutchinson, head of reward at the global provider of products, systems and services to the oil and gas industry, says the organisation starts by looking at the statutory minimums required in each country and what is typically offered above these. It follows this by benchmarking within the oil and gas sector, before looking at contribution levels in individual countries.
This means that Aker knows that the age-related pension contribution structure it offers in the UK is competitive and unlike its competitors’ pension provision, which enables the employer to attract the mature talent it needs for its business.
“Benchmarking enables us to do that in such a way that it still remains attractive,” says Hutchinson. “Not only can we make our package more attractive, but when we send out our offer letter [to new joiners], we can highlight which elements of the package are more attractive.”
Bespoke survey data for a specialised industry typically costs between £2,000 and £3,000, he says.
“We need to be more precise about the oil and gas industry, which is why we are willing to pay,” he adds.
Aker tries to benchmark and gain information informally in countries where benchmarking data is unavailable. “People are generally happy to share [information],” says Hutchinson. “It’s in their interest to do so if they are trying to attract talent to a particular region, such as Angola.”
Forward planning is vital before starting any benchmarking exercise, he advises.
“Before an employer goes out and benchmarks, they should think about what they want to do with the information. They can then gauge whether it is worth spending the money.”