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Three key features your pay review software must have





Posted by Mark Macoun on 03 February 2022

Three key features your pay review software must have

Pay Review | Advance | Pay Data

Pay review is a fundamental and instrumental exercise to retain and reward employees, typically on an annual basis. This puts the onus on the HR team to apply a fair and transparent application which can be difficult to keep on top of when dealing with large numbers of employees with varying parameters. 

Pay reviews can range from simplistic (e.g. cost of living increase across the board) models to more nuanced (e.g performance ratings, discretionary, pay position) which greatly increases the complexity and application to deliver a fair and equitable outcome. 

With this complexity often comes pain, and this pain is often exacerbated by a reliance on time-hungry spreadsheets, which then need carving up to send out to line managers for input, only for HR to have to piece them back together again.

This painful pay review process is leading many HR teams to look for software to handle the heavy lifting, giving them more control of how pay review is managed and implemented, more trust in the outputs, and a credible budget and distribution analysis that gives the CFO what they need for quick approval.

If you are considering implementing a software solution for your next pay review, make sure you pick one that has these three must-have features: 

Pay pot distribution planning and budget distribution 

The initial pay pot sets the baseline and determines how much money can be distributed among the employees. If an organisation were to apply a CoL increase across the board this would be relatively easy to assess the cost, however when segmenting employees based on performance, seniority etc – auto-distribution can be an invaluable tool. What auto-distribution aims to do, is to take all the parameters set around the pay review (such as performance ratings, market or internal pay positioning, internal pay policies) and return the best-suggested % increase matrix for salary increments based on the segmentation of employees and budget set. This is a handy way to establish the initial distribution of the pay pot and saves the lengthy manual process of working this out. 

Scenario modelling, with data overlays 

Pay review modellers can be clunky and keeping a track of the multiple scenarios and employee groups can be hard to keep on top of. Your pay review software should be easy to model and re-run different scenarios with the respective costings at a push of a button. Additionally, the ability to overlay multiple data points - such as market data, performance ratings or an employee’s positioning under a pay framework or ‘like work’ job roles are important to consider. Software which considers all the metrics which may be used during the pay review process is hugely beneficial in centralizing the data and decisions made. 

In addition, your software should have the ability to make discretionary changes outside of the initial allocation or distribution. This is a common practice however discretionary increases can significantly skew the initial pay pot, so ensure your software includes a separate discretionary pot away from the distributed pay pot which managers can access.  

Scenario modelling allows you to test and look ahead, identifying current and future pay gaps as a result of the application. Where many see pay review as a one-off annual exercise, the right software can allow for future budgeting as well as making the most of the current pay pot. 

Defined user permissions 

User permissions can be an easy but vital way to share information around line managers and HR staff. Permissions can be set to control the accessibility of the insight to each user – for example, permissions can be set to enable the line-managers to only see their colleagues to enable pay decisions or to control and customize the insights available to each user, e.g. in terms of showing the impact of the proposed pay review from a pre and post-application. This helps engage managers in the pay review process and also centralise all decisions across the organisation rather than sending and collating spreadsheets. This, paired with the ability to access it at any time and the accompanying charts and reports can make using the right software for your pay review process invaluable. 

In essence, third-party tools can take the heavy load of a pay review and turn it into a collaborative, secure and structured process – given the right software. This is largely dependent on your requirements as an organisation however if you are looking for some assistance, please contact Innecto. We can help you every step of the way, and our pay review tool, Advance, may be the solution you need. You can contact me via email ( or call our consultancy team on +44 (0)20 3457 0894. 

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