Market-based salary ranges
VCU salary ranges are utilized similarly for both new and continuing employees. All salary offers receive initial approval within the school, department or unit. Salary offers within the top 25% of the salary range are also reviewed and approved by VCU HR. Typically, an individual will be appropriately and competitively paid with a salary up to the 75th percent of the salary range. However, in those circumstances where higher pay is deemed necessary - based on the individual’s qualifications or a high demand for the position - pay may exceed the salary range maximum with appropriate justification and approval from VCU HR.
In determining starting pay, a number of factors are considered. These include, but are not limited to:
- the appropriate salary range for the position
the individual’s qualifications and experience
internal equity within the department
departmental or unit financial resources
current staffing pattern and strategic staffing goals of the school/unit
All initial salary offers are presented to the selected candidate as a University and Academic Professional using the salary range criteria as described in the Range Placement section below. However, current VCU Classified employees have the option to retain Classified status. If the current VCU Classified employee accepts the university offer, the employee transfers to the University and Academic Professionals system. If the employee requests a Classified offer a revised salary offer is prepared following the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) pay practices. This offer is likely to be different from the university offer. Classified salary offers are not based on the university salary ranges. They are based on state policies and pay bands determined by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). See DHRM HR Policies available on the Department of Human Resource Management website.
Typically, employees new to a job or recently promoted have salaries at the lower end of the salary range. Employees who are qualified, fully capable, and strong performers have salaries in the middle of the salary range. Employees paid at the top of the salary range have advanced qualifications, unique skills or capabilities, and are sustained high performers over time. The midpoint of the salary range represents the market rate for a position and represents a fully proficient employee.
Exceptions to the use of this criteria for determining an individual’s base salary are made in consultation with HR. Examples of situations which may require VCU HR consultation include, but are not limited to, pay in high-demand jobs or employees with competitive job offers.
- Qualifications and market-based pay
When an individual moves into a new position, either as a new hire to the university or through promotion or transfer, the expectation is that the individual has all the required skills to meet the qualifications for the position. The more of the position’s preferred qualifications the candidate possesses, the more appropriate a salary offer towards the middle or upper end of the market-based salary range for the position.
To determine starting salary, the individual’s years of relevant job experience in a similar position are taken into account. The more relevant experience one has, the more appropriate it is for a higher salary to be offered. Transferrable skills may also be considered when determining appropriate pay.
- Internal equity
When determining starting salary, the pay and qualifications of current employees in similar positions within the school, unit and/or university are considered. The qualifications and longevity of current employees helps give context to starting salaries for new employees. As a general rule, new employees would not be paid more than similarly situated current employees taking into consideration scenarios such as salary compression, hard-to-fill positions or positions requiring unique skills.
Managers have discretion to establish salaries below the 75th percentile of the salary range, i.e., the first three quartiles. In the majority of circumstances, employee salaries up to this level will be appropriate based on the factors listed above. In situations where an individual has a unique skillset or expertise, managers may request pay above the 75th percentile, i.e., within the fourth quartile.