Know Your Worth Methodology and FAQ | Glassdoor
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Know Your Worth Methodology & FAQs

What is Know Your Worth?

Know Your Worth™ by Glassdoor estimates the amount an individual could reasonably expect to earn as base pay in today’s active U.S. job market, based on experience and other personal details. To calculate an individual’s personalized market value, or “worth,” we use proprietary and patent-pending machine learning algorithms that take into account specific work-related attributes and factors relating to each person: current job title, base salary, employer, work location, industry, typical job transitions, years of relevant experience, and current state of the local job market. Individual Know Your Worth market values are recalculated weekly.

As of October 2017, Know Your Worth™ has the ability to calculate personalized market values for the majority of the U.S. workforce (~77%). The Know Your Worth model currently predicts the market value at an 11.8 percent median margin of error, based on each person’s personal attributes (See more details on accuracy below)

As Glassdoor collects more salary and other relevant data, the Know Your Worth machine learning algorithm gets smarter and the company expects that occupational coverage and accuracy will improve over time. Keep in mind that results do not represent verified salaries, guarantees of actual salaries, or endorsements from employers. The purpose of an estimated market value is to provide data to promote transparency and to help people make more informed decisions. For this reason, Glassdoor does not guarantee the accuracy of results and you are responsible for how you use them. We encourage you to supplement Glassdoor’s salary estimates with other research.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Know Your WorthTM?

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Know Your Worth™ provides you with a personal estimated market value for base pay that helps you discover what you’re currently worth in your local job market and find out if you’re paid fairly. Simply enter in your current job title, salary, location, relevant years of experience, education and gender (optional), then Know Your Worth generates your anonymous and free market value estimate.

What isn’t included in Know Your Worth market values?

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Know Your Worth market values reflect a personalized median base pay you could expect to earn in today’s job market. This market value does not currently factor in others types of compensation and benefits (i.e. bonus, equity, health care coverage and other benefits) that you are offered at your company that could influence your base pay. Your market value is designed to be a starting point to assess your worth in today’s market and evaluate if you are being paid fairly. It’s important to consider other types of compensation and benefits you receive as you think about your options and in conversations with your current or a prospective employer.

What should I do with my Know Your Worth market value?

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Know Your Worth estimated market value is designed to help you determine if you are being paid fairly and if a better job may be available. Use your market value to get informed, talk to your manager, negotiate a raise, or even make an educated decision about your future. Be empowered by the data Know Your Worth can reveal

How are the market values for Know Your Worth calculated?

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Know Your Worth market values take into account salary insights directly collected from millions of U.S. workers and third-party sources. Know Your Worth applies proprietary, patent-pending machine learning algorithms that factor in each individual’s personal characteristics, current relevant job openings in the local labor market and typical career progression data.

To calculate a personalized market value, Glassdoor requires a few personal details. You simply need to provide your job title, company, years of experience relevant to your current career, city and current base pay. If your current role is included in Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth, the tool will calculate the current personalized market value for the user in seconds.

How often are Know Your Worth market values updated?

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Glassdoor recalculates market values weekly using real-time data.

How accurate are Know Your Worth market values?

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Our accuracy greatly depends on the salary data in our system and current relevant job openings in each market. As of October 2017, our estimated median margin of error is 11.8%, which means half of the estimates used in the Know Your Worth algorithm are within 11.8% of the true reported new salary, while half differ by more than 11.8%. Additionally, when looking at individual error distribution, 90% of market values are within a 30% margin of error. Learn more about the methodology

My market value seems too low – or too high. What’s going on?

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Know Your Worth works to provide you with an estimate that is relevant to your job, years of experience, employer, industry and location. Our accuracy also greatly depends on the salary data we receive from our entire community.

As of October 2017, our expected median error is 11.8%, which means half of the estimates used with the Know Your Worth algorithm are within approximately 11.8% of the true reported new salary, while half differ by more than 11.8%. Certains jobs and occupations will fall within or outside of this range. Additionally, when looking at individual error distribution, 90% of market values are within a 30% margin of error. Learn more about the methodology

 

How should I define relevant work experience?

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Relevant work experience relates to the job you are doing today, not necessarily the total number of years you have worked. If the skills and experience of your prior job(s) are directly applicable to your current job, then you would account for this in your total years of relevant work experience.

I’m not getting a market value for my job. Why?

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We simply may not yet have enough data for your specific job in your local market. As of October 2017, Glassdoor expects to be able to calculate estimated market values for the majority of U.S. jobs (approximately 77%), but not all. As more people contribute salary information to Glassdoor, the more coverage we’ll have and the more accurate market values will become. Even if a market value is not able to be generated at this time, you can use the Glassdoor Salary Explorer to see how much you could make in a variety of scenarios. While not the same as your Know Your Worth market value, the Salary Explorer is a useful tool.

What’s the difference between Know Your Worth and Salary ExplorerTM?

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Know Your Worth looks at earning potential in the current job market and takes into account your personal characteristics, real-time related job openings, and typical career transitions. Salary Explorer gives a snapshot of the estimated base salary you could earn for a particular job today based on the millions of salary data points Glassdoor has collected.

Why are some of the suggested job listings below my estimated market value?

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We display jobs that match your job title in your location, but we don't filter out by salary. The reason is that we want to allow you to decide what jobs and what overall compensation and rewards packages – not just those with high base pay – are right for you. For example, other factors that may be important to you beyond base salary include competitive health care coverage, parental leave, the option to work from home, or commute time.

How can employers work with Know Your Worth?

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Employers sometimes get presented with salary data from Glassdoor during salary negotiations in job interviews and with employees during performance reviews or other opportunities for communication about compensation. Understanding how Know Your Worth market values are calculated will be helpful in shaping any conversations. Glassdoor Know Your Worth market values reflect the estimated median base pay an individual could earn in today’s market. This does not take into account what other compensation and benefits might be in an employer’s total rewards program that will be an important part of any discussion. See our Employer Resource Guide for Know Your Worth.

I’m an employer. Can I verify the salary estimates or employees’ market values on Glassdoor?

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Not at this time. The best way to help improve the accuracy of the salary data on Glassdoor is to encourage your employees to contribute a salary report or to try using Know Your Worth. As Glassdoor continues to grow, we will continue to evaluate other ways to help make the site even more valuable

Know Your Worth Methodology

Know Your Model Inputs

The "Know Your Worth" model leverages millions of data points Glassdoor has accumulated and actively monitors daily trends related to compensation, career progression and job openings

Factor 1: Current Compensation and Estimated Salaries

Since Glassdoor launched in 2008, we have collected millions of salaries and other compensation data from workers around the world. Our proprietary salary database provides a unique data set that, through sophisticated algorithms, enables us to reasonably predict the estimated base pay of current job openings through what we call Salary Estimates.

To calculate an individual’s personal market value via Know Your Worth, Glassdoor factors in a person’s current compensation and also analyzes salaries from similar types of workers in the same market. Glassdoor also reviews all open jobs in the area that match each individual’s profile and factors in the Salary Estimate for each relevant job. These inputs are disclosed to users on their Know Your Worth results page:

3,829

salaries

We recieved 3,829 salaries from people like you in the washington. DC area.

2,634

open jobs

We used salary estimates 2,634 open jobs in your area that fit your profile.

Factor 2: Career Progression

In addition to an individual’s current compensation, a key component of someone’s current market value is their probable career progression (a.k.a. their next job). As a job search site, Glassdoor indexes millions of job-related data points that we observe and/or collect from employees that provide insight into real-world job transitions. This includes activity on the site, user-reported salary data and other job data and information in resumes and profiles. This career progression data is an important input into the Glassdoor Know Your Worth algorithm that helps ensure that the model focuses on the most probable real-world job transitions that an individual is likely to experience in today’s job market.

Factor 3: Current Job Openings – Labor Supply and Demand

An individual’s market value will be affected by how in demand their skills and experience level are in their current job market. The Know Your Worth model actively monitors job openings and shifts in labor demand for certain roles and skills via Glassdoor’s job aggregation engine, which is one of the largest job search sites in the U.S. Each time an individual requests their market value, Glassdoor will analyze current open jobs that match the person’s profile. Significant shifts in demand for skills and types of workers in a market will likely influence an individual’s market value. For example, if job postings for executive assistants in Washington DC rise or drop 20% between October and November, this would likely impact the market value of executive assistants in Washington DC. In addition to the supply of jobs in the market at a given time, Glassdoor also takes into account the expected pay of those open jobs. For example, if a high-paying employer opens several positions for software engineers in one week, we could expect the market value of software engineers in that market to go up.

Other Factors Collected for Future Use and Anonymous Research

As part of Know Your Worth, Glassdoor is also collecting additional data that we anticipate using in future improvements of the model. We collect variable compensation data, such as bonuses, tips, commissions, stock options and profit sharing, as well as education data. These data points are important to understanding an individual’s total compensation, but are not yet factored into the Know Your Worth calculation, which currently estimates the market value only for base pay. In addition, data such as gender and birth year are also being collected to support future research around compensation and pay equality, but are not taken into account when computing a user’s market value.

Model Accuracy

To assess the accuracy of the Glassdoor Know Your Worth model for base pay, we routinely test our predictions against a set of known users who experienced real-world job and salary transitions. We observe the difference between our estimated market value and the user’s reported real-world change in base pay.

Median Error Distribution

As of October 2017, our expected median error is 11.8%, which means half of the model’s estimates are expected to be within 11.8% of the true reported new base salary, while half are expected to differ by more than 11.8%. The 90% confidence interval of the median error is 9.6% to 13.1% (see chart below). Additionally, when looking at individual error distribution, 90% of market values are within a 30% margin of error.

Median errors will vary by occupation, industry and market based on available data and current open jobs. Over time, accuracy is expected to improve as more users share their salary with the Glassdoor community and the Know Your worth model gets smarter.

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