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Job evaluation: the foundation for accurate expatriate salary benchmarking

Global mobility is by nature a diverse industry, with companies of differing sizes that are active in various sectors moving employees of wide-ranging roles, experience levels and pay grades between countries throughout the world. As a result, accurately comparing expatriate employees and their pay packages amid all these variable factors can present a significant challenge. Luckily, a robust and consistent job evaluation system can help simplify the task.

Consistency is key

To enable an accurate comparison of seniority between employees in a global mobility context, an effective job evaluation system needs to be able to measure seniority on a basis that remains consistent despite the variable factors referenced above. This is only possible if a number of areas related to the size of the role are taken into account. ECA consider the following key factors:

  • Area of responsibility and the type of work and decision-making this entail
  • Extent of influence on business results
  • Degree of risk and budgetary control
  • Relationships, both internal and external, that the position requires to be maintained
  • Position within the company seniority structure

Once a thorough assessment has been made for a particular employee, an ultimate grade or score can be determined, which in turn fits into an overall structure that ranks seniority.

ECA points and benchmarking

Job evaluations at ECA express scores as ECA points, a system which plays a central role in ECA’s benchmarking reports. The consistency that underpins the ECA points system provides organisations with a way to benchmark their diverse groups of expatriates with peers anywhere in the world.

The MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey is a key example of the value of using ECA points. The survey determines scores either by mapping from existing job evaluations (such as those carried out by Hay, Mercer or Willis Towers Watson) or by estimating based on the expatriate-specific information provided as part of the survey. In each country-specific report, the ECA point scores are plotted against expatriate net salaries on the personalised MySalary graph, enabling an objective comparison of pay levels across the full range of expatriate job positions in that country.


The salary data in the survey spans a wide range of nationalities, industry groups and mobility policy types and an accurate comparison of this data on the same graph is possible due to the use of job evaluations. Armed with this valuable tool, organisations can benchmark the salaries of their expatriates against counterparts whose seniority has been objectively evaluated at a similar level and assess their market position accordingly. This insight can then help with setting or adjustment policies, as well as demonstrating the results of these policies to stakeholders.


If your company already operates a job evaluation system (such as Hay), we can provide conversion tables to translate your evaluation scores into ECA points. You can then use ECA’s remuneration surveys, including the MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey, to benchmark against other employees. If you do not have existing job evaluations, you can still gain access to ECA’s remuneration survey reports and the benchmarking advantages that they provide.

ECA’s MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey reports offer an in-depth and personalised guide for benchmarking your current expatriate salary and benefits policies. Data is provided for over 10 000 individual expatriates working in over 140 countries for hundreds of multinationals. Participation is open to any organisation with expatriates, regardless of whether you are an ECA client or whether you have existing job evaluations. The survey is open between July and September every year and all participants receive free, personalised reports for every host country they submit data for.


  Please contact us to speak to a member of our team directly.

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