A benchmark job is a job that is well-defined across company lines, such as security, accounting and secretarial jobs, where information about median salaries is easily accessible and commonly available. In order to check if one organization is fairly paying its employees according to the market rate, public surveys are used to gather data about pay rates in one specific role or industry, as noted by Lehigh University.
Surveys are conducted using criteria of similar jobs in different organizations. Standard surveys are published in reports compiled by consulting firms, state and federal governments, education institutions and industry associations, as reported by Salary.com.
Companies that participate in the polls are routinely given a discount when the final results are published. A custom survey differs from the standard version as they focus more closely on a specific set of jobs and companies. Both types of surveys are routinely used by organizations at least once a year to determine if the jobs that were benchmarked are being adequately compensated for within a company.
Non-benchmark jobs are those that information isn't widely available about, such as a specialty role unique to an important need within a company. When little information is available for a specific job, employers compare similar roles of the specialty with those published in a survey to find a starting place to work from when determining a salary range.