Security Barometer: Has Your Compensation Kept Pace?

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The Great Resignation and remote work opportunities during the pandemic have resulted in higher turnover. This is creating unprecedented demand for security professionals.

In this security barometer quick poll, we are investigating whether security practitioners feel they are fairly compensated given the current economic climate.

chart showing 60% of survey participants felt compensation has not kept pace.

While the results shown in the chart above may not surprise you, the participants reasons for their answers contained some interesting commonality.

Yes, Compensation Has Kept Pace

Summarizing, the group that felt their compensation has kept pace were able to do so because:
  • Their organization’s established compensation requirements upfront.
  • Their Security group shows/delivers value.
  • Their organization has a solid and consistent compensation policy across the organization/or is under pressure to do so (e.g., reorg).
  • Their organization employs aggressive compensation models as a way to retain talent during the great resignation/talent drain.

No, Compensation Has Not Kept Pace

Reasons given for why compensation has not kept pace included:
  • Security needs to be better at negotiations like the professional sector.
  • Rates are fixed so there is no movement on compensation (e.g., contractor or government).
  • The organization does not have money to support departments that do not generate revenue (Security is a cost).
  • The organization does not benchmark or compare to market/lack of transparency.

What About the Rest of the Team?

chart showing 50% of participants feel compensation for the rest of the team has not kept pace.

The survey participants opinions about the compensation of the rest of the team was more evenly distributed. This might be because it is often easier for security leaders to request and obtain raises for staff than it is to do so for themselves.

The "Other" answers were participants who did not know the compensation of others on the team.

Next Steps

We understand that adequate compensation can attract and maintain quality workers but attempting to increase compensation within organizations is a challenging endeavor. Even during inflationary periods there is downward pressure on wages as companies struggle to maintain profit margins.

However, as shown above, having a strong, trusted compensation policy for the business can provide needed support for maintaining fair compensation levels. Being able to show that current compensation does not match market levels can go a long way to influence the compensation team.

Approaching your compensation team with commonly available surveys of wages will likely be dismissed by your organization. Guiding the compensation team toward a trusted verified source of compensation data specifically for Security, Compliance and EH&S is key to ensuring fair compensation levels for you and your team.

The Foushée Group provides the only compensation research report specifically for the Security and Compliance functions. The SEC has long promoted their efforts toward being a trusted source of data to compensation teams. Even if you think you are paid sufficiently for your work, having your compensation team sourced with reliable data is the best way to ensuring fair compensation in the long run.
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