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5 Compensation Predictions for 2022 - Pay Transparency, DEI, and More

, | Dec 28, 2021 1:34:00 PM | By

Written by Thanh D. Nguyen, Founder & CEO at OpenComp


I often take time at the end of the year to read predictions about the future of work for the following year. While the predictions aren’t supposed to be canon, they’re also not just fluff. Contemplating the future is a perfect way to jog the brain to consider experience against various possible scenarios. 


This year, instead of just reading about predictions, I’ve made my own list of five predictions for 2022, in collaboration with the rest of the OpenComp team. Taking a pause to think through today’s greater issues and opportunities — and how our business can be a part of addressing them — has been a pleasure. 


Which of these are the most relevant for your work? Which predictions would you add? While the entire OpenComp team is currently out of office, I look forward to a discussion when the new year begins.


Pay transparency will become a mandate. 

With new pay transparency laws (now in eight states), employee activism and an incredibly dynamic, distributed employment market, responsible business leaders will take control of their compensation practices and pay transparency - this year, not next. 


Compensation and pay transparency are a fiduciary responsibility as the largest cost for any company, as well as one of the most important drivers for hiring and retention. Leaders driven to do good will bring compensation and pay transparency out of the back office, where it’s a manual and resource-heavy slog, and into the enterprise stack as an automated, business driver.


Companies will say goodbye to salary negotiations. 

Companies that develop compensation and pay transparency strategies and communicate them effectively to employees create pay transparency. This doesn’t mean that every employee knows what others earn; rather, employers provide an understanding of pay decisions and the opportunity for compensation at each level. 


There are degrees of pay transparency, of course, but when business leaders develop their compensation strategies (through market analysis and setting clear pay and equity bands for each level), and then communicate them clearly to employees, the need for salary negotiations is effectively eliminated. 


Silicon Valley wealth will be redistributed across the U.S. as work models turn to hybrid or remote more long-term. 

The remote worker compensation models that employers chose, however, will greatly impact this distribution: do you pay a local, national, or company headquarters rate? Most employers, to reduce complexity, are choosing a national rate (which can be adjusted for local markets but remains above the average to attract the best talent). 


The next question for companies to ask to really move the needle is how to distribute equity across the roles and geographies. 


Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) becomes a corporate responsibility to which boards and executives will be held accountable. 

Over the past year, companies moved quickly to improve how they speak and plan for DEI, but 2022 is when actions are quantitatively measured. 


Companies will evolve to have their own scorecards to measure specific DEI targets, including representation across employees, boards and partners - and the results will be tied to executive compensation. That score will deeply impact organizations’ ability to compete for and retain talent, as well as improve profitability, efficiency, and grow the business. 


At some point soon, there will also be mandates attached to DEI, even further driving the need for companies to move forward now.


Employment moves from roles-based to skills-based employment, improving retention in hybrid and remote work. 

The idea of fixed roles is changing. If employers can better understand their current talent and their potential, they can assign employees to new jobs as needed or upskill employees to fit a new need. 


Such an approach will help best utilize the current workforce and keep employees engaged more deeply over time, while also hiring to fill those gaps employers can’t bridge on their own. And now with many employees working remotely, the top reason employees stay moves from the people to opportunities for fulfillment. 



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Thanh Nguyen is CEO & Co-founder at OpenComp. A serial entrepreneur and former member of the founding HR team at, Thanh writes about topics including startup compensation, company growth strategies, the future of work, and hybrid work for publications including TechCrunch and Forbes. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.