The Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute Creates Employment Advantage

Salary Study

.orgSource has supported the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) on several significant projects related to culture building. The group was extremely focused on qualities like values, collaboration, and communication. However, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Beth Taylor, realized that there were related processes affecting the team that also needed attention if the culture work was to be successful.


Taylor identified hiring and performance reviews as areas for improvement. She determined that PCI could benefit from the expertise of professionals who see across the association community and bring an objective, research-based perspective to the task. Cecilia Sepp and Kevin Martlage, senior consultants on the .orgSource team, were assigned to the project. Martlage has deep knowledge of PCI while Sepp brings strong research skills and experience to this type of project.


Founded in 1954, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute is the technical institute and trade association for the precast, prestressed concrete structures industry. As a technical institute, PCI develops, maintains, and disseminates the Body of Knowledge for the design, fabrication, and erection of precast concrete structures and systems. There are 32 PCI team members.

The challenge

The goal was to bring greater uniformity to the employment process from placing job openings to hiring and performance reviews. To begin assessing the salary ranges that could be recommended, a thorough analysis of job descriptions across departments was required.


This evaluation would identify where job descriptions and position requirements were parallel and ensure that the qualifications for positions at each level of responsibility were comparable. For example, education and years of experience should be within an approximate range for all jobs at every level. Salary ranges should have similar parity, and be informed by requirements and experience.


“During and immediately after the pandemic, finding employees was difficult. Many positions were open for months. As a result, organizations became inconsistent in their hiring practices,” Sepp advised. “To preserve a positive culture and strong employee morale, you need to keep salaries in alignment. Compensating a less experienced employee at the same rate as someone who is significantly more proficient creates confusing messaging and makes budgeting and forecasting challenging. In addition, those unsubstantiated variances are not efficient. You want to be sure that everyone is fairly rewarded both for their expertise and their dedication to the organization.”

The Solution

To ensure that her report would be objective, confidential, and reflect current industry trends, Sepp brought her extensive background in research to the task. She consulted salary studies and databases both within the association industry and from outside sources such as Indeed and Zip Recruiter. She reviewed data including criteria like title, position, responsibilities, type of organization, and whether the job was remote or in-person. Then, she further refined her comparisons by examining information specific to PCI’s Chicago location.

After the salary ranges and position descriptions were completed, Sepp included recommendations to create a career arc for each staffer. The career arc defines a trajectory of progress that employees can strive to achieve, and it identifies what the next steps for individual growth might be.

“The career arc is an outline. It’s not a guarantee,” Sepp advises. “But it does provide each individual with motivation and a plan for ongoing professional development. The organization benefits by reinforcing a culture of continuous quality improvement. It also identifies future leaders for senior staff positions.”

The Results

“This was an extremely rewarding project,” Sepp noted. “Beth knew exactly what her organization needed and could clearly articulate the goals. The entire team was helpful and forthcoming. I’m confident that this new process will put employees on track for success and that their career arcs will inspire them to hone their talents as they meet the future.”