I am located in United States. I have a coworker who is senior to me (in that, if my title is "Blah", his title is literally "Senior Blah").
This morning he made a comment about job postings for a junior position on a competitor's website. He essentially said:
Ugh, looks like they're paying juniors MORE than we make as 2nd-level workers! Look, they're offering between $X and $Y for starting salary!
Where $X and $Y are $10k below/above what I am currently making (placing me squarely in the middle of the competitor's offering). I think I can infer from this that:
- My coworker is making less than this range.
- He is possibly unhappy with his salary (why else is he browsing job postings?)
- I am being paid relatively well.
This realization has made me feel both lucky, a bit guilty, and also worried that we might lose this guy. In my perception, he is really smart, presents himself well, and I have a great deal of respect for him professionally. I really hope that he does not leave us, because I think he does a great job, and I learn from him routinely.
Is there any tactful way to broach such a topic with my manager, to the effect of "Hey, we need to do something to retain this guy who is apparently being severely underpaid?" I think it is a potential red flag that this guy is even browsing external job postings at all. I can think of no way to do this that doesn't somehow imply that we're inappropriately comparing salary info (we weren't - I think this was just an honest comment from my coworker, not an attempt to divulge his or seek my own salary info). (I know that sharing our salary info isn't really illegal in any case, however doing so would be frowned upon, and really is an inaccurate picture of what happened anyway.) Of course I also don't want to raise any red flags that maybe I'M being overpaid.
EDIT: It has been mentioned that this is a possible duplicate of another question. However I think a significant difference with my question is that the person in question is a coworker, and not myself. Although the other question may have useful info as well, I believe that the fact that this is another person adds a layer of nuance. E.g. I believe that sitting down with my boss and saying "Look, I think I am being undervalued and here is why" is substantially different than "Look, I think that Frank is being undervalued and here is why," at least in terms of how one would approach it. There is also the added quirk that I myself am also apparently being paid quite well comparatively.