And you thought motivating clients was tough… Wait until you try managing work associates! Good times. When hiring associates, I generally start at Salary.com for hiring stats for my area. (http://www1.salary.com/Salary-Ranges.html).
From there, I post on Craigslist.com and gauge my compensation model based on the number of responses. Too many and we are priced too high; too few and we are priced too low. Then you can start to digest the quality of applications and review the compensation.
Golden Rule of Hiring: Hire Slow. Fire Fast.