Editor's Note: Dealing with hybrid jobs - jobs that reflect a unique mash-up of responsibilities and skill requirements, born of a whole host of circumstances - is a challenge we all face. It brings out the mad scientist in many of us, pushing us outside the box of our normal job valuation process and demanding that we think about the worth of work in a different way. With that in mind, its high time to bring back Margaret O'Hanlon's classic Hybrid Shmybrid series, full of practical tips and smart strategies for dealing with the creative combos in your organization!
Can you believe it? This is the fifth and last post of the Hybrid, Shmybrid (Jobs) series! You know, hybrid jobs are the ones that would often be two or more separate jobs in the majority of other companies. At least that's what the salary surveys tell us. As "Making Do" has become a strategic priority in so many companies, hybrid jobs have become an everyday phenomena.
Before we get down to business today, let's take a quick trip down memory lane. In case you want to catch up with us, here are the previous posts, everyone a Hybrid, Shmybrid:
- August 16 -- Let's Mix It Up Answers the age old question, "Why not just average market rates?"
- September 13 -- Another Dose of Reality Insights on why hybrids will be with us for a while.
- September 21 -- The Morning After Learning to live with your decisions about hybrid salaries.
- October 1 -- Learning to Work for the Forces of Good Answers to the three toughest questions about hybrids.
Bottom line, there is no single, correct answer on how to price a job -- although there are a few common insufficient ones like averaging market rates for two or more benchmark jobs. To send yourself in the right direction, consider the six tips sent to us from our hybrid gurus for the Hybrid, Shmybrid series, Margaret Dyekman of Corporate Compensation Services and Judy Canavan of HR + Survey Solutions.
- Create a process Pricing a hybrid job is another one of those compensation decisions where emotions run high. You'll hear the word, "fair," a lot. As you know, that word has as many definitions as there are humans working in corporate America. Set up a system for determining the salary of any hybrid job and use it consistently. Following the system establishes your professional definition of fair.
- Don't skimp Allocate time to gather enough information to make a balanced decision. Usually (but not always) that includes interviews of the people to whom the job reports. Right off the bat, they will tell you that they want to pay more for this job. But you want to find out how they want the incumbent to allocate their time; what are the key decisions that the incumbent will be relied on for; whether this blended position is a linchpin in the organization (solving more problems than anyone can really track) or an efficiency because one of the roles only involves maintenance of an well functioning department or process.
- Do your homework Talk with the incumbent, or at least the job's manager, to get a good, solid understanding of the job. Compare your findings with salary survey findings on the relevent job titles, then sit back and see what all of your research tells you. Is one of the roles typically paid more than the other? If the incumbent's current pay is in that higher range, articulate your logic for why a repricing would be in order or not.
- Settle on repricing and/or salary adjustment Hybrid jobs do not always call for repricing of a job into a higher grade. In the example above, for instance, the incumbent is already being paid the higher comparative salary because that is his or her main role. In this case, wouldn't an adjustment that reflects the juggling and pressure involved in the excess responsibility be more in order? Something like 5% to 10%? What if an administrative assistant is also collating and processing expense reports for the whole office? Is that a whole extra job or one that adds a similar task to what he/she was already doing? On the other hand, if a Payroll Manager also takes on the responsibility for the HRIS system, then perhaps a regrading is warranted using a premium applied to the higher-priced benchmark job of the two.
- Read your crystal ball As we noted in "The Morning After," execs often get assigned supervisory oversight of a department as an interim fix because either a) the head of the department is good but not yet seasoned or b) there will be another exec once the department becomes more established. You will need to have enough information to see where these situations will go, so you can decide whether the exec should get a salary upgrade (that may last longer than their actual hybrid responsibilities) or simply a bump in incentive.
- Walk in the employee's shoes Employees who are willing to juggle a variety of roles are often your most flexible, talented and eager to learn. Be sure to garner insight into their views on their new responsibilities. Some may have a strong investment in "saving the company" or may have a misguided sense of their importance and hence their pay prospects. Be sure you understand this context so you can help their manager plan how to communicate the pay decision, giving a clear recounting of your systematic decision making process. After all, you want the employee to feel they have been recognized for their unique contribution.
Of course, you are all compensation gurus, too, and must have your own success stories and tips. Why not share them with your colleagues here? It would be great if this post could act as a resource at 3:00 some Friday afternoon when your COO -- who you've never really talked to before -- walks into your office speaking those familiar words, "I think I have a problem."
Everything you do in compensation is communication, so why not do everything better? Prepare yourself for explaining the DOL overtime changes by getting yourself a copy of the popular ebook, Everything You Do (in Compensation) Is Communication @ https://gumroad.com/l/everythingiscommunication. Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP collaborated with Ann Bares and Dan Walter to create this DIY guide to compensation leadership. Margaret is founder and Principal of re:Think Consulting. She brings deep expertise in compensation, communications and leadership to topics like the CEO Pay Ratio and performance management discussions at the Café. Before founding re:Think Consulting, Margaret was a Principal at Willis Towers Watson.