Job Descriptions: A Strategic Competitive Advantage?

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Chris Kelley Posted in Job Descriptions, Job Evaluation, KnowledgePay

Let’s be honest.  Job descriptions suck.  Writing and administering job descriptions can feel like a waste of time and they take you away from the ‘real work’ that you have to do.  That is, until you step back to consider how a focused commitment to doing job descriptions well can actually set you apart as a company and become part of your competitive advantage.  If you really are engaged in a “war for talent”, you need to think about how such a mundane task like job descriptions can be such a cornerstone to human resource strategy.

Speed and Accuracy in Hiring Process

Ever schedule job interviews with applicants who turned out to be unqualified? The cost of ambiguity in your job descriptions can cost you both time and money. Clear delineation of qualifications, educational requirements, responsibilities, experience and any other positive attributes required will weed out the unsuitable applicants before they have a chance to waste your time.

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Job Titles Do Have a Purpose

Posted on November 29, 2011 by Chris Kelley Posted in Job Evaluation, Job Titling, KnowledgePay

Job titling can be a political hot potato in some organizations, at least in the organizations we see where the HR function hasn’t stepped to define the purpose of the job title. Maybe this is old school, but the most effective organizations define the purpose of the job title as a label that clearly and simply articulates the level and functional area of accountability. That’s it. Nothing cute or fancy…and it certainly is not a reward lever.

Not everyone thinks this way though. See the recent article in CNN Money, where a not-so-scientific research from printer,, shows off some rather uncommon job titles.

So what’s the big deal? Especially in light of low merit budgets and layoffs. Why shouldn’t organizations throw their workers a proverbial bone and let them be creative in coming up with a title that let’s them stand out? Afterall, job titles are free, right? Not.

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Job Evaluation Methodologies

Posted on July 4, 2011 by Chris Kelley Posted in Job Evaluation, KnowledgePay

There was  an interesting post in Ann Bares blog post titled “Are We Looking at a Job Evaluation Revival in ’09?” back in early 2009 and I first commented on it under my old blog, The Market Pricing Manifesto.  A couple of things have happened since then…not the least of which has been two plus years of a crappy labor market and moving my blog to KnowledgePay.  I’ve taken the opportunity here to provide a fresh perspective on the job evaluation methodologies we’re seeing.

In her article, Ann accurately describes the history and migration that we have experienced in the past few decades surrounding the shift away from internal job evaluation methods (i.e., Point-Factor) and the predominant use of external job evaluation, aka, Market Pricing.

In her article, Ann is dead-on for why organizations have adopted market pricing as the primary method for valuing jobs.   To build on that though, organizations, starting back in the ’70s started to shatter that whole employment relationship paradigm of people going to work somewhere right out of school and then working there until they retire.  Prior to that time period, mass layoffs were very uncommon…now, we pick up the morning paper (or rather, log onto our online news sources) and read through to find out which company announced a major layoff.

What this has created is a “free-agency” labor market.  I’m sure there are a whole host of other social dynamics that have contributed to the paradigm shift, but now, the paradigm is much more about “This is the work that I do.  I do it for you today, but tomorrow, I might do this work somewhere else.”

Workers are much more focused on their work, instead of just being focused on who they do the work for.  As a result, the mind-set is much like that of free agent in sports who goes to play for the team who is able to maximize their pay.

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