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.