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Pay Scales and Job Descriptions: Two Ways to Break the Bad Hire Blues

choosing the best job candidate It’s true that your company, no matter what other aspects you may excel and grow in, is only as good as its people. Yet, your people are only as good as your process of selecting them. As a company currently growing or preparing for future growth, how can slow down enough to reverse the cycle and improve your selection process to bring in better people–and see better business results? CareerBuilder and Inc.’s just-released report, “Geared to Growth: Building an Infrastructure for the Long Haul,” will help you prepare for the recruitment changes and challenges that come along with your company’s growth and make changes in the way you’re selecting candidates now that will prove crucial later.

Below, check out a sneak peek of Part II of “Geared to Growth” (and if you missed Part I about getting the right policies and procedures in place, read it here) — it’s all about the long-term people standards your company needs create to prepare for significant growth.

In reexamining your candidate selection process, where should you start?

1. Targeted Job Descriptions

First and foremost, take a look at your job descriptions–they may be harming your prospects more than you realize.The quality of your job descriptions can have a huge impact on your opportunities to attract the most qualified candidates and make them start thinking of your company as their employer of choice.

The U.S. Small Business Administration outlines these job description essentials:

  • Job title and objective
  • Description of the function and scope of the position
  • Review of duties and functional responsibilities
  • Overview of relationships and roles within the company

Following this formula for all job descriptions makes it easier for employees to understand not only what is expected of them and their colleagues, but also how each person on the staff contributes to the company’s overall success.

Even with these four main points in place, don’t forget to offer a short description of your company culture and make an effort to personalize your company further. For example, you might say something like, “We reward original thinking and ideas, encourage our employees to grow professionally and personally, and support their efforts to take on new challenges, whether it’s to learn a new language or run the Chicago Marathon.”

This can help you to attract candidates who will go above and beyond the responsibilities outlined in the job description and who want to work for you — not just any company.

2. Standard versus performance-based pay scales

Salary: It can sometimes feel like a never-ending headache trying to get it right. As your business grows, a standardized pay scale is a great way to manage employees’ compensation expectations in a way that encourages and rewards their contributions to corporate growth. Several formulas can help you to do this:

  • Key compensation to skill development—for example, acquisition of advanced skills in certain computer programs—rather than tying pay to a particular job title.
  • Implement competency-based pay for employees whose value rests more in what they know than tasks they perform.
  • Employ broadbanding, which groups similar jobs (for example, administrative staff) within a pay range for the group as a whole, rather than as individual jobs.
  • Create performance-based pay scales that match compensation to the employee’s success in meeting established objectives.

Alternatively, performance-based compensation strategy keys salaries to employees’ value in meeting revenue and profitability goals. This approach creates another opportunity to motivate employees to exceed expectations in their job performance. It ties compensation and incentives to:

  • Productivity
  • Work quality and results delivered
  • Success in meeting difficult challenges
  • Willingness to work under dangerous conditions
What’s the best method for you?

There is no one best approach to compensation. Choose the strategy that best supports your business model and protects your company’s ability to attract and retain the
employees you need. That’s true even in a job market that favors employers.

Catch Part I of Geared to Growth: Building an Infrastructure for the Long Haul here, and stay tuned for Part III on benchmarking, coming soon.

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
2 comments
Gravytrain | Vancouver SEO
Gravytrain | Vancouver SEO

I have to agree with a lot in this post - much of the "bad hire" problem stems from poor practices on the company side and not issues with the actual candidates themselves. The more a company can laser focus their target employee, the better off everyone is!

Gravytrain | Vancouver SEO
Gravytrain | Vancouver SEO

I have to agree with a lot in this post - much of the "bad hire" problem stems from poor practices on the company side and not issues with the actual candidates themselves. The more a company can laser focus their target employee, the better off everyone is!

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