How Big is the Job?


When was the last time your organization did an honest and comprehensive job evaluation?

This is necessary to retain the people you have now and those you will need in the future. In working with multiple organizations in 2019, I have seen issues of wage compression. Which means, what it takes to secure talent today may not be what it took 3 – 5 years ago. Some pay scales have not kept pace with market demand resulting in undesirable turnover or ‘ghosting.’

If you have done this recently or are in the process…bravo! Like most organizations, these things are important, but are not necessarily urgent. We may or may not be able to afford
a formal (and expensive) wage survey but we can act to remain competitive and to increase retention.  

I would like to challenge us to take think in these terms:

                              A) How Big is the Job?

                              B) What is its Impact?

To answer these, we will need to address three variables. What is the job’s required:

                              1.  Know-How

                              2. Problem Solving

                              3. Accountability

Know How is defined as knowledge, however acquired, necessary for competent job performance. This includes Technical Know-How; Managerial Know-How and Human
Relations Soft Skills.

Problem Solving is defined as the thinking required by the job for analyzing, evaluating, creating, reasoning, arriving at and making conclusions. Problem solving has two dimensions.

The first is the environment in which the thinking takes place. The second is the challenge presented by the thinking to be done.

Accountability is defined as impact of the job on results. It has three primary elements. They are the Freedom to Act, aka the degree of control the jobholder has;  Impact on Results aka direct to indirect impact on end results by contributory, shared, or primary responsibilities; and Magnitude aka the scope or monetary size of accountability in specific job related  areas.

According to Sibson Consulting / Segal Group headquartered in New York City, signs of

improperly leveled jobs include:

•  Frequent requests for job reclassifications. Job ambiguity may produce role confusion. If
internal controls are weak, it can fuel complaints (some of which may be legitimate.)

• Too many job titles. Job title proliferation is usually associated with jobs whose responsibilities are unclear. The result can be a damaging situation where people occupy the same role but have different job titles and pay grades.

• Employee perceptions of uncompetitive pay. Employee dissatisfaction may often be traced to a failure to accurately measure a jobs position in the organizational hierarchy and to attribute the right market values.

• Redundant work/processes. Errantly measured and misplaced jobs may produce duplicative responsibilities and ambiguous accountabilities that contribute to an environment of distrust, miscommunication and confusion that, ultimately, erodes service and quality.

• Staffing imbalances. A proliferation of “directors” and staffing ratios with top-heavy organizational designs is an indication that the job leveling system is being used as a way to generate pay increases through faux promotions.

So, asking ‘How Big a particular Job is?’ and ‘What is its Impact on our organization?’ is a great place to start. Making the correct adjustments to shifting market conditions may mean the difference between winner the war for talent or being put at a competitive disadvantage.