Align HR will review all elements of your organization’s current compensation strategy/practices and assess effectiveness and alignment between strategy and day-to-day practices. We will make recommendations, design changes, and assist with implementation and communication of new compensation practices. This is the most common consulting request and involves most of the topics below.
Job evaluation (JE) is the systematic process that relatively values jobs within the same company. This allows the company to place jobs into its pay structure. JE is the primary tool used to achieve internal equity. Align HR Consulting has deep expertise in most job evaluation methodologies, particularly point factor and whole job ranking. Over the past two decades the consultant has led countless large and small job evaluation projects including both unionized and non-unionized employees. Even with strong JE practices there is constant upward pressure on job classification. Therefore, it is often unavoidable that upward classification drift occurs over time. The consultant has found most clients request a complete JE review of all jobs every 8-10 years.
Ideally market analysis utilizes multiple sources of market data which enhances sample size and provides the ability to identify high/low market outliers and confidently calculate the market median. Align HR Consulting assists clients with analyzing market data available to the client and/or the consultant will gather market data that aligns to the client’s jobs.
First, it is important to ensure that a client has the ideal number of pay structures. Clients often have separate pay structures for distinct employee groups (union/non-union). In some cases, clients have a single pay structure when ideally they should have two or more. If a client has a large diverse group of jobs all aligned with one pay structure, the natural consequence is job rates for individual jobs becomes more generic or less aligned to market.
Second, pay structure design must balance market competitive pay with industry comparable range-to-range percent differentials. As employees grow upward in a pay structure the challenge is to ensure pay is market competitive and a promotion results in a reasonable and industry competitive incremental pay increase.
A final and related consideration is that the number of levels in a pay structure should not be too many or too few as this will complicate both job evaluation and market pricing. Many longstanding pay structures have evolved over time and over the years levels have been added to address specific problems. Ultimately, the result can be a cumbersome pay structure that is difficult to administer and forces HR to make choices that don’t feel right.
In some cases, strong market data does not exist for specific jobs or for a select comparator group, and in these cases Align HR designs surveys, administers survey responses, analyses and reports on survey data. Custom market surveys may utilize an automated on-line survey tool that simplifies and increases survey participation.
Align HR will interact with union executive and members to gather compensation related information or assess issues, lead joint union/management job evaluation committees, and gather collective bargaining data from Collective Bargaining Agreements to provide management with compensation and non-compensation related data in preparation for contract negotiations.