The Challenge of Market Pricing Hybrid Jobs

by Courtney LeCompte on May 31, 2017

in Compensation Toolkit

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Hybrid jobs, or “blended jobs,” are typically unique to a particular organization, specialized industry or smaller organization and include a variety of functions and responsibilities. Many organizations create blended jobs to fill organizational needs or to capitalize on individual strengths. A Bookkeeper who also functions as the afternoon Receptionist, or a Director of Compensation who also oversees/manages the organizational Training Development are each examples of hybrid positions.

Market pricing hybrid jobs can be challenging, as most salary surveys assess standard jobs that are easily comparable from organization to organization. According to Mercer Human Resources Consulting, Inc., there are a few acceptable approaches when identifying market pay for hybrid positions.

Using a Director of Compensation and Training position as an example, (where 60% of the employee’s time is spent on compensation and 40% on training), consider one of the following approaches when market pricing:

  • The Majority Rules Approach: Match to a Compensation Director survey job and increase the competitive salary by a 10-15% premium for the additional training responsibilities.
  • The Combination Approach: Calculate a 60%/40% weighted average between the Compensation Director and the Training Director jobs.
  • The Highest Common Denominator Approach: Collect data for both the Compensation Director and Training Director and use the data of the higher-paid job.

When matching hybrid jobs to salary surveys, it is also important to consider these guidelines:

  • Not every job can be matched. Resist the temptation to create market data where it does not exist. If your job is a combination of more than two functional areas, your job is most likely not a good benchmark. If you have market data for the other benchmark jobs in your organization, develop an internal job worth hierarchy (ranking your lowest jobs to your highest jobs), then slot all other non-benchmark jobs into the pay structure. The non-benchmark jobs are slotted into the hierarchy based on their overall value to your organization in relation to the external market data.
  • Focus on major functions of the job description. Minor functions of lesser value will not change your job’s overall worth, so put the majority of your emphasis on the major functions of the job that illustrate both the external as well as the internal value of your job.

While it’s easier to follow a “standard approach” consistently, oftentimes organizational needs and circumstances will require more of a hybrid pricing approach, which lends itself to being more of an art than a science. However, by combining a formal market data analysis with sound business judgment that is based on a thorough understanding of the positions within your organization, you will be able to identify a pricing approach that is fair and suitable for your organization and your employee.

Cascade Employers Association offers a variety of salary surveys to utilize when market pricing. Our team of experienced compensation professionals work with organizations to provide a variety of compensation and research support services.

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