We believe that 2012 will be remembered as the year for proliferation of hybrid jobs since most organizations have chosen to decrease the back-filling of vacant positions and increase shifting of vacant duties to existing employees. There seems to be more hybrid work positions in 2012 than the number of new hybrid autos, SUVs and trucks. Based on input from our employer clients and several market pay studies, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of position titles that have expanded to include broadened functional and lateral responsibilities. Growing hybrid positions and placing a greater emphasis on variable pay strategies to lessen financial risk exposure on fixed base pay programs are two popular post the 2008/2010 recession strategies.
The examples for position hybrids are numerous but I would like to share a few that should resonate with compensation and human resources professionals. The first example is in the banking sector where loan officers are now required to obtain mountains of personal and business financial data (no longer described as mountains since the evolution of loan processing software and document imaging systems) with decreasing access to loan support personnel and processing clerks. The banks have tightened their budgets by decreasing or eliminating support personnel. The banks are requiring their loan officers to process their loans from loan origination to closing. The explanation is simple, our new software eliminates the need for loan processing personnel and the bank is pushing for greater loan portfolio accountability and document management by the officers per the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This scenario is also happening in sales and marketing departments in most all business sectors where Coordinators and Managers are working 50 to 60 hours per week to keep up with total functional duties that used to be divided up among a larger number of employees.
Another hybrid position example is showing-up in the middle and upper management roles where Manager and Directors are given the opportunity to expand their functional role by picking-up one or more departments that have been vacated by retiring baby-boomers. The Managers and Directors still maintain their existing title but scopes of responsibility are well beyond the original position description. Under the auspice of less expenses and greater net incomes, the companies are not offering promotional increases or job worth re-evaluations for these hybrid position changes.
Hybrid job or position changes are occurring daily as companies determine how to accomplish “more with less.” Market Pay Survey Aggregators are not able to keep-up with this growing hybrid positions phenomena and finding hybrid position and pay benchmarks is becoming more frustrating.
The use of automated internal job evaluation will expand as compensation and human resources professionals develop strategies to reasonably value hybrid positions and seek market pay to validate instead of develop pay worth structures and ranges.
Compensation and human resources professional are not excluded from this hybrid position strategy of doing more with less. Just ask yourself or one of your colleagues, “Are you required to do more than what was expected of you in the past?” Is it harder to find market position titles and pay comparisons in published or SaaS pay databases? The use of internal job valuing and external market pay studies is a workable strategy for valuing benchmark and hybrid positions. I used to say give me a quarter for every time I heard a client say we have unique positions. There is no question that unique and hybrid positions are proliferating like alternative foods that will lower calories and those bad CARBS. Excuse me while I finish a plate of my Brother’s famous chili-cheese fries.