Using Position Management to Create Fair and Defensible Hiring and Compensation Practices

According to University of Arizona (UA) Technical Expert Chris Wolf, developing fair and defensible hiring and compensation practices is difficult without easily accessible, accurate, and up-to-date job descriptions … and without technology designed to help higher education institutions manage positions.

“Anytime you don’t have the right data and information to help guide decision-making, you’re left with your gut, where unconscious biases can come into play, and there’s a good chance you’re going to make a decision that, ultimately, will not be equitable across your organization,” Chris said.

Because Chris is also a proposal manager at PeopleAdmin, he has a unique understanding of how position management technology, along with strong buy-in from hiring managers and supervisors, empowers higher education leaders to develop consistent processes that ensure hiring decisions are based on qualifications and compensation plans reflect fair market value.

PeopleAdmin’s Position Management, which automates the job description, classification, and position framework process, integrates with Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help higher education leaders identify which candidates are best suited for each open position.

“Technology that helps hiring managers understand who the best candidate might be for the position is great,” Chris said. “Because at the end of the day that’s what’s most defensible.

“If you can show an independent auditor why you picked a candidate and point back to the position description and say, ‘We worked through this with our leadership and with HR to ensure this role is defined appropriately for what we need, and the other candidates didn’t fit the role as well,’ that’s huge,” Chris added.

In addition to helping college and university leaders develop a consistent hiring process that is tied to the position description, Positions can also help align compensation with market value.

“I’m a huge proponent of the idea that compensation should be based on the position, rather than the person,” Chris said. “It’s really tough to develop an appropriate compensation strategy if you don’t have the position’s duties and responsibilities well-defined.”

Once you have the duties and responsibilities well-defined, Chris added, it’s much easier to provide consistent compensation throughout your institution.

“Your goal is to have a bell curve. At that midpoint is a fully capable, fully functioning employee performing that position at the rate they should be getting paid in the market,” Chris said. “You’re going to have some people above and some people below, but the goal is to have most people around that number.”

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