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Looks to me that your client is fortunate to have turned to you for guidance. About the only 'thing' I would suggest you consider is to find some better way to build a foundation for pay other than 'job definition'. Obviously my bias would be for a 'skill/competency' foundation. I can think of nothing more negative that starting out by 'writing job descriptions'. I can just imagine the CEO saying, "My goodness, take me to the dentist instead".

What is super is that you are not going to need to 'sell' them whatever solution best fits your own business model and talent capability. You can offer the 'thinking person's solution'. Three Hooo-Ha Cheers for you!!!!!

Jay, thanks so much for your affirmation. I really appreciate it and the company will benefit from your encouragement.

Margaret - Good advise, all of which makes sense. I would approach it from a slightly different perspective. Develop a pay philosophy that supports the culture you are trying to build. Decide HOW you want to pay people rather than WHAT you may want to pay. Make sure that it aligns with the mission/values that the company has established (no values? Oops; best circle back and drive that stake in the ground). A well thought out pay philosophy will provide good guidance as the company grows and matures, and serve the company through thick and thin.

John, I find that this is an especially difficult thing for startups to remember. Leadership often tries to game the system to get the salaries for "their people" but not admitting that they are just making it a numbers exercise. Thanks so much for calling this out.

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