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Thanks, Ann, for recycling Chuck's classic accurate analysis of the supporting role the compensation function plays in recruiting.

Having worked long periods in every single spoke of the HR and Total Rewards universe, I totally agree that employment recruiting and selection is the most critical function. Without good people, no enterprise can succeed.

Hiring is greatly facilitated by helpful comp input, while bad comp input eventually gets corrected by push-back from market realities. If the "pay police" low-ball the talent, the organization suffers rejections or (even worse) selection of marginally acceptable bottom-feeders unworthy of the nominal market-clearing rate for reasons that become obvious after their hire. Barely competent workers struggle while solid performers leap ahead, each producing at their individual levels. Strong talent pull the unit ahead while the weak are a brake.

Bottom line: the compensation function can hurt the organization much more than it usually is permitted to enhance it. The maximum positive synergy that can be leveraged by Total Rewards, of course, is another story, best related by those who have scars from both fields of battle. But without recognition of the relative priorities, maximum activation of human potential will never be realized. Thanks for the reminder!

Similar to Jim, I liked this very good "re-run", as it paralleled almost one-for-one the practices I recalled with former employers. Compensation plays no role with my current employer, which could explain at least something about the shortcomings in the federal government.

Pay-setting is always a partnership (I like the "check and balance" analogy") with the other two parties, really with the shared-goal of anchoring an offer (or range of offer) that the organization is able to afford, and that the candidate should reasonably be willing to accept.

And our Comp Team always liked the idea of establishing a "range" (which had to translate into a single number), since it gave the hiring manager a feeling of "control".

One Fortune 50 where I was in HQ comp had single "job values" for every position, but they were very smart about how they administered it. No "ranges" were imposed, but common sense logic and sensitivity to geo diffs, hiring rates, unique unit values, internal equity, personal capital and cumulative experience ruled. It was great. Worked very well, too. Corporate HQ advised but unit managers decided how THEIR payroll budgets would be distributed.

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