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What’s Recruiting & Compensation Got to Do With It?

Posted by Amy Wilson on August 7, 2008

What do Recruiting and Compensation have to do with one another? Sure, they’re both on the “talent wheel.” Sure, you have to offer money to the people you’re recruiting. But, there is something else they have in common – a theme that is emerging in this increasingly transparent marketplace. They both give people a reason to share information. Employers ask a lot of their people – share your work with others, list out your competencies, rate someone else’s success, post your education to this wiki. But, organizations struggle to make a case in the What’s in it for me? category. As a result, data is sparse and outdated; soon, people stop doing it altogether and the system breaks.

This isn’t going to work. As Mark wrote, person profiles are our currency and job profiles are our exchange rate. Without these things, we can’t do business. At least, we can’t stay in business. How can we leverage people’s interests to define our currency and exchange rate?

We should look at the two things that cause people to spend as much time as it takes to get an answer:

1) How much am I worth? Could I get a job that pays me more?

2) Can I get a job that’s better than the one I’m doing now?

Ann touches on 1) in her post on compensation transparency. People can log into Payscale or Salary.com today, enter in every detail about their qualifications and their job requirements and get an accurate reading on their market pay potential. Why not leverage all of this rich data within the company to build meaningful job profiles? Ann’s point is that we are scared to open up pay information, but the reality is that it’s out there anyway.

Likewise with 2). People can go to Jobfox, enter in a slew of details about themselves and be categorized into a particular job profile. Soon thereafter, they are matched up with perfect jobs. You can even say, I want to be paid a little more and do a little more. The result is a database of job profiles with detailed requirements, job duties, and priorities. A wealth of information, indeed.

I am amazed by how much these two human processes have in common. Together, imagine the power. A job profile system that doesn’t require years of consulting and cross-functional meetings? A job profile system that stays current and even matches the market?

I think I’m in love …

3 Responses to “What’s Recruiting & Compensation Got to Do With It?”

  1. Meg Bear said

    More confirmation why you rule as a strategist Amy! These are deep thoughts indeed. You are 100% right that when we can automate the maintenance of job profiles we will get all the value (or even more value) without the pain and suffering. This is further evidence that “self maintaining” profiles are the way to go.

    I just want to confirm that I’ll also get those toned thighs, because then I’m “in” for sure. 😉

  2. Amy Wilson said

    Good point, I bet people would fill in their profile data if it meant they would get Tina Turner’s thighs. Ravi – could we build that?

  3. Ken Klaus said


    Great post! Another thing to consider is the “portability” of the profile – because I very strongly believe that the worker, and not the employer, owns the person profile and the employee ought to be able to create and maintain their information in one system and then take it with them when they leave the company. I believe employees would see a huge benefit in maintaining their profiles if they understood and believed that they “owned” the data – and if we throw in monetary rewards and nice legs too – well people will be beating down the door to get their profiles update!


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