A fatal HR Consultant mistake

One of my area of expertise as a HR Consultant is compensation and salary review. And I conduct my salary review as meticulously as possible, and make recommendations from market data available. Some of my clients who were less partial and wanted objective works were quite happy to accept my recommendations. Some who were partial reluctantly accepted my work, but I knew that that would be the last job from the client.

Doing compensation analysis and compilation of data may be time consuming and taxing, but a piece of cake for someone who is comfortable with details. And understanding the data, making sense of the data, is not difficult to a clear and analytical mind. The results can be very objective and rational and makes a lot of sense.

The problem is that the clients that commissioned the survey may have certain expectations, agenda, and wanted certain results. Here is my fatal mistake. I never ask the clients what they wanted to achieve, or their expectations. I brought along my own sense of discipline, professionalism and integrity in the execution of my work. I forgot that in the real world, idealism and sentimental reasons may not put bacon on the table.

See, now I am no longer a HR Consultant. No more compensation and salary survey jobs for me.


Anonymous said...

Did the consultants doing ministerial salary survey ask the committee of their terms of reference?

tkw said...

If a person has been long in HR compensation surveys...then it will be very very apparent that there is no methodology or formula that will allow a sensible/logical/reasonable data base for comparision to underpin ministerial/presidential salaries in Singapore or anywhere else in the world.

Compensation surveys depend on data derived from an open market and on jobs that can be grouped together as approximate in "responsibilities/accountabilities/skill content/etc...there is no open market or such groupings for ministers/presidents....

...the answer has to be from the heart/sense of public service/sense of sacrifice/sense of honour.....

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Ministers are national level jobs and difficult to compare with corporations. What is demanded in a salary survey is the desire to want to have an objective and reasonable sets of data for comparison.

Even corporations within the same industry and within the same country but across industries do not have a good fix. An any joker can throw his tantrum to dismiss a survey as not applicable and pure nonsense. The boss calls the shot.

If the one commissioning the survey thinks that he is unique then no data can be useful.

For ministerial positions, there can be guides like size of economy, size of country/population, special circumstances, to name a few, that can be used. Small countries can have small country problems, big can have their own.

The truth is that the money we paid our ministers is beyond comprehension and outrageous. If people are sincere and want a reasonable number, it can be worked out and subject to some moderation.

A special sum can be added as the corruptibility index is this is acceptable and not bull. Of course it is bull in my opinion.

And if people want to compare their responsibilities and income with the crooks in Wall Street, then nothing is enough. The crooks in the financial world will be hanged one day.

Will the politicians want to be hanged as well, or share the fate of ousted dictators?

Anonymous said...

i have always been puzzled that all the discussions here of ministers' salary have never considered or even made reference to how much the power they wield is worth.

after all, that is a major factor that is borne in mind in other countries.

then there is the small satisfaction of actually being able to do something that will affect the lives of millions for the better. how much would that too be worth?

and should such things be factored in when determining ministers' salaries?

Anonymous said...

With the OPAQUE MIW, even if they announce a certain percentage cut in their monthly salary, they could still compensate themselves more in some other way in variable components or other benefits.

If a person is not sincere and and not transparent , there is no way we lesser mortal can know the truth !

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

There are many aspects of a job that can be measured. Power or impact of decision is one of them. The impact to influence millions, internally or externally, makes this so insignificant in our case.

Some may want to include security or personal safety as well. Some politicians need to travel in armour plated cars. Ours can walk into a hawker centre without fear, no need for body guards, except a few lunatics that may burn them with a lighter.

The list of factors to be included can be best left to the analysts conducting the review.

One of the unique factors to be included in our case, and deemed to be very vital, is opportunity cost. Another is sacrifice, financial, family and imaginery. then there is the corruptitbility criteria which is unthinkable in any civilised country.

The simple answer is that any politician caught dipping into the kitty bank will be put behind bars.

But this is very important, in fact the only factor that pushes the ministerial salary to the sky. We are just another third world country where, if not paid out front, they will all dip into the kitty and take more for themselves. This is the official assumption, not mine.

so1trg said...

That's your legacy redbean. And that is being honest to yourself. I wish our system was built such that it rewards those that works honestly and with a conscience.
Unfortunately it doesnt and human greed has proved that we will abuse the system to extract maximum benefits.

Anonymous said...

Some little bird said gerard engaged a foreign consultancy and the results not up to expectation. so now need another consultancy to see can get more expected recommendations.

Anonymous said...

another little bird tells me the salary to be recommended is too high and it will not be palatable to the population. Again go back to drawing board.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Didn't the consultants asked how much would they want it to be?

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