November 2, 2023

Hello. I'm Melinda Hoffman here at IdealHR. And today I'm talking with Liz Parker, who is a partner and provider for Ideal, internally and externally.

That's correct!

And we're going to just get right into some nitty gritty, some helpful things, some tools that we use here in Ideal. But first, I want Liz to tell us who she is and why I'm talking to her!

Thank you, Melinda. I am Liz Parker. I have been working with all types of assessments, all kinds of people, strategic planning, organizations for the last 24 years. And through that time, I have found that the more information and development you can give to your employees, the better they become. So, these tools we're going to talk about today are all about how an organization can become more effective, more efficient, and more high performing.

You know, it does seem like one of the kind of wonders of the world now is that we do have these assessment tools because we all know in the PEO, Ideal HR world that there is a lot of disappointment when we hire, who we selected, what that job needs to be. So I thought today, Liz, we'd start off our little series with what is job benchmarking?

Ohh and this is one of my favorites. Job benchmarking - when I learned all about job benchmarking, I thought it was revolutionary because in the old days we used to have somebody come in, we met ‘em and we hired ‘em and they started working. As long as they seem like they'd show up every day, that's who we we wanted. Well, times have changed a lot. Jobs have become very complicated. People are asked to do more than one role sometimes. So how do you find that person that can do, potentially, office work, while doing administrative work, while doing operational work, while doing people work? It takes all different types of styles of people to do that. So we have found job benchmarking helps you identify what are the core tasks of this job and how do we make sure we match that to a candidate.

So, what is the process in this? Tell me? I mean it's one thing to say job benchmarking, but I mean how do we get to the nitty gritty?

Sure. Well, when you think about hiring somebody for a position, you want to get together, all the people who either they might report to, they might work with, it could be the person existing in that role right now. You want to get what we call all the subject matter experts about that particular position in the same room. And when you get them in there, we start asking the questions. What is this job supposed to do? What are the results supposed to look like? How should they perform? What categories of work do they do? And we list all the tasks of that job.

So your role in here is leading us through that? Is that what you do?

Yes, I'm the facilitator for the whole process. The company is the expert. I need the company to come in with the people that know how the job goes. And I guide them through a patented process that says, hey, here are the tasks. Then we're going to make it into categories and from the categories we're going to prioritize, what's the most important thing in this job? And then we're going to hire to that.

So, Gee, golly Wiz, I know what I'm hiring. I know what I'm looking for when I look at a resume.

Yes. Managers in the past have done it with their gut, but you don't have time and the companies are getting bigger and bigger that you really need to have a team of people almost interview because the people are working with all different people. So how do you all get on the same page about what this job is about and how do we interview for this position? Turnover is very expensive. How do we make sure we get the right person the first time and they stick in the company, that they'll be part of our culture and they'll be part of the values that we want in this company? This does it.

And truthfully once you’ve benchmarked this job, you can make changes to it, but in general you've done the thinking, so you have the baseline.

Yes. So as long as this job doesn't change. I have companies who have had the same benchmark for 15 years. The job of potentially a customer service agent doesn't change. This is exactly what it is. So, when that happens, they can just choose an assessment, check out that candidate that's going to come in, match it to a gap report and immediately have the answer they're looking for. Will they match to this job or not? And it takes the guesswork totally out of it, makes it objective, and it follows all the guidelines that you're looking at from a governmental standpoint, to make sure that you are being truly objective in your organization.

It seems like that would give you an edge as an employer.

It makes people much happier. They know what they're walking in with. There's no doubt about what their job is. You don't have to go through near the discipline because when somebody comes in knowing what the tasks are for their job, they're much happier right up front. If they're like, I don't want to do this, you're not going to hire them. And if they're weak in one or two of the areas, it allows you to know what area that is and to know you're going to have to coach to that.

Now does this work for small groups of 3, 4, 5 people?

Yes, it can work for any size of company. Especially there are different things you can think about as a company starting out you want to start out the right way. Then you want to hire that position and make sure you've got the right candidate in from the start. If you're a bigger organization and you're hiring that job over and over and over and over, then you want the consistency throughout the organization. Nationwide, global. You can hire to that standard.

Ok, so if I'm in the process of working on this, what am I asking you? Am I getting in touch with you? And I'm saying, Liz, I want to hear more about this?

Yes. Yes. So, what you can do is reach out to Ideal HR. They'll find me because I work with them alongside, trying to find out where we can help you. All you have to do is say we have a job we want to benchmark and within half a day or less we can have that job benchmarked. We can do it virtually. We can do it in person. We can have it ready to go for you. We just need you to come together with us. You're the content experts. I'm the facilitator. And we get you the answers you need.

I know certainly here at the Ideal HR because I sit in with the sales area. I do hear the calls coming in. The frustrations, the people that are pain points, we call them, that people are having with the hiring process. It just seems like this is the answer.

Well, what happens is because people haven't done it before, they think it's expensive. They think this is hard to do. You have to understand that if you get this job done. Once and it's done right. You don't have to fight this every single time you hire that position. It becomes so easy, it becomes one of those things that when you're doing six other jobs, this is the thing you go to automatically set up, you run the assessment, you put the gap report in, you can start hiring. It just takes that indecision away.

And you know, so many of our business owners, be it small businesses or large, are overwhelmed. They've got a lot on their plate. And so it would seem to be a relief for them to have this under their belt and say, you know, I'm not an accountant or I'm not in “that” department. But I understand this job.

Yes. Because what comes with the job benchmark are customized interview questions, so you don't even have to wonder what to interview. We create a binder for you, digital or print. If you like both, we'll do both with all the customized interview questions your team can pick out the questions they like to use to interview. And you consistently interview across the board. You have a process in place. It's easy, it's quick. And you know, when you have to go hire somebody at the last minute and you're all of a sudden going we don't have time to do this, it saves a lot of time.

Or when you're hiring someone that there's really a specific need in that job because it's crucial to your business. This cuts to the chase.

Yes, it gets that person that is qualified for it. So those people that have resumes that say, Oh yeah, we do this, we do this, we do that. When they take the assessment, then what happens is that assessment matches to the job benchmark. It immediately prints out Red, Blues and greens or yellows that say this person matches or they don't and it takes a lot of the guess workout.

Well, this is fascinating. We've been talking with Liz Parker. She's a partner and provider for Ideal HR, about job benchmarking. Which you know, to some people, this is going to be a new term. To some people, this has been around for a while but it always helps to refresh and understand positive things you can do in your business to make it better.

That's exactly right, and it's fast and easy.

Wow, alright. We've been talking with Liz. We'll talk with her more in some more podcasts soon. Thanks so much for listening.

Thank you.