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BlueWolf's Howl

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November 19, 2002

Comparatively Speaking

When it comes to salaries, should the highest "ranking" person make the most? Who should get more money? The person hardest to replace or the person whose job pays the most in the market?

It really boggles my mind that some people can't see how any specialist (in any specialty) should ever make more than the manager of that specialist. Take a hospital environment for example... The manager who manages the hospital makes good money. Most of the people who work for him/her generally make less than the manager. BUT... I'm sure there are a few surgeons and other specialists that make MORE than the hospital manager. True, the Chief Neurosurgeon will make more than the other Neurosurgeons, but the Chief Podiatrist may not.

Now think about this: if you limit the pay of the Neurosurgeons to less than the market rate because you don't want them to make more than the Hospital Administrator, how many will you have?

If you had three Alchemists at the hospital, would you pay them more than the neurosurgeons? Hey, why not? You know, Alchemists are hard to find. They don't make those anymore. Neurosurgeons are a dime a dozen. They're still making those. So, you wouldn't have to pay them as much because you could easily replace them. But those alchemists....hmmm... let's give them a big bonus so they won't leave (since they'd be too hard to replace).

What are you rewarding here? You're rewarding importance. The top manager is more important, so they should make the most. The hard-to-replace specialty (no matter how arcane) is important too. So they should make a lot too. The highly specialized and technical person. Well, since there's more of them, you don't have to pay them as much. They're not important.

Until you try to replace them and get hit with the reality of market value.

Posted by BlueWolf on November 19, 2002 08:32 PM