There’s just always going to be one of those kinds of people in every work place, no matter where you go or what industry you work in. Now, you may have been imaging the pen thief or the coffee machine bully, but we’re actually thinking about something a little different today. There are some jobs that exist across the wide and bright spectrum of the professional playing field no matter what industry you land in or what part of the world you get to. These jobs are called benchmark jobs, or key jobs, because they - you guessed it! - set a benchmark across the board.
Benchmark jobs are often times jobs that are inherent to a running business no matter what sort of business it may be like HR Supervisors, Sanitation Managers, and even Shift Leaders. Then there are others, who maybe do not exist in all industries in the same way, but are special to that industry like an illustrator for children’s books. Illustrators may not be a benchmark job in the same way as HR Supervisors, but their position does offer an easier flow of information when both employers and employees are looking to find more market data on a specific position when looking to add a new employee or looking to snag a new gig, respectively.
Since these roles are generally standardized employers are able to see what the median pay rate would be without needing to outsource a grand wage analysis and market data research attempt. Through anonymous surveying and through popular employment sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, anyone can open it up and find out what people in your area have recently said about a company, what their salary range was, and can even rate aspects of their roles with other companies like benefits, flexibility, and independence.
Employers can also use this information to hold employees accountable for their job responsibilities. With standardized positions, responsibilities, and pay it becomes easier for employers to lay out strict ground rules for what is expected from an employee in a widely known or industry specific position.
All of the standardization and continuity can be extremely beneficial for the employees as well. As employees grow and develop new skills and abilities, their employers may start leaning on them with more responsibility and may start asking them to pick up a greater amount and breadth of duties and responsibilities within their position. An employee with the right information will know that certain skills aligning with their current position would normally constitute a wage increase or raise at any other company in the industry. They may even decide that it’s time for them to either move up with the company or move out.
Benchmark positions can be wildly beneficial to both employer and employee, but regardless it does set a nice standard for how we perform work in the United States. Benchmark jobs can be used as finish lines for many people and in any industry. Do you currently hold a position that would be considered a benchmark job? If given the chance and the information that you would need, would you be willing to use market data to argue your case in front of your employer that it was time for a wage increase or a hefty promotion? Let us know!