How to level a new role and hire

Levelling a new role

When you create a new role in your team and start writing the job description, you should always use the career progression and levelling framework to set the level expectations. By doing, so you’ll be using the same ‘common language’ that other teams will use for that level which is critical for organisational consistency and objective salary benchmarking.

Levelling a new hire

  • When you kick a role off, you should know what level you are hiring for and the salary range for the given level.
  • During the interview process the whole team should be aware of the level they are hiring in at and should assess that person accordingly.
  • The whole team should get a feel for the level of the candidate and be able to compare them to someone similar internally. Who would you compare this person to in terms of level? Is he/she better than X?
  • During the hiring decision meeting the Hiring Manager should confirm with hiring team the candidates level (IC1, IC2 etc) and make sure there is consensus on this.
  • Regardless of prior experience, a new hire always starts with a sub-level of '0' as they are new to the business. Once the manager has had a chance to assess the individual closely in a working environment they may well then jump through the sub-levels quickly i.e. moving from 'new' (0) to 'pushing for the next level' (2).

Other indicators to help level a new hire

  • Someone's starting point - You should already know from the 1st phone screen what salary that they are looking for and be happy that this sits within the appropriate salary bands for the level you are assessing them on.
  • If we are consistently meeting people that don’t meet the level that we are looking for but their salary is higher than people we already have internally, then we should think about whether our market data is correct.

When in doubt while hiring, it is far far (far far) better to under level people than over level them

  • We think it’s better to lose the hire than over-level people. You can ALWAYS promote people; re-leveling someone to a lower level usually leads to them leaving the company. Yes, it’s tempting when someone is arguing for a higher salary to break our compensation model and just bring them in at a higher level but it is almost always a mistake.
  • If we do it, we need to be rigorous about making sure they know that there are BIG expectations associated with their role. If they don’t meet them, they’ll end up being re-levelled or probably fired which we don’t want to have to do.