Survey Finds Deficiencies in Job Evaluation Systems

July 1, 2005 ( - Most US workers are at least somewhat satisfied with their pay and benefits, but many employers still fall down in another important area - regular employee performance reviews.

A survey by the Hudson Highland Group, a global HR recruiter, found that a third of responding employees either rarely or never get a periodic job evaluation while another third of workers aren’t sure about the criteria being used when they are evaluated, according to a SmartPros report.

The survey found that, despite infrequency and confusion about performance reviews, 71% of workers rate the job evaluation process as very or somewhat fair. This goes up to 83% for those workers who are aware of the review criteria and tumbles to 44% among those who are not. One in five managers rarely or never receives a review, and 22% are uncertain about the review criteria.

Some 12% of responding workers do not participate in a retirement plan offered by the employer (33% of participating companies did not offer a plan). That opt-out figure rises to 19% among those aged 18 to 29 and to 21% for people working part-time but looking for full-time employment.

Further, 49% of workers would not consider working for a company that does not offer health benefits, 26% already work without health insurance and an additional 16% would consider this scenario.

Other findings include:

  • 60% indicate that tenure determines pay at their company, while 35% believe that performance is a more important deciding factor
  • 31% report that their company does not have a consistent standard to determine employee compensation
  • 49% believe that they are paid on par with their peers
  • Employees are generally upbeat about their income: 38% expect to make more this year than last year and 68% have received a raise in the last year. But, 13% have gone more than two years without a pay increase, and 19% anticipate that their overall income will be lower this year
  • Entrepreneurs are among the most pleased with their overall compensation, with 30% saying they are very satisfied. However, 27% expect to earn less this year than last year.

“Pay for performance is still only a work in progress for many organizations,” said Peg Buchenroth, director of compensation and benefits for the Hudson Highland Group, in a news release. “With soaring benefit premiums and nominal merit increases the norm, companies seeking to control costs and retain top talent will have to more closely align compensation strategies with clear performance metrics. Employees with an entitlement perspective about pay increases may be in for a surprise.”

The survey is based on a national poll of 10,001US workers and was compiled by Rasmussen Reports.