While I can understand some concerns about Hay and their job evaluation methodology, I have found them to be a critical resource in turning around the US Postal Service's compensation system for white collar employees.
Here's how I would grade their services for the USPS over the last 13 years:
- Salary level information A+
- Pay practices information C
- Benefit level information A+
Salary level information: Because we have over a thousand postions for our 70,000+ white collar incumbents, and many of those positions are perceived by incumbents to be "unique", we needed an organization that could credibly analyze our jobs and make the link to what the private sector does. Hay's highly regarded job evaluation system was critical to bringing that credibility to the table. Plus, having an expansive customer base gave credibility to the salary information that they provided.
Pay practices information: We needed strong pay practices information to show our management associations that general increases, COLAs, and step increases were not compatible with our statutory mandate to have compensation comparable to the private sector of the US economy. Unless things have changed recently, this was not one of Hay's fortes. But to their credit, Hay was willing to accept other research sources into their reports (with proper citations and credit), so that we could tell the right story to our management team and associations about pay practices.
Benefit practices information: Hay had a strong benefits valuation methodology, benefits practices database, and customer valuation database. This was extremely helpful in painting a picture of exactly how our benefits stacked up with the private sector.
So for total rewards consulting, I highly recommend Hay.
But like anyone contracting for intelligence services, you need to know what you need, why Hay is the best outfit to provide this service, and be clear about your expectations and deadlines. If an organization becomes too dependent on Hay and their methodology, that is the organization's fault, not Hay's.
(In case you'd like to read more about the transition from an entitlement to a performance culture at the USPS, check the WorldatWork articles below)