Is It Time to Revise My Job Description and
Ask for More Money?
Q. I have been working as a human
resources assistant for the last two and a half years. Although I had no human
resources experience when I started, I have now learned almost every aspect of my
job (at least according to my job description) and have acquired even more
responsibilities. I have attended numerous HR seminars and have taken a few
evening business courses on my own.
I'm also the unofficial supervisor for a
two-person department. Technically, my manager is the manager for this
department, but because I am bilingual I have become responsible for hiring,
firing, and daily management. I have expressed a strong interest in learning
more about the compensation aspect of HR, since I prepare and track all company
reviews. I'm interested in learning how salaries are calculated and how they
compare to the market.
My current salary is just under $29,000, and
many other positions, including customer service and accounting clerks are now
earning up to $2,000 more than I am. I don't think this is fair. Would I be
justified in asking for a raise, even though I just got a 3 percent raise a few
months ago? If so, how should I go about doing this?
A.I commend you for taking it
upon yourself to increase your skills and knowledge in HR. Based on some of the
tasks you've listed, it does seem as though your current scope and
responsibilities exceed those of a human resources assistant. Typically, an HR
assistant would not be responsible for hiring and firing employees.
Prepare for a meeting with your supervisor by
reviewing the job description that applied to you when you were hired. Using
that same document, add the responsibilities you have taken on. Then, discuss
the before-and-after versions of the job description with your supervisor. This
way your supervisor can see the evolution of your responsibilities since you
were hired into the position.
Once you and your supervisor agree on your new
responsibilities, rewrite the job description accordingly. With an accurate
picture of your job, find out the market rate using the Salary Wizard
or by purchasing a Personal Salary Report. If the increase you
received a few months ago doesn't bring you between the minimum and the
midpoint of the salary range, then negotiate an increase that puts you within
that range. By defining the role and determining the pay, you put yourself in a
good position to ask your supervisor for an appropriate increase to your