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Human Capital Services

Best Compensation Practices for Hiring

Are you getting ready to hire a new staff member? The K-State Compensation & Organizational Effectiveness (COE) team has created a helpful checklist of items to do and consider as you move toward advertising for your new job opening. Please take a few minutes to review the information below and remember to partner with both your Human Capital Services (HCS) liaison and departmental leadership as needed. Our COE team is also ready to work with you and assist in identifying a compensation strategy; we are here to help!

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K-State compensation philosophy in action

We recognize the importance and value in being transparent with potential employees about compensation potential at K-State.

  • Studies show that including a hiring range increases the number of applicants.
  • Communicating salary expectations up front saves time for all involved – applicants can opt in or out before we ever invest time in reviewing their materials.
  • We can avoid last minute offer rejections due to unmet salary expectations.

For these reasons and in keeping with our Philosophy, we encourage hiring managers to identify an "anticipated hiring range" for all posted positions. When choosing the anticipated hiring range, consider budget availability as well as the type of new hire you are looking for (i.e. an experienced new hire will likely fall higher in the pay grade). A helpful reference is our managing pay within the range guidelines.

Not sure what range to choose? We recommend narrowing the full range to at least the first two quartiles (pay range minimum up to the midpoint).


Printer friendly version (pdf).

Step 1: Create the position description

  • Hiring manager talks to approving administrator for budget approval.
  • Identify the desired pay grade by:
  • Ensure the job duties in the position description reflect the actual job expectations.
  • Determine objective criteria for position (education, experience and/or certifications).
    • What are the minimum requirements? Minimum requirements must match those included in published job descriptions at the time of recruitment.
    • What are the preferred requirements?
    • Determine the criteria that will correspond with the minimum, midpoint and maximum of the pay grade. What differentiates an employee at each of these pay levels in terms of education, experience and/or certifications?
  • Consult with Human Capital Services to address any questions.
  • Submit position description for approval by Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness.
    • Compensation will review the position description and determine market pay for the position based on the duties identified by the hiring department.
    • Compensation has responsibility for making a final determination for job title, pay grade and FLSA status. Often, final determinations are made utilizing a job title that represents the "best fit" for the job duties to be performed.

Step 2: Advertise

  • Identify and include in the job announcement the anticipated hiring salary following Compensation's review and pay grade assignment. The full salary range must also be referenced (i.e. 08A, 05B, etc.).
    • Please note that the K-State Careers page has information to explain how pay is determined for new employees at K-State. This is intended to increase applicants' understanding around our compensation philosophy, pay grade and quartile structure, and the potential for earnings growth as skills, experience, and performance increase.
  • Advertise minimum and preferred requirements. Minimum requirements must match those included in published job descriptions at the time of recruitment.

Step 3: Interview, then select and negotiate

  • Hiring manager talks to search committee and Human Capital Services liaison regarding approved salary range and the anticipated hiring range for the position.
  • Hiring manager talks to applicant(s) about salary range and the anticipated hiring range.
  • Appointing authority (i.e. dean, provost, vice president, department head, budget/fiscal offer) uses the salary estimator tool to guide pay decisions prior to offer.
  • Consult with the Compensation team with any questions or for guidance on paying beyond the midpoint.
  • Negotiate with candidates based on qualifications and pre-established criteria.