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The Hay criteria Essay

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Updated: Jun 4th, 2019

The Hay criteria was formulated around 1950 and it utilizes a points-factor as its basis for job grading. The points-system is also used by other job grading mechanisms. The Hay Criteria is used by several companies around the country as a job-grading tool. Recently, there was discontent in the country when it emerged that the CEO of Ford Motors, Alan Mulally was making close to $30 million in the year 2012.

This sum is 343 times higher than the amount made by an average worker in United States. While some people understood the circumstances leading up to Mulally’s high salary, others dismissed it as morally wrong. It is possible to justify or castigate this high salary using Hay criteria.

The Hay method of job classification groups a job using numerous factors that relate to a job’s particulars. Among the categories that dominate the Hay criteria include know-how, accountability, working conditions, and problem-solving abilities. These categories can be used to assess Mulally’s salary basis.

First, Mister Mulally’s know how is unquestionable. Mulally’s level of know how is supported by the fact that he used to work for Boeing Corporation, a giant plane manufacturing company before he joined Ford Motors. This means that Mulally has more than the required level of know how when it comes to the manufacturing industry. Boeing is a fortune 500 company that has a global presence.

Ford is one of the biggest vehicle manufacturing companies in the United States and the rest of the world. This means that for anyone to be at the helm of such a company, his/her accountability must be verified beforehand. In addition, Mulally is accountable for the actions of thousands of employees that work for Ford Motors.

For instance, if workers at Ford’s engineering department produced a faulty car model, the CEO would be blamed for it. The threshold of accountability for Mulally is quite high because Ford has over ten thousand employees. When it comes to working conditions, Mulally has already qualified in this category because he took the job when the fortunes of the company and country were on the downward spiral.

These tough economic conditions can qualify as ‘hostile’ working conditions. The last category in the Hay criteria is the employee’s problem-solving abilities. When the effects of the recession hit the automaker’s industry, most of the companies had to rely on a government bailout.

However, Mulally was able to steer Ford out of recession a true testament of his problem-solving abilities. After evaluating Mulally using the Hay criteria, it is apparent that his salary is justified.

There are those who feel that the Ford CEO’s salary is morally wrong. This group can also justify its claim using the Hay criteria. The Hay Criteria uses descriptors when grading jobs. These descriptors are a set of statements that describe certain aspects of a job. Therefore, the same descriptors that are used to grade Mulally are the same ones that are used for the rest of the workers at Ford Motors.

This means that if the working conditions are tough for the company’s president, they are also tough for the vice-president and the rest of the workers. Those who consider Mulally’s salary to be ‘morally wrong’ could argue that the high salary should be replicated across the company.

The descriptors used to grade the CEO are also used to grade the rest of the workers. Therefore, giving only one person a high salary can be taken to mean that the rest of the workers are ‘incompetent’.

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1. IvyPanda. "The Hay criteria." June 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hay-criteria/.


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IvyPanda. "The Hay criteria." June 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hay-criteria/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Hay criteria." June 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-hay-criteria/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Hay criteria'. 4 June.

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