At this year’s HR Days conference organized by MojPosao, we won second place for the best HR practices in Croatia.
The best HR practices is a recognition that MojPosao, a leading jobs portal in Croatia, has been awarding since 2010. This year, a total of 39 projects have been delivered to the jury, and the top 5 companies were invited to present their project in front of the audience that also voted for the best ones.
First place went to Degordian for ‘Startup in 24 hours: Blue Compass’, second place went to our ‘Seniority guide and public announcement of salaries’, while third place went to Span’s ‘Fit happens challenge’ initiative.
The project that we presented at the conference was our seniority ebook and public salary announcement that took place in February of 2020. In the 18 months following the announcement, our company of 80 people (and on the course to have 100 by the end of the year) had an average gross salary increase of 29% (from 14.386 HRK to 18.360 HRK) and 61% of our employees have advanced to a higher seniority level, which means that we had over 40 promotions across Bornfight.
Since the publication of the guide, we have almost doubled the number of open positions and hired over 20 new people — most of whom were familiar with our seniority levels through the guide.
To find out how we accomplished all of this by publicly sharing our salary ranges, check out this blog!
The salary range spreadsheet on our website has already been seen by more than 50,000 people. We have people coming on our selection process and they know exactly what rank they are in and what to expect in their future. We heard that some people from other companies even managed to negotiate higher salaries because of our public announcement of salaries, and in one IT company almost an entire team resigned because the managers didn’t want to share their salaries publicly.
I understand that this is a “controversial” topic, but the reactions have been and remain mostly positive because the table is constantly being revised so people can see at any time what the market value is for a particular position. When we implemented this in early 2020, we set ourselves the goal of always being in the top 10% of the wage market, and this average growth of 29% shows that.
The story behind the project
Our seniority ebook is a simple positioning guide that explains how to implement a transparent system of professional development into any company. The system explained within this guide enables managers and employees to define the exact level of seniority they or their team members are currently at, what is expected from them at their current positions, and what they should do in order to advance to the next level. Click here to download it!
When we started with the project, complex implementation was the only drawback. It took us a couple of months to analyze the existing situation, define the criteria and ultimately make adjustments where necessary. It is very important to explain to people why this is done, what they will get out of it and what the whole company will get out of it. We saw this as an activity that will allow us to evolve as a company, to become fully transparent, to deepen customer relationships, to ensure that the quality of our work grows continuously, to develop our people faster and to enable them to maximize the value they get out of Bornfight.
One of our values is “transparency” and we stand behind the fact that open information available to everyone carries its burden, but also benefits. Publicly announced salaries within our departments are only proof of this value, which has been present since the very beginning of the company’s existence, but also our desire that everyone’s work is fairly and properly valued. Regarding the general situation in IT activities, but also all sectors in the country, the ideal case would be if everyone had transparency as a value they represent and thus publicly announce salaries, but not all companies have the same values or the same benefits that would receive such an approach.
This was one of the most important steps we had to do, together with explaining the benefits of this to the employees – what will they get out of this, why are we doing it and how will it affect the company.
Our goal with salary ranks is to be in the top 10% of IT companies in terms of financial conditions in all departments — from design and development to finance, marketing and HR. We primarily adjust salary ranks to the market situation, not only in the IT sector, but we also take into account other industries because we want to rank well in all our departments, so as salaries in the market grow, so do in all our departments.
All pros, no cons
There are numerous benefits we got from this — from much more direct internal and external communication, easier recruitment, faster advancement, clear expectations for each position, a clearer focus on more important topics and problem-solving, higher quality products we work on, more responsibility, much higher levels of transparency… Simply, when things like salaries — which have always been one of the biggest taboo topics that should never be publicly discussed — when you make that public, then the implementation of all the other things becomes much easier.
You can open your business to team members and explain to them how things work at all levels — when everyone has access to everything and understands what affects what, then it’s easy to explain every decision that’s made, be it easy or difficult.
To find out how we determine seniority levels here at Bornfight, check out this blog and if you want to become a part of our team, apply to one of our open positions or send us an open application — we’re waiting for you!
We’re available for partnerships and open for new projects.