So, I Benchmarked My Cat

Herner, MA, CCP, Compensation
Consultant at

Benchmarking is Serious Business

The job of benchmarking positions is very serious business. I
always want to make sure I get the best and most relevant information about
every position in a client’s organization so I can make sure I’m making an
apples-to-apples comparison with positions in the market. Such is my dedication
to benchmarking that I found myself dreaming about benchmarking one job in
particular… my cat’s position. Yes, in my now-recurring dream, my cat is in my face,
meowing fervently as she expects (demands actually) accurate compensation,
right away, for her position.

I decided that, in order to end the cycle, I actually had to
match her job to the market.

How do I match a job for a cat?

I started
benchmarking my cat’s job by identifying the appropriate title. In order to
match her title, I need to know a couple of things:

  • What are the top 3-5 tasks for which she is
  • What level of the organization is she? Generally
    speaking, depending on the organization, VPs operate on the strategic level,
    without really getting into the implementation of that strategy. Directors
    think strategically, and then begin to translate that strategy into
    implementation. The manager implements strategy that has been decided on by a
    higher level. Supervisors oversee direct workers. And Workers get the job done.
    Obviously the titles don’t always align exactly with the type of work being
    performed, but it’s helpful to be able to differentiate the level.

My cat is definitely at the Director
level. She is in charge of the household, but also isn’t afraid of getting her
paws dirty.

Being a Cat

Next, I needed
to focus in on the specific skills and experience required of my cat.

  • How much experience would the typical cat need
    to have in order to be as good as my cat at waking me up in the middle of the
    night? My cat has 13 years of experience, but is that what the average cat
    would need? I suspect that the average cat could actually gain full proficiency
    in cat-like running of the house within about 4-5 years, so my cat is ahead of
    the curve. As such, I would expect her compensation to be higher than is
    typical; she’d be at the top of the range.
  • What are my cat’s top 5-7 skills – or rather,
    what are the typical cat’s top 5-7 skills, required to be a good,
    well-performing cat? It may be that my cat excels at kneading with all four
    paws at once, however is that particular skill required in her role?
  • Is there any formal training required in order
    to perform the cat role? I suppose it’s true that some cats do require
    training, but I think the typical cat is able to be a cat without formal

Examining the results

to compensate my cat appropriately, I decided to use the PayScale Insight software
to calculate the appropriate compensation for my cat.

I plugged in
all the appropriate details:

The market
shows that, benchmarked as such, my cat should be earning in the neighborhood
of $25K annually! I added up all the monetary rewards my cat earns, and it
turns out that I am seriously undercompensating my cat. I do give her plenty of
non-cash rewards – attention, love, affection – however as a comp expert, I
know that unless she feels that she is compensated fairly relative to the
market, she will continue to feel undervalued. I plan to go home tonight with a
brand new scratcher for her, and maybe a can of wet food, so that she knows I
value her contributions to our household organization. Now maybe I can get a
solid night’s sleep!

More than 2,300 organizations use PayScale’s subscription software to:

  • Attract talent. Price jobs based on accurate market data.
  • Retain employees. Get pay right and show them how you did it. Your employees will be more satisfied to stay.
  • Drive performance. Get their salary right so they can focus on doing a good job.
  • Be confident. With know-how to talk about comp with anyone.

What are you waiting for?
Get Demo Now!

Check out these related posts