Why Would an Employer Perform a Job Evaluation?

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Why might an organization adopt a system of job evaluations for job classification? Job evaluations can help you create an equitable compensation system through appropriate job classification.

Reasons for Job Evaluation

Job evaluations are performed for these reasons.

  • To determine what positions and job responsibilities are similar for purposes of pay, promotions, lateral moves, transfers, assignments and assigned work, and other internal parity issues. It is important that employees perceive your workplace as fair, equitable, and the provider of equal opportunities for employees. Your process for determining pay and promotional opportunities should be transparent for employees to see and understand.
  • To determine appropriate pay or salary grades and decide other compensation issues. This is a significant factor in employee satisfaction in the workplace. Employees do talk about their pay and it's legal for them to talk about their pay. Public employee pay is posted to the world. Employees will identify any compensation inequities in your company pay system.
  • To help with the development of job descriptions, job specifications, performance standards, competencies, and the performance appraisal system. These vehicles, particularly in large companies, need to be equitable, and not dependant on the boss, individual managers, and departmental whims. Employees always compare notes - and employers who keep this in mind as they develop their employee systems - win employee loyalty and commitment.
  • To assist with employee career paths, career planning or career pathing and succession planning. Having a career path that provides opportunities for employees is important to all employees, but it's especially important to your millennial employees. Listen to the language they use when they move on to another company. Most often they leave you for a better opportunity, a promotion, or a position where they perceive they have more career potential.
  • To assist the employee recruiting process by having in place job responsibilities that help with  the development of job postings, the assessment of applicant qualifications, suitable compensation and salary negotiation, and other factors related to recruiting employees.

When Does Job Evaluation and Classification Occur?

Especially in larger organizations, job evaluation and classification is a moving target.

Adopting new technology, employees taking on additional responsibilities, downsizing and layoffs, new programs, new procedures, increased authority, and team leader or supervisory responsibilities can cause the job classification of an employee to change.

In fact, the role of some Human Resources staff consists primarily of job evaluation and job classification.

In job classification, a job analysis and evaluation occurs when a new position is created. The job classification is evaluated each time a significant change occurs in a job. The job classification re-evaluation is generally requested by an employee through his or her supervisor.

In a job evaluation that results in decisions about a job classification, factors such as decision making authority, the scope and range of the responsibilities performed, the level of the duties performed, and the relationship of the position to other jobs in the organization are considered and compared.

The most common request for job classification re-evaluation that I have experienced occurs when an employee has taken on new responsibilities or more work. The employee is often disappointed to learn that more work does not equate to a change in scope, range, decision making authority, or higher level responsibilities.

Thus, the job evaluation results in a job classification that remains the same.

Find out more about job classification.