Friday, January 25, 2008

Job Classification/Grading Method

Classification Jobs are classified into an existing grade/category structure or hierarchy. Each level in the grade/category structure has a description and associated job titles. Each job is assigned to the grade/category providing the closest match to the job. The classification of a position is decided by comparing the whole job with the appropriate job grading standard. To ensure equity in job grading and wage rates, a common set of job grading standards and instructions are used. Because of differences in duties, skills and knowledge, and other aspects of trades and labor jobs, job grading standards are developed mainly along occupational lines.
Job classification (or job grading) is a simple, widely used method in which raters categorize jobs into groups; all the jobs in each group are of roughly the same value for pay purposes. The groups are called classes if they contain similar jobs or grades if they contain jobs that are similar in difficulty but otherwise different. Thus, in the federal government’s pay grade system a “press secretary” and a “fire chief” might both be graded “GS – 10” (GS stands for “General Schedule”) On the other hand, in its job system, the state of Florida might classify all “secretary IIs” in one class, all “maintenance engineers” in another, and so forth.

There are several ways to actually categorize jobs. One is to write class or grade description (similar to job descriptions) and place jobs into classes or grades based on how well they fit these descriptions. Another is to draw up a set of compensable factor based rules for each class, for instance, how much independent judgment, skill, physical effort and so on, does the class of jobs require?

The standards do not attempt to describe every work assignment of each position in the occupation covered. The standards identify and describe those key characteristics of occupations which are significant for distinguishing different levels of work. They define these key characteristics in such a way as to provide a basis for assigning the appropriate grade level to all positions in the occupation to which the standards apply.
Classification Method - This method is the most commonly used in the State Personnel Management System. In the Classification Method, the duties and responsibilities of a position are compared to the Nature of Work and Examples of Work sections of the classification specification in order to determine the classification with the “best fit
Classification is based upon the objective elements of a position and does not consider the status of an incumbent. Information relative to the employee¥s length of service, time spent at the maximum salary level of the position, or the quality of his/her performance is not considered in determining the appropriate classification of a position. Factors that are considered include such elements as the nature, scope and level of the duties and responsibilities; the relationship of the position to other positions in the department; supervision given or received; and exercise of independent judgment.
Classification Cycle Review Process

The classification cycle review process is as follows:

Notification of Review: The Office of Staff Personnel Services shall notify Administrative Services Managers of the schedule for the three-year classification cycle review prior to July 1, each fiscal year.

Employee Position Descriptions: The Administrative Services Managers shall submit current position descriptions for employees in their unit, college or division to the Office of Staff Personnel Services. The Office of Staff Personnel Services will review the position descriptions submitted and may request additional information or clarifying data prior to any on-site audit.

Employee Position Review: The employee position review process will include an analysis of the written description by a classification analyst; an on-site audit of the employee's position, when necessary; and a classification conference with the appropriate administrator.Following completion of review, the Classification Manager will meet with the appropriate administrator and Administrative Services Manager to discuss the findings of the review. Reclassification documents will be processed by the Office of Staff Personnel Services.

Notification and Effective Dates: Staff Personnel Services will notify employees of a classification decision, in writing, following completion of the classification review. Reclassifications, if any, shall be effective the first day of the pay period following completion of review.
Job evaluation or classification is the basis for determining the salary for a position, and for maintaining equitable salaries. The job evaluation process determines the appropriate job classification and title for each position.
The correct classification of a staff member's position is determined by many factors, including the following:

a. Basic duties and responsibilities
b. Knowledge, skills and abilities required (experience, education and training)
c. Scope and degree of judgement required and consequences of errors in judgement
d. Scope and degree of supervision received
e. Scope and degree of supervision exercised
f. Decision-making responsibility (if any)
g. Working conditions (if applicable)
h. Special licenses or certificates required (if any)
Examples: Description of Job Grades
Grade :Unskilled
Description : Jobs in this grade involve manual work.No formal education is required.
Grade : Skilled
Description : Jobs in this grade are clerical in nature.High School certificate is essestial.
Grade : Supervisory
Description: Jobs in this grade require ability to apply established procedures and to guide others.Graduate degree is required.
Grade : Executive
Description: Jobs in this grade involve decision making and administrative work. Professional qualifications are necessary.
This method is easy to understand and simple to operate
It is more accurate and systematic than the ranking method.
It provides an opportunity to develop a systematic organisation structure.
This method is used in goverment offices.

Classification judgments are subjective.

The standard used for comparison (the grade/category structure) may have built in biases that would affect certain groups of employees (females or minorities).

Some jobs may appear to fit within more than one grade/category.
It is very difficult to write accurate and precise description of job grades.

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