Principles of Job Evaluation
Comments (5)

Job evaluation is not scientific – it cannot be since there is no way of scientifically measuring jobs. It is therefore a process of judgment. The ‘correctness’ of the results it provides can only be assessed in terms of their acceptability to the vast majority of people to whom they apply. The key to such success lies in guiding the judgment made about jobs within a process which is systematic and minimizes the subjectivity of the results, ensuring they are as objectives and justifiable as possible. To do this there are certain requirements which must be met :

1. An understanding of the job must be achieved.

2. Judgments must be made about the size of each job.

3. Common criteria are needed to assess the job content.

4. A common scale of measurement is required against which to make judgments.

5. Cross-checks are needed to ensure that the judgments are sound. Additionally there are a number of basic principles which are important, and underlie the whole process of job evaluation :

(i) Evaluation is concerned with the job not the person performing it. This is very basic, but much easier to say than to achieve in practice. The reason for this is that often those evaluating the jobs will know (perhaps quite well) the actual job holder. Such knowledge should not be used. It is useful to imagine the job being performed – not by the present job holder but by a replacement who performs all aspects of the job acceptability.

(ii) Evaluation is based on Job Content which means that in making evaluation judgments we must be concerned with what the job has to do and achieve. Thus two dangers have to be avoided : • the judgment on the job size must not be influenced by job titles which can be misleading, or by knowledge of present status and pay • the jobs are evaluated as they are not as they could be, should be, might be or used to be. It would be wrong to construct a ‘model’ organization and evaluate that, rather than the reality of the organization as it is.

(iii) Since evaluation is concerned solely with organizational reality, care should be given to evaluate jobs at a fully acceptable standard of performance: they should not reflect good or poor performance of current job holders, but what is properly required by the job to achieve organizational effectiveness.

We will now explore how these evaluation requirements are met using this method.

1. Job Understanding The basic information on the facts of the job is obtained by means of a job description. Job descriptions must meet the company’s requirements of clarity, comprehensives and consistency with other descriptions. The job holder and his or her immediate boss should have discussed and agreed a final version. This information is supplemented by the knowledge and understanding of the organization and how it works supplied by the Evaluation Committee. Through discussion each Committee member can then develop a common understanding of what a job involves before making judgments about its size.

2. Judgments Evaluation is concerned with making judgments and in order to maximize the objectivity of these judgments, disciplines are built into the evaluation process. These are : Systematic Framework : This is provided by the Guide Charts so that for each judgment to be made there is a definition of the levels to be selected. Thus discussion focuses upon matching information on job content with these definitions. This provides a basis for the discussion rather than relying upon strong personalities to sway the judgment. Multiple Judgments : The evaluation process makes use of a committee. This enables individuals bias to be neutralized by the presence of others who will require individuals to substantiate their judgments. Consensus : The aim is always to achieve a consensus view on the evaluation. This means that there is no facility for averaging or voting, but rather the different views of the committee members are exposed and explored and individuals required to substantiate their views. Discussion then continues until all views have been explored and the judgment which is recorded is that

3. Criteria for Assessing Job Content It is very difficult to compare jobs in total in order to assess their size, particularly if the jobs are very different. Therefore a number of common criteria are required to enable these comparisons to be made. The criteria used in the method follows from extensive study of common elements found in all jobs and are based on what results the job is required to achieve and what job-holders are required to bring to their jobs. The common elements which constitutes the three main criteria for evaluation in a point factor method are :- Know – How - The knowledge, skills and experience required for fully acceptable job performance. Problem – solving - The span, complexity and level of evaluative and innovative thought required on the job. Accountability - The discretion given to the job holder either to direct resources of all kinds or to influence or determine the course of events.

4. Scale of Measurement While a simple ranking order establishes a ‘pecking order’ the use of a points scale provides : - a result which is instantly and widely recognizable. - the establishment of distances between jobs - the ability to make comparisons with jobs in other organizations using the same evaluation method. The actual numbers used in the Guide Charts are chosen to give conveniently sized numbers which do not require fractions and do not give numbers in millions. All organizations using the method use the same numbering pattern. Evaluation is concerned with assessing differences between jobs and the numbering patterns must therefore reflect our ability to discern these differences. The numbering patterns is thus : Geometric - the gaps between adjacent numbers is a common percentage increase on the previous number. This reflects the fact that our ability to determine a difference is a result of the relative, not the absolute, difference. 15% Step Difference - a considerable amount of research and experience indicates that this represents a discernible difference in job content (or any aspect of job size) Thus the pattern, starting at 100 for convenience becomes : 100 115 132 152 175 200 + 15% + 15% + 15% + 15% + 15% When comparing jobs, either in total or in any aspect of job size, the comparison must always be based upon the numbers of 15% “step differences”. A rule of thumb indicates how the concept of “step differences” can be used in practice. • If, after careful consideration of all of the facts about two jobs the committee cannot perceive a difference, then for evaluation purposes they receive the same score. • If the committee can just detect the smallest noticeable difference, then this is recorded as one step. • If the committee can see a clear difference after some consideration, then this probably reflects two steps. • If, without any need for detailed discussion there is a clear difference, then there is probably a gap of three or more steps – although how many will need to be established.

5. Cross Checks on the Evaluations Because evaluation is not scientific, it is necessary to provide checks on the consistency of the evaluation results. These may be necessary : * between different functions * overtime as the evaluation proceeds * between different committees where more than one evaluation committee is involved in evaluating jobs within the organization. The method of job evaluation contains two separate and independent checks on the evaluations : (i) Profile Check This is a check on the technical soundness of each evaluation as it is carried out. It is based upon the fact that the nature of jobs within organizations varies. Some jobs are much more about Know-How and Problem-solving, such as research jobs and backroom jobs, while others are much more about Accountability, the results and actions oriented jobs, which are the ‘line’ jobs. Others will fall between these extremes – namely the ‘staff’ jobs. The ‘Profile’ check looks at the relationship between the Know-How, Problem-Solving and Accountability elements of the evaluation. With a little practice, evaluation committee members become very adept at assessing the sort of ‘profile’ different jobs will show and this becomes a very powerful evaluation check. How this works is considered in more detail later. (ii) Overall Review Once a number of jobs have been evaluated they are ranked in descending order of job size, and the resulting hierarchy examined. If the relationships do not appear to be consistent or to make sense the evaluations are re-examined. Reviews should be an on-going process. The Guide Charts are written so that the definitions of the elements cover jobs in a wide variety of functions and organizations. They therefore have to be interpreted sensitively within the context of jobs in your company.

Author : Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe


Showing 5 comments
chrm Global
chrm Global
chrm Global
chrm Global
chrm Global

Add New Comment

chrm Global

Posting Guidelines

We hope the conversations that take place on will be energetic,constructive, and thought-provoking. To ensure the quality of the discussion, our moderating team will review all comments and may edit them for clarity, length, and relevance. Comments that are overly promotional, mean-spirited, or off-topic may be deleted per the moderators' judgment.

Before we post this, who are you?