Methods Used In Job Evaluation

Job evaluation approaches can be categorized into non-analytical and analytical evaluations.

a) Non-Analytical Job Evaluation

Non-analytical job evaluation compares whole jobs to place them in a grade or a rank order hence they are not analysed by reference to their elements or factors. The main non-analytical schemes are:

  • Job classification

This is the most common non-analytical approach. Jobs as defined in job descriptions are slotted into grades in a hierarchy by comparing the whole job with a grade definition and selecting the grade that provides the best fit. It is based on an initial definition of the number and characteristics of the grades into which jobs will be placed. The grade definitions may therefore refer to such job characteristics as skill, decision making and responsibility.

Job descriptions may be used that include information on the presence of those characteristics but the characteristics are not assessed separately when comparing the description with the grade definition

  • Job Ranking

Whole-job ranking is the most primitive form of job evaluation. The process involves comparing jobs with one another and arranging them in order of their perceived size or value to the organization. In a sense, all evaluation schemes are ranking exercises because they place jobs in a hierarchy.

The difference between simple ranking and analytical methods such as point-factor rating is that job ranking does not attempt to quantify judgements. Instead, whole jobs are compared, they are not broken down into factors or elements although, explicitly or implicitly, the comparison may be based on some generalized concept such as the level of responsibility.

  • Paired comparison ranking

Paired comparison ranking is a statistical technique that is used to provide a more sophisticated method of whole-job ranking. It is based on the assumption that it is always easier to compare one job with another than to consider a number of jobs and attempt to build up a rank order by multiple comparisons.

The technique requires the comparison of each job as a whole separately with every other job. If a job is considered to be of a higher value than the one with which it is being compared it receives two points; if it is thought to be equally important, it receives one point; if it is regarded as less important, no points are awarded. The scores are added for each job and a rank order is obtained.

The advantage of paired comparison ranking over normal ranking is that it is easier to compare one job with another rather than having to make multi-comparisons.

But it cannot overcome the fundamental objections to any form of whole job ranking that no defined standards for judging relative worth are provided and it is not an acceptable method of assessing equal value.

There is also a limit to the number of jobs that can be compared using this method. Paired comparisons can also be used analytically to compare jobs on a factor by factor basis.

  • Internal benchmarking

Internal benchmarking is what people often do intuitively when they are deciding on the value of jobs, although it has never been dignified in the job evaluation texts as a formal method of job evaluation. It simply means comparing the job under review with any internal job that is believed to be properly graded and paid, and placing the job under consideration into the same grade as that job. The comparison is often made on a whole-job basis without analysing the jobs factor by factor.

  • Market pricing

Market pricing is the process of assessing rates of pay by reference to the market rates for comparable jobs and is essentially external benchmarking.

Strictly speaking, market pricing is not a process of job evaluation in the sense that those described above only deal with internal relativities and are not directly concerned with market values, although in conjunction with a formal job evaluation scheme, establishing market rates is a necessary part of a programme for developing a pay structure.

However, the term ‘market pricing’ in its extreme form is used to denote a process of directly pricing jobs on the basis of external relativities with no regard to internal relativities.

b) Analytical Schemes

  • Point-factor evaluation

Point-factor schemes are the most commonly used type of analytical job evaluation. The methodology is to break down jobs into factors or key elements representing the demands made by the job on job holders, the competencies required and, in some cases, the impact the job makes. It is assumed that each of the factors will contribute to job size (i.e. the value of the job) and is an aspect of all the jobs to be evaluated but to different degrees.

Using numerical scales, points are allocated to a job under each factor heading according to the extent to which it is present in the job. The separate factor scores are then added together to give a total score, which represents job size.

  • Analytical matching

Like point-factor job evaluation, analytical matching is based on the analysis of a number of defined factors.

Grade or level profiles are produced which define the characteristics of jobs in each grade in a grade structure in terms of those factors.

Role profiles are produced for the jobs to be evaluated set out on the basis of analysis under the same factor headings as the grade profiles.

The roles profiles are then ‘matched’ with the range of grade or level profiles to establish the best fit and thus grade the job.

Alternatively or additionally, role profiles for jobs to be evaluated can be matched analytically with generic role profiles for jobs that have already been graded.

Analytical matching may be used to grade jobs following the initial evaluation of a sufficiently large and representative sample of ‘benchmark’ jobs, i.e. jobs that can be used as a basis for comparison with other jobs. This can happen in large organizations when it is believed that it is not necessary to go through the whole process of point factor evaluation for every job. This especially applies where ‘generic’ roles are concerned, i.e. roles that are performed by a number of job holders, which are essentially similar although there may be minor differences.

  • Factor comparison

The original and now little used factor comparison method compared jobs factor by factor using a scale of money values to provide a direct indication of the rate for the job. The main form of factor comparison now in use is graduated factor comparison, which involves comparing jobs factor by factor with a graduated scale. The scale may have only three value levels – for example lower, equal, higher – and factor scores are not necessarily used.

It is a method often used by the independent experts engaged by Employment Tribunals to advice on an equal pay claim. Their job is simply to compare one job with one or two others, not to review internal relativities over the whole spectrum of jobs in order to produce a rank order. Independent experts may score their judgements of comparative levels, in which case graduated factor comparison resembles the point factor method, except that the number of levels and range of scores are limited, and the factors may not be weighted.

  • Proprietary brands

There are a number of job evaluation schemes offered by management consultants. By far the most popular is the Hay Guide Chart Profile Method, which is a factor comparison scheme. It uses three broad factors (know-how, problem solving and accountability) each of which is further divided into sub-factors, although these cannot be scored individually. Definitions of each level have been produced for each sub-factor to guide evaluators and ensure consistency of application.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *