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Job Classification

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Job classification is a system for objectively and accurately defining and evaluating the duties, responsibilities, tasks, and authority level of a job. The job classification, done correctly, is a thorough description of the job responsibilities of a position without regard to the knowledge, skills, experience, and education of the individuals currently performing the job.

Job classification is most frequently, formally performed in large companies, civil service and government employment, nonprofit agencies, and colleges and universities. The approach used in these organizations is formal and structured with pay or salary grades attached to the results of the job classification.

Informal forms of job classification are used even in smaller and mid-sized companies and agencies to generate a sense of fairness across equivalent employee jobs. This form of job classification can be as simple as grouping similar positions in a broadband.

The Hay System of Job Classification

One popular, commercial job classification system is the Hay Classification system. The Hay job classification system assigns points to evaluate job components to determine the relative value of a particular job to other jobs.

The Hay method measures three components in all jobs: the knowledge required, problem solving required, and level of accountability. The Hay method compares the relative value of comparable jobs to maintain parity across an organization.

For purposes of larger organizations with many departments and locations, union represented jobs, and organizations with hierarchical, rigid pay or salary grades, and needed internal equity, a system such as Hay, is appropriate.

Working with Hay job classification, an evaluator uses a job evaluation instrument or questionnaire, that is filled out by the department requesting the job or evaluation. Trained to appropriately assign points, the evaluator assigns points to determine where to place a job in the job classification system. The placement of the job determines the pay or salary grade within the organization's compensation system.

Find out more about why an organization might want to consider using a job classification system to evaluate jobs.

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Also Known As: job evaluation, job analysis
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