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Managing the Job Evaluation Process

A job evaluation can be defined as a methodical approach to establishing the value of an occupation in relation to other posts within the organization. Job evaluation processes attempt to build a systematic contrast between tasks to evaluate their relative value for the reason of establishing a balanced pay structure. Job evaluation needs to be distinguished from job analysis that refers to an organized way of collecting information about a profession. Therefore, job evaluation starts with job analysis and concludes when the value of an occupation is determined for attaining pay equity between different professions.

Typically, the process of job evaluation follows the following fundamental phases with unique cases having a different approach. As an employer, it is imperative to gain the acceptance of the trade unions and the employees themselves through explaining the objectives and functions of the program. This could be done through oral presentations, internal memos, and brochures to categorize all significant elements of the job evaluation program. The next step involves creating a job evaluation commission. It is impractical for a single individual to assess all the vital posts in an organization. Frequently, a job evaluation commission comprising of knowledgeable personnel, union delegates and human resource professionals is formed to initiate the process.

The third phase involves determining the posts to be appraised. It is not mandatory that -very job need not be evaluated as this may be too demanding and expensive. Certain vital jobs in each division may be selected. While selecting the jobs, caution must be taken to ascertain that they are a representative of the type of work done in that sector. This phase should be followed by an analysis and preparation of the job description. These are lists developed to outline the general tasks, functions and duties of a position. Components of a job description include qualifications, salary and other competencies. After this, the method of evaluation is selected. The most relevant method of assessing the positions must be identified, considering the work factors as well as organizational needs.

The last phase involves categorizing the jobs. The relative value of different posts in an organization may be discovered after organizing jobs in order of significance using standards such as expertise requirements, experience desired, specific conditions under which tasks are carried out, type of duties to be borne, degree of supervision and the amount of pressure caused by the position. By assigning the weights to each factor, the final value of a position can determined by adding the total of all the weights for each category. These awarded points can then be changed into monetary functions.

Several methods of job evaluation have been devised but most of these have been proved to be inefficient and flawed. The ranking method is the most popular and involves categorizing positions from the highest to the lowest as well as using their difficulty as the criterion. The downside to this approach is that it encourages subjectivity and creates conflict. The classification method is more scientific and creates a prearranged number of positions groups where each post is allocated for example executives, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. The problem with this approach is that it oversimplifies the precise differences between different positions and different grades.

The most elaborate and systematic method, the factor comparison method, uses a series of factors to rank each position. Examples of these factors include physical and mental effort, duties, working conditions and skill required. The overall process of job evaluation has its own limitations in that it is not completely scientific.  The formulas for most of its techniques are also highly questionable and difficult to understand. Lastly, the stakeholders including trade unions representatives, employees and program administrators award different weights to each factor and this creates conflicts.


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