Job evaluation

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A job evaluation is a systematic way of determining the value/worth of a job in relation to other jobs in an organization. It tries to make a systematic comparison between jobs to assess their relative worth for the purpose of establishing a rational pay structure. Job evaluation needs to be differentiated from job analysis. Job analysis is a systematic way of gathering information about a job. Every job evaluation method requires at least some basic job analysis in order to provide factual information about the jobs concerned. Thus, job evaluation begins with job analysis and ends at that point where the worth of a job is ascertained for achieving pay equity between jobs and different roles.


The process of job evaluation involves the following steps:

  • Gaining acceptance: Before undertaking job evaluation, top management must explain the aims and uses of the programme to managers, emphasizing the benefits. Employees and unions may be consulted, depending on the legal and employee relations environment and company culture. To elaborate the program further, presentations could be made to explain the inputs, process and outputs/benefits of job evaluation.
  • Creating job evaluation committee: It is not possible for a single person to evaluate all the key jobs in an organization. Often a job evaluation committee consisting of experienced employees, union representatives and HR experts is created to set the ball rolling.
  • Finding the jobs to be evaluated: Every job need not be evaluated. This may be too taxing and costly. Certain key jobs in each department may be identified. While picking up the jobs, care must be taken to ensure that they represent the type of work performed in that department, at various levels.
  • Analysing and preparing job description: This requires the preparation of a job description and also an analysis of job specifications for successful performance. See job analysis.
  • Selecting the method of evaluation: The method of evaluating jobs must be identified, keeping the job factors as well as organisational demands in mind. Selecting a method also involves consideration of company culture, and the capacity of the compensation and benefits function or job evaluation committee.
  • Evaluating jobs: The relative worth of various jobs in an organisation may be determined by applying the job evaluation method. The method may consider the "whole job" by ranking a set of jobs, or by comparing each job to a general level description. Factor-based methods require consideration of the level of various compensable factors (criteria) such as level and breadth of responsibility, knowledge and skill required, complexity, impact, accountability, working conditions, etc. These factor comparisons can be one with or without numerical scoring. If there is numerical scoring, weights can be assigned to each such factor and scores are associated with different levels of each factor, so that a total score is determined for the job. All methods result in an assigned grade level.

Installing the programme[edit]

Once the evaluation process is over and a plan of action is ready, management must explain it to employees and put it into operation.

Reviewing periodically[edit]

In the light of changes in environmental conditions (technology, products, services, etc.) jobs need to be examined closely. For example, the traditional clerical functions have undergone a rapid change in sectors like banking, insurance and railways, after computerisation. New job descriptions need to be written and the skill needs of new jobs need to be duly incorporated in the evaluation process. Otherwise, employees may feel that all the relevant job factors - based on which their pay has been determined - have not been evaluated properly.

For job evaluation to be practicable it is necessary:

  • that jobs can be easily identified
  • that there are sufficient differences between different jobs; and
  • that agreements know the relative importance or worth of different jobs can be negotiated between the enterprise and its employees and/or their representatives.


There are primarily three methods of job evaluation: (1) ranking, (2) classification, (3) Factor comparison method or Point method. While many variations of these methods exist in practice, the three basic approaches are described here.

Ranking method[edit]

Perhaps the simplest method of job evaluation is the ranking method. According to this method, jobs are arranged from highest to lowest, in order of their value or merit to the organization. Jobs can also be arranged according to the relative difficulty in performing them. The jobs are examined as a whole rather than on the basis of important factors in the job; the job at the top of the list has the highest value and obviously the job at the bottom of the list will have the lowest value. Jobs are usually ranked in each department and then the department rankings are combined to develop an organizational ranking. The variation in payment of salaries depends on the variation of the nature of the job performed by the employees. The ranking method is simple to understand and practice and it is best suited for a small organization. Its simplicity however works to its disadvantage in big organizations because rankings are difficult to develop in a large, complex organization. Moreover, this kind of ranking is highly subjective in nature and may offend many employees. Therefore, a more scientific and fruitful way of job evaluation is called for.

Classification method (Grading method)[edit]

According to this method, a predetermined number of job groups or job classes are established and jobs are assigned to these classifications. This method places groups of jobs into job classes or job grades. Separate classes may include office, clerical, managerial, personnel, etc. Following is a brief description of such a classification in an office.

  • Class I - Executives: Further classification under this category may be Office Manager, Deputy office manager, Office superintendent, Departmental supervisor, etc.
  • Class II - Skilled workers: Under this category may come the Purchasing assistant, Cashier, Receipts clerk, etc.
  • Class III - Semiskilled workers: Under this category may come Stenotypists, Machine-operators, Switchboard operator etc.
  • Class IV - Unskilled workers: This category may comprise peons, messengers, housekeeping staff, Daftaris[clarification needed], File clerks, Office boys, etc.

The job grading method is less subjective when compared to the earlier ranking method. The system is very easy to understand and acceptable to almost all employees without hesitation. One strong point in favour of the method is that it takes into account all the factors that a job comprises. This system can be effectively used for a variety of jobs. The weaknesses of the Grading method are:

  • Even when the requirements of different jobs differ, they may be combined into a single category, depending on the status a job carries.
  • It is difficult to write all-inclusive descriptions of a grade.
  • The method oversimplifies sharp differences between different jobs and different grades.
  • When individual job descriptions and grade descriptions do not match well, the evaluators have the tendency to classify the job using their subjective judgements.

Factor comparison method or Point method[edit]

This method is widely used and is considered to be one of the reliable and systematic approach for job evaluation in mid and large size organisations. Most consulting firms adopt this method, which was pioneered by Edward Hay in 1943. Here, jobs are expressed in terms of key factors. Points are assigned to each factor after prioritizing each factor in order of importance. The points are summed up to determine the wage rate for the job. Jobs with similar point totals are placed in similar pay grades. The procedure involved may be explained thus:

1. Select key jobs. Identify the factors common to all the identified jobs such as skill, effort, responsibility, etc.

2. Divide each major factor into a number of sub factors. Each sub factor is defined and expressed clearly in the order of importance, preferably along a scale.

The most frequent factors employed in point systems are:

(i) Skill (key factor); Education and training required, Breadth/depth of experience required, Social skills required, Problem-solving skills, Degree of discretion/use of judgment, Creative thinking

(ii) Responsibility/Accountability: Breadth of responsibility, Specialized responsibility, Complexity of the work, Degree of freedom to act, Number and nature of subordinate staff, Extent of accountability for equipment/plant, Extent of accountability for product/materials;

(iii) Effort: Mental demands of a job, Physical demands of a job, Degree of potential stress

The educational requirements (sub factor) under the skill (key factor) may be expressed thus in the order of importance.

3. Find the maximum number of points assigned to each job (after adding up the point values of all sub-factors of such a job).

This would help in finding the relative worth of a job. For instance, the maximum points assigned to an officer's job in a bank come to 540. The manager's job, after adding up key factors + sub factors points, may be getting a point value of say 650 from the job evaluation committee. This job is now priced at a higher level.

4. Once the worth of a job in terms of total points is expressed, the points are converted into money values keeping in view the hourly/daily wage rates. A wage survey is usually undertaken to collect wage rates of certain key jobs in the organization.

Market Pricing[edit]

Market pricing is the process for determining the external value of jobs, allowing you to establish wage and salary structures and pay rates that are market sensitive. Job matching session is conducted.

Merits and demerits[edit]

The point method is a superior and widely used method of evaluating jobs. It forces raters to look into all key factors and sub-factors of a job. Point values are assigned to all factors in a systematic way, eliminating bias at every stage. It is reliable because raters using similar criteria would get more or less similar answers. The methodology underlying the approach contributes to a minimum of rating error (Robbins p. 361). It accounts for differences in wage rates for various jobs on the strength of job factors. Jobs may change over time, but the rating scales established under the point method remain unaffected. On the negative side, the point method is complex. Preparing a manual for various jobs, fixing values for key and sub-factors, establishing wage rates for different grades, etc., is a time consuming process, According to Decenzo and Robbins, "the key criteria must be carefully and clearly identified, degrees of factors have to be agreed upon in terms that mean the same to all rates, the weight of each criterion has to be established and point values must be assigned to degrees". This may be too taxing, especially while evaluating managerial jobs where the nature of work (varied, complex, novel) is such that it cannot be expressed in quantifiable numbers.


The following table lists several vendors of analytical job evaluation systems. The list is not conclusive.

Vendor Grading Criteria Career Paths
Aon - JobLink Compensable factors:
  • Knowledge and application
  • Problem solving and innovation
  • Interaction
  • Impact
  • Accountability (for non-manual roles)
  • Working environment and physical activity (for manual roles)


  • Support
  • Individual contributor
  • Management
  • Executive
OMD HR CONSULTING - OMD HCM JET Job Evaluation Tool Grading criteria:
  • Contribution: Reporting level, Budget, Nature of impact on the budget, and Degree of autonomy (to act and make decisions)
  • Framework: Thinking environment, and Thinking challenge
  • Requirements: Knowledge required, Relevant work experience required, and Communications skills required most of the time
  • Scope: Functional scope, Time-span for most business objectives, People responsibility, Multi-country responsibility, and Production facilities responsibility
No differentiation of career paths
ECC Ltd - HERA and FEDRA for universities and colleges 14 elements used for evaluating each role, including Communication, Liaison and Networking, Decision Making, Planning and Organising, Teaching and Learning Support.

Source [2]

career paths determined by organisation using the system
Egan Associates Job Evaluation Methodology (eJE) Cognitive and Creativity
  • Knowledge and Experience
  • Innovation and Creativity

Complexity, Leadership and Engagement

  • Organisation Complexity and Diversity
  • Leadership and Engagement
  • Analysis and Reasoning

Accountability and Risk

  • Scale
  • Independence and Authority
  • Risk Management
  • Work Environment
  • Administrative / Operational
  • Technical / Professional
  • Senior Professional / Management
  • Executive
gradar the job evaluation engine common factors for all career paths
  • Professional Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Cognitive Abilities / Problem Solving
  • Organisational Knowledge
  • Communication

common factors for individual contributor and management

  • Process Responsibility
  • Scope of Decisions

specific for individual contributor

  • People Responsibility
  • Functional Responsibility

specific for people management

  • Span of Control & Occupation Group Managed
  • Organisational Responsibility

specific for project management

  • Project Responsibility & Span of Control
  • Project Size

Source [3]

  • Individual Contributor
  • People Management
  • Project Management
Hay Group - Guide Charts Profile Method of Job Evaluation Know-how
  • Practical / technical knowledge
  • Planning, organizing and integrating (managerial) knowledge
  • Communicating and influencing skills

Problem solving

  • Thinking environment
  • Thinking challenge


  • Freedom to act
  • Scope
  • Impact (business results)

Source [4]

no differentiation of career paths
Mercer - International Position Evaluation Impact
  • Size of Organisation
  • Impact
  • Contribution


  • Communication
  • Frame


  • Innovation
  • Complexity


  • Knowledge
  • Teams
  • Breadth (Application of knowledge)

Working Conditions (only to be used when high risks present)

  • Risk
  • Environment

Source [5]

no differentiation of career paths
pwc - STRATA Know-How
  • Professional know-how
  • Corporate/Business awareness
  • Social Competence

Problem solving

  • Scope of Thinking
  • Degree of difficulty

Accountability and Impact

  • Autonomy of Decision
  • Area of Influence
  • Intensity of influence on target achievement

Source [6]

no differentiation of career paths
Towers Watson - Global Grading System
  • Functional Knowledge
  • Business Expertise
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Area of Influence
  • Nature of Influence
  • Communication / Interpersonal Skills
Individual Contributor
  • Band 1 : Un-/Semi-Skilled Labour
  • Band 2 : Skilled Labour
  • Band 3IC : Professionals
  • Band 4IC : Experts


  • Band 3M : Supervisors / Team Leads
  • Band 4M : Middle Management
  • Band 5FS : Functional Strategic Management
  • Band 5BS : Business Strategic Management
Paterson (Decision Band) Method
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Accountability
  • Knowledge & Skill
  • Impact
  • Complexity and Problem Solving
No differentiation of career paths


  1. Job evaluation is not completely scientific.
  2. Different job evaluators may reach different results, requiring validation
  3. More complex systems, such as point factor, may be difficult to explain to managers or employees

Concept of job design[edit]

What is job design? As we just explained, job analysis provides job-related data as well as the skills and knowledge required for the incumbent to perform the job. A better job performance also requires deciding on sequence of job contents. This is called 'job design'. Job design is a logical sequence to job analysis. In other words, job design involves specifying the contents of a job, the work methods used in its performance and how the job relates to other jobs in the organisation.

A few definitions on job design are produced here with a view to help you understand the meaning of job design in a better manner. Michael Armstrong11 has defined job design as "the process of deciding on the contents of a job in terms of its duties and responsibilities, on the methods to be used in carrying out the job, in terms of techniques, systems and procedures, and on the relationships that should exist between the job holder and his superiors, subordinates and colleagues".

Mathis and Jackson I2 have defined job design as "a process that integrates work content (tasks, functions, relationships), the rewards(extrinsic and intrinsic), and the qualifications required (skills, knowledge, abilities) for each job in a way that meets the needs of employees and organisations."

Popplewell and Wildsmith13 define job design in these words: "......involves conscious efforts to organise tasks, duties, and responsibilities into a unit of work to achieve certain objectives".

Having gone through the above definitions of job design, it can now be described as a deliberate attempt made to structure both technical and social aspects of the job to attain a fit between the individual (job holder) and the job. The very idea is that job should be designed in such a way as to enable employees to control over the aspects of their work. The underlying justification being that by doing this, it enhances the quality of the work life, harnesses the potential of the workers in a more effective manner and thereby improves employee performance.

Techniques for designing jobs[edit]

Basically, there are four techniques used in the design of jobs. These include Job simplification, Job enlargement, Job enrichment and Job rotation.

Job simplification[edit]

Job simplification is a design method whereby jobs are divided into smaller components and subsequently assigned to workers as whole jobs. Simplification of work requires that jobs be broken down into their smallest units and then analysed. Each resulting sub-unit typically consists of relatively few operations. These subunits are then assigned to the workers as their total job. Many fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King and KFC use simplification because employees can learn tasks rapidly; short work cycles allow task performance with little or no mental effort and low-skilled and low-paid employees can be hired and trained easily.

On the negative side, job simplification results in workers experiencing boredom, frustration, alienation, lack of motivation and low job satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to lower productivity and increased cost.

Job enlargement[edit]

Job enlargement expands a job horizontally. It increases job scope; that is, it increases the number of different operations required in a job and the frequency with which the job cycle is repeated. By increasing the number of tasks an individual performs, job enlargement increases the job scope, or job diversity. Instead of only sorting the incoming mail by department, for instance, a mail sorter's job could be enlarged to include physically delivering the mail to the various departments or running outgoing letters through the postage meter.

Efforts at job enlargement have met with less than enthusiastic results. As one employee who experienced such a redesign on his job remarked, "Before I had one lousy job. Now, through enlargement, I have three!" So while job enlargement attacks the lack of diversity in overspecialised jobs, it has done little to provide challenge or meaningfulness to a worker's activities.

Job rotation[edit]

Job rotation refers to the movement of an employee from one job to another. Jobs themselves are not actually changed, only the employees are rotated among various jobs. An employee who works on a routine job moves to work on another job for some hours/days/months and returns to the first job. This measure relieves the employee from the boredom and monotony, improves the employee's skills regarding various jobs and prepares worker's self-image and provides personal growth. However, frequent job rotations are not advisable in view of their negative impact on the organisation and the employee.

Job enrichment[edit]

Job enrichment, as currently practiced in industry, is a direct outgrowth of Herzberg's Two Factor Theory of motivation. It is, therefore, based on the assumption that in order to motivate personnel, the job itself must provide opportunities for achievement recognition, responsibility, advancement and growth. The basic idea is to restore to jobs the elements of interest that were taken away under intensive specialisation. Job enrichment tries to embellish the job with factors that Herzberg characterised as motivators: achievement, recognition, increased responsibilities, opportunities for growth, advancement and increased competence. There is an attempt to build into jobs a higher sense of challenge and achievement, through vertical job loading. 6 Job enrichment has four unique aspects:

  • It changes the basic relationship between employees and their work. Interesting and challenging work, as studies have proved, can be a source of employee satisfaction.
  • It changes employee behaviours in ways that gradually lead to more positive attitudes about the organisation and a better self-image. Feeling of autonomy and personal freedom help employees view their jobs in a favourable way.
  • It helps the employer to bring about organisational changes easily, securing employee cooperation and commitment.
  • Job enrichment can humanise an organisation. 'Individuals can experience the psychological that comes from developing new competencies and doing a job well. Individuals are encouraged to grow and push themselves.'


  1. ^ "JobLink".
  2. ^ "About HERA and FEDRA".
  3. ^ "job grading factors". Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  4. ^ "Brochure Hay Guide Chart" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  5. ^ "International Position Evaluation System (IPE)". Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  6. ^ "Flyer Competency Management & Job Evaluation" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-12-26.