WHAT IS JOB CLASSIFICATION?
Job Classification is an assortment of titles and descriptions designed to facilitate a number of human resource management goals including recruitment, selection, and salary administration in an organized and consistent fashion. Similar to any system of classification, the UCPEA job classification systems is structured to aid the university administrators in understanding, organizing and dealing with a vast and complex array of professional functions. This is accomplished by having a systematic method for describing and providing titles for the different types of positions, utilizing common terminology and characteristics. Positions bearing sufficient commonalties are grouped together, given a single title and treated similarly for the above listed HR purposes.
GENERAL CONCEPTS OF JOB CLASSIFICATION
When determining the appropriate classification for a position, the Department of Human Resources studies the job duties and responsibilities assigned to a position by the supervisor or manager. A position is classified based on actual, existing duties and responsibilities, not duties and responsibilities that could be done or ideally, would be done in the future. It is important to understand that classification decisions cannot be based on:
- Competence, qualifications, interpersonal skills or other personal attributes of the person in the position
- Longevity – the amount of time in the position
- An employee’s potential and ability to far exceed what the job can conceivably encompass
- Comparisons to positions outside the University of Connecticut community
- Retention – adjusting a position’s classification to retain an employee
- Financial need – an employee’s desire to obtain a higher salary beyond their current compensation
- Assignment of futuristic projects
- Performance related characteristics
- Increased volume at the same level
With classification review, it is HR’s responsibility to assess positions and not the individuals in those positions. The potential or ability of an employee to work at a particular level should not be confused with the scope and complexity of the position as it actually exists. This does not mean that an employee’s characteristics have no effect on job duties and responsibilities. A person’s qualifications and abilities may be an important factor in what a supervisor decides to delegate to a position, which in turn can affect the position’s classification. It is HR’s role to focus on the position and the duties associated with that position at the time of review.
PROCEDURE FOR JOB CLASSIFICATION ANALYSIS
When an employee and/or supervisor believes there have been significant changes in the duties being performed on a regular basis and outside of the position’s current classification, the supervisor submits a written request to Human Resources (HR Specialist Assignments) for a job change questionnaire to be sent to the employee. At the University, a duties questionnaire or job change questionnaire is used to gather relevant position information.
Employee completes Parts A through I of the Job Change Questionnaire packet. The information included in the packet should describe the position and not the employee’s attributes. Other tips include:
- Provide detailed information on the duties performed. Avoid generalities, such as “handles correspondence” or “acts on behalf of a manager.”
- Describe the position as it exists now, not how it previously existed or may in the future.
- Do not dwell on limited, short-term tasks or future responsibilities.
- Start each description with action verbs.
Upon completion of the Job Change Questionnaire, forward to your immediate supervisor and Dean/Director/Department Head for signature. The packet must include an up-to-date resume and current organizational chart, illustrating the position’s reporting/working relationships with other positions within the unit/department. This entire packet should then be forwarded to Human Resources. An incomplete packet will delay the review process.
Following an initial review, an appointment for an on-site or teleconference desk audit may be scheduled. Additional information, if needed, can be provided at that time.
A Human Resources Associate (HRA) will review the knowledge base, independent action, complexity/variety and leadership skills of the position to determine if there has been a significant change. The HRA will also review the position’s current duties in relation to the organizational structure when making their final recommendation.
As stated, classification decisions are based solely on the position and not the incumbent in the position. However, should the position be assessed at a higher classification, the incumbent must meet the experience and training requirements of that level before being reclassified.