pay grade evaluation
August 22, 2007 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Educate me on this one - how does HR evaluate and adjust employee pay grades?

Shortly after my boss was fired, I found out that my job description was not up to date and did not capture all of my responsibilities. I brought this issue up to HR, and HR agreed to review my own summary of job responsibilities. Regardless of the outcome, it won't make any difference to my salary for this year (I already got a raise). However, it may adjust my pay grade. I'm already near the border line.

The updated job description will be fed into a program that will evaluate my true grade. I'm not good at selling myself, not to mention writing my own job description. It makes me nervous that my own writing may not be professional enough to reflect a true grade that I deserve. What exactly is HR looking for in terms of pay grade evaluation? Is the program looking for those power keywords?
posted by dy to Work & Money (1 answer total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Often in this situation, HR would have you fill out a standardized Job Information Questionnaire (JIQ) that would just collect the facts of your duties and shouldn't be impacted too much by your self-promotional or writing skills. Some places will send the completed JIQ along with an updated Job Description to an external compensation consultant, who is theoretically above the political fray of the organization and likelt to give them a more accurate and balanced suggested grade for the position, which HR people usually want, because incorrect or politicized grading can lead to exposure, and minimizing exposure is really HR's number one job.

You might ask if this is the process, depending on how much of a rabble-rouser you want to be. Good HR people should consider this the right practice, so your asking about it may provoke something depending on the size and inertia of the organization. On the other hand, you don't want HR to think that you're poking around the process looking for exposure. On the gripping hand, if this is the private sector, they're essentially going to do what they want to do and will massage the process to provide both the desired result and minimize exposure. That's probably why they use a program that they can 'configure' to their liking.

When you revise your job description or fill out a JIQ, there's two sides to that, too. You want to be as honest as possible (although a little boasting here and there is common), especially when it comes to telling other employees to do things or being responsible for decisions; those are the primary vectors that move you up the scale, moreso than knowledge or workload. However, if HR and execs have one image of the org chart in their head, and what you write on your JIQ or description reflects a different reality than the one they were expecting, that may not go over well and could ally forces against the regrading. On the flip side, with a boss recently fired and replaced, it's much easier to blame anything amiss on them.

If I were writing an abstract position grading program, I'd score up for supervise, coordinate, determine, independent, manage, develop, organize, inform, collaborate, plan, sole, primary, single, main, critical, and core.

I'd grade down for implement, ensure, part of, alongside, report, conjunction, serve, together, deliver, upon request, etc. etc.

That's all pulled out of my ass though. If this is a big company, that program may be well honed and looking for jargon and specific keyphrases that none of us would be able to anticipate.

Good luck! Hope this helps.
posted by ulotrichous at 10:20 PM on August 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

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