Job evaluation is an exercise in measuring the relative value of different roles within an organisation. This can be done in two ways: by analytical and non-analytical means. There are pros and cons with both methods. Which approach is chosen often depends on the size and nature of the business. Whatever scheme is employed, organisations can use the results of an evaluation to configure pay and grading structures, and to clarify career paths for employees.
Analytical schemes provide the most robust defence to equal pay claims
The evaluation process and the framework for allocating jobs to grades must be objective, consistent and transparent, irrespective of whether the work is carried out by a man or a woman. Consequently, non-analytical evaluation schemes are less likely to offer as robust a defence because ’whole job’ comparisons are prone to simply replicating the status quo and can perpetuate any discriminatory assumptions built into the evaluation.
In organisations with many different types of jobs, such as a local authority, the task of including competencies and their associated behaviours in all role profiles can be daunting. One of the ways this may be overcome is through the use of job families. These group together roles with similar characteristics that require similar generic competencies and behaviours to carry them out. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to job family design – the number of families and job levels, and the link with pay, will vary considerably depending on the particular needs and cultures of different employers. However, the design process typically follows the same four stages:
- grouping roles into families
- dividing families into levels
- allocating roles
- aligning pay
Some organisations use analytical job evaluation schemes to underpin their job family structures. The generic profiles that define the requirements of a job at each level in a family are often based around the factors measured during a job evaluation process.