Review new classification Feb. 28, ensure it’s the best fit

Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

In a matter of days, the Compensation and Classification Redesign Project will reach another milestone. On Feb. 28, University non-organized professional and scientific (P&S) staff will be able to view their individual assignment to a new job function, job family, and University job classification on Employee Self Service, hris.uiowa.edu.

By comparing their original job information form (the JIF, which also can be accessed on Employee Self Service) to the new job function and family purpose statements, and the key areas of responsibility for their classification, individuals will be able to see if the new assignment is the “best fit” for their job in the new classification system.

Let’s take a few minutes to go over the classification process, our advice regarding employees’ review of their classification, and the process and reasoning for (or against) employee appeals.

 
The classification process
Seventy-nine individuals from across campus helped the University HR staff in this process. Compensation and Classification staff led the process to assure consistency between committees.

Placement committees assigned University Classifications to 4,670 employees based on JIFs. If no JIF was completed, the Compensation and Classification staff made placements using the information available—current classification or a recent position description questionnaire, for example. Employees who were reclassified after the JIFs were submitted were placed using the new information.

So what’s different about the new classification system?

The new classification framework will be organized by job function, job family, and University classification and will be distinguished in terms of key areas of responsibility. It will have new University classification titles and codes.

Classification timeline

Feb. 28: Notice to employees regarding new classification assignments

Feb. 28–March 22: Employee appeals initiated

March 29: Appeals due to University HR

April–May: HR review of employee appeals

After July 1: Transition to new classification structure

Online info

Detailed overview of University classification system rollout: collections.uiowa.edu/hr/bec/
ccrfull2/player.html

Guide for employees to evaluate their new classification: collections.uiowa.edu/hr/bec/
ccrp_short/player.html

A new University classification title will be assigned to each staff member to reflect the new job function, family, and classification assignment. University classification titles will not be the same as current titles in most cases.

 
Reviewing your placement
So how should you review your classification assignment? Examine the three components—job function, job family, University classification—together in a three-step review process:

  • Read the job function purpose statement for the function assigned to you.
  • Read the job family purpose statements for the family assigned to you.
  • Study the job family and the key areas of responsibility for the classification to see if they reflect what you do.

Ask yourself: Is this the “best fit” for what you do? Keep in mind that you will not find an exact match in all key areas of responsibility. Compare your classification to other classifications in the job family.

Is it the right job family? Compare yours to other family purpose statements within your function.

Is it the right function? When answering this question, focus on what you do, the key areas of responsibility—not where you work.

A more descriptive job classification system will provide the foundation for building the new compensation structure:

  • Better job information for collecting market data on benchmark jobs used to create pay ranges and the market zones within.
  • Better job information to use when applying the new evaluation criteria to assign jobs to the new structure of pay ranges.
  • Job families to support career development.

We ask people to be open to thinking differently during this review. The new classification structure has no relationship to the previous classification system; past relationships of classifications and jobs in the old system may not have been accurate or correct. The new system is an opportunity for improvement.

 
Appeals
Before you ask “Should I appeal?” let’s make sure you can appeal your placement. Employees can appeal their placement only if a JIF was submitted for the position. There will be some form of reclassification process available in the new system after full implementation in October 2011.

With that asked and answered, let’s look at reasons for appeal. First ask yourself, “Is there a different function/family/classification that is a ‘better fit’ for what I do?” And can you support that belief with the information on your JIF? If yes, you should appeal the placement.

We’d advise against appeal in these cases:

The only disagreement is with the title. The new classification system will accommodate the use of a working title to be consistent with common practice or peers in a profession and/or discipline. Working titles will follow common University guidelines. When entered into Human Resources Information Management, working titles will be listed in public directories, job postings, etc.

My responsibilities match, but I know someone who used to be the same and is now different. Appeals will only look at your responsibilities/JIF.

My job has changed since the JIF was completed. Reclassifications since the JIF was submitted have already been recognized in the placement process.

 

As we mentioned in our last update in fyi, we encourage you to stay engaged with the process. Visit the Compensation and Classification web site (www.uiowa.edu/hr/classcomp/redesign/index.html). We’ve recently updated the site, and there is no shortage of information posted there: the list of job functions, job families, and their purposes; a list of frequently asked questions about the project; short and detailed audio descriptions of the project; even the Buck Consultants report that got the ball rolling.

Visit with your Staff Council reps—they receive monthly updates from Karen. And you can always submit questions to us at comp-class-redesign-project@uiowa.edu. We’ve even hyperlinked the e-mail address in the previous sentence so you don’t have to type out that long string of words—just give it a click!

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