Job evaluation is a means of establishing the relative worth of jobs within an organisation, and is typically used to rank jobs within pay and grading frameworks.
The data compiled from its use can also assist with other HR responsibilities, ranging from performance management to succession planning.
The schemes fall into two distinct categories: non-analytical schemes - where jobs are assessed and ranked relative to their importance or skill level required - and analytical schemes. The latter are more popular, and break down jobs into a series of factors such as skills, knowledge, responsibility and working environment.
Each of these different elements are then allocated points, which make a total value. The factors may be weighted in relation to the overall importance attached to a job to influence the final outcome.
Why is it important?
It is seen as a reliable method of job comparison which avoids bias; companies can create a pay scale around what a job is worth, rather than on the perceived value of a job title. Being able to demonstrate that the reward is fair and transparent can boost morale, and allay any discontent among staff.
It can also allow the benchmarking of pay scales with individuals performing comparable work at other companies.
Job evaluation is also a growing phenomenon in the UK - more than 40 per cent of companies use it as a measure and nearly half of those that don't, plan to introduce it, according to a survey carried out by e-reward.co.uk. And with good reason - pay and grading ranks as one of the top four sources of grievance, according to an IRS survey conducted last year. Another trigger may be new measures in the looming Equal Pay Act.
Where do I start?
You first need to determine what you want it to achieve. Do you want to link it to other HR processes or is it intended to help with succession planning or organisational design?
Conduct detailed research on the whole area of job evaluation - are there similar organisations that have gone through this exercise from which you could learn? Also, find out who the specialists are in your area, and talk to them.
Whether or not you choose to en