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Job evaluation and its objective

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1. Introduction

Every organization needs to ensure that there is a fair, equitable assessment and determination of job worth for the purpose of compensation through a comprehensive job evaluation system. The job evaluation process helps to establish the grade level for a particular job. The end result of the job evaluation process is a ranking of the jobs in the organization in which the more complex, responsible and skilled jobs are grouped at the higher end of the hierarchy, while the less complex fall at the lower end of the organization’s hierarchy.

2. Definition

Job evaluation is the process of analyzing and assessing the various jobs systematically to ascertain their relative worth in an organization. Job is evaluated on the basis of their content and is placed in the order of importance. It should be noted that in a job evaluation program, the jobs are ranked and not the jobholders. Jobholders are rated through performance appraisal. Job evaluation is a process of finding out the relative worth of a job as compared to other jobs.

3. Objectives of job evaluation

One on the main objectives of job evaluation is to gather data and information relating to job description, job specification and employee specifications for various jobs in an organization. This will facilitates and make the valuation of job easier to calculate and administer.

Another objective is to compare the duties, responsibilities and demands of a job with that of other jobs as to determine the hierarchy and place of various jobs in an organization. To determine the ranks or grades of various job. The ranks and grades of job will base on the job values. The CEO of an organization would usually be the highest ranked job. Then the GM being the next lower rank and so on. Through this process, unnecessary job rates of pay are eliminated.

Finally, it ensure fair and equitable wages on the basis of relative worth or value of jobs, it minimizes wage discrimination based on sex, age, caste, region and religion. Job evaluation achieved this by protecting employees from arbitrary decision with respect to their pay. Through the use of a well-designed and implemented job evaluation system, jobs are rated based on objective factors and not on arbitrary decisions. This arrangement serves protect employees from being exploited or become victims of favoritism and discrimination.

Job evaluation is often used when:

– determining pay and grading structures

– ensuring a fair and equal pay system

– deciding on benefits provision – eg bonuses and cars

– comparing rates against the external market

– undergoing organisational development in times of change

– undertaking career management and succession planning

– reviewing all jobs post-large-scale change, especially if roles have also changed.

It is essential to have clear, detailed and up-to-date job descriptions on which to base the job evaluation.

4. Types of job evaluation

There are two main types of job evaluation: analytical schemes, where jobs are broken down into their core components, and non-analytical schemes, where jobs are viewed as a whole. The use of an analytical scheme offers a better defence if a claim is made to an employment tribunal for equal pay for work of equal value.

4.1 Analytical schemes

These offer greater objectivity in assessment as the jobs are broken down in detail, and are the ones most often used by organisations. Examples of analytical schemes include Points Rating and Factor Comparison.

Points Rating

This is the most commonly used method. The key elements of each job, which are known as ‘factors’, are identified by the organisation and then broken down into components. Each factor is assessed separately and points allocated according to the level needed for the job. The more demanding the job, the higher the points value. Factors usually assessed include:

Knowledge and skills

*work experience


*external qualifications

*specialist training

*length of service

People management

*human relations skills

*ability to deal with work pressure

*supervisory responsibility

Communication and networking

*social skills



Freedom to act

*depth of control

*supervision received




*analytical ability

Working environment

*knowledge of special working practices

*breadth of management skill required

Impact and influence


*impact on customers


*results of errors

Financial responsibility


This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but gives examples of the characteristics that are frequently measured.

Factor Comparison

Factor Comparison is similar to Points Rating, being based on an assessment of factors, though no points are allocated. Use of the Factor Comparison method is not as widespread as the Points Rating systems, because the use of points enables a large number of jobs to be ranked at one time.

4.2 Non-analytical schemes

These are less objective than analytical schemes, but are often simpler and cheaper to introduce. Methods include job ranking, paired comparisons and job classification.

Job ranking

This is the simplest form of job evaluation. It is done by putting the jobs in an organisation in order of their importance, or the level of difficulty involved in performing them, or their value to the organisation. Judgements are made about the roles based on aspects such as the jobs’ scope and impact, their level of autonomy, the complexity of their tasks and the knowledge and skills needed. Once this analysis is done, the jobs together form a hierarchy which indicates the different levels, or ranks, within the organisation.

Organisations often divide the ranks into grades. The number of grades chosen will depend on the organisation’s needs. This process is easily understood by employees and is relatively cheap to undertake.

Paired comparisons

This is a statistical technique used to compare each job with others in an organisation. Using a ranking form, points are allocated to the job:

*two points if it is considered to be of higher value

*one point if it is regarded as equal worth

*no points if it is less important.

The scores are added up and then the final overall ranking can be given. Paired comparisons gives greater consistency, but takes longer than job ranking as each job is considered separately.

Job classification

This method is also known as job grading. Before classification, an agreed number of grades are determined, usually between four and eight, based on tasks performed, skills, competencies, experience, initiative and responsibility. Clear distinctions are made between grades. The jobs in the organisation are then allocated to the determined grades.

5. Conclusion

Job evaluation has evolved into many different forms and methods. Consequently, wide variation exist in its use and how it perceived. No matter how job evaluation is designed, it utimate use is to help design and managed work related, business focused and agreed upon pay structure.

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