NEW: Job evaluation – What the CEO needs to know 

31 Mar, 2022 - 11:03 0 Views
NEW: Job evaluation – What the CEO needs to know 

The Sunday Mail

Memory Nguwi 

Job evaluation is assessing the relative value of jobs within an organisation. 

It always results in the rank order of jobs within an organisation. It forms the foundation for a sound remuneration system.  

A job evaluation process is an important process that should have the CEO and the Board’s full support. 

Below I list what I think the CEO and the Board need to be aware of: 

  1. When a job evaluation process is not handled properly, it can bring more problems than benefits. Most problems that affect the job evaluation process can be managed if the process is well planned.  
  2. Internal Job Evaluation Committee versus using a Consultant – I would say it depends on the industrial relations climate in the organisation. When there are good relations between management and staff, you can try to use your internal grading committee as long as it has been properly trained. The best option, though, is to get an independent consultant to do the grading. They are not influenced by internal political dynamics that may bring biases. This only works if you get someone who is professional. In some instances, you can get a consultant influenced by the CEO or certain powerful individuals.  
  3. Get the right consultants to do the job – Most organisations get it wrong on selecting the consultant. Get a consultant who knows job evaluation well. This is a process you cannot afford to use inexperienced consultants. You cannot experiment with such an important process. Ensure that the terms of reference for the consultant are done properly, and the selection process must be thorough.  
  4. Employees always see the job evaluation process as an opportunity to get a salary adjustment. As the organisation leader, ensure that the process is handled well. You must ensure that the managers are involved in reviewing the job descriptions prepared by the incumbents. This process is often not done well, resulting in employees inflating their jobs. If jobs are inflated, it leads to the jobs graded higher than their true value. That is money wasted.  
  5. Be aware of powerful interest groups that often emerge when you start a job evaluation process. These groups cut across levels; they can be found in management groups or in lower-level workers. They often work to influence people to reject the outcome of job evaluation. They do this when they anticipate that their members would not benefit financially from the job evaluation process.  
  6. Be aware of “special” departments or roles. In my experience, I have realised that some departments or roles are often given special status as the core or engine of the organisation. If you use your internal Job Evaluation Committee, committee members often get swayed by such “status” and overgrade such roles. This is where an external consultant can assist. 
  7. Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Grading – Technology is available to manage job grading. If you can get a consultant with an AI-assisted grading model, it takes out the biases often associated with job grading. However, AI-assisted grading does not solve the problem of poorly done job descriptions.  
  8. Once the job evaluation process is completed, ensure that the job evaluation results are discussed at the executive level first for their input. After that process, share the results with the rest of the staff members. Allow your staff to appeal if they feel their job has been grossly misclassified. The appeal process must have clear terms of reference. 
  9. Ensure that once the job evaluation results have been accepted and approved, the next step is to develop a credible pay structure. Again, this is another area where organisations fare badly. In most cases, the consultants who do job evaluations have no technical capacity to do a proper pay structure. You can get one consultant to do job evaluation and another to do pay structuring. Ideally, it would help to get the two processes done by the same consultant. If you do not get the pay structure right, you will have wasted your money. 
  10. Once the job evaluation process has been completed, it is essential to develop the right policy to support the job evaluation process and the pay structure. Without such policies, both the job evaluation and pay structure will be short-lived. You may find yourself redoing the process every two to three years.  
  11. The pay structure should consider market trends and, more importantly, the ability of your organisation to sustain any salary changes that come as a result of implementing a job evaluation.  
  12. Avoid a situation where the job evaluation project is used as a tool to get more money. That is not the role of job evaluation. Job evaluation is there to bring equity to your remuneration management.  

The job evaluation project should bring more stability to the organisation. It should signal more equity in how you pay staff. More importantly, it should signal fewer grade or pay related complaints. Overall, a well-executed job evaluation system should help your organisation attract and retain competent staff.  

*Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, and Managing Consultant – Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Email: [email protected] or visit our websites and  


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