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the scales cannot be used together. In fact, the factor comparison plan
would suggest that the arithmetic scale could be used for some factors
while the geometric scale could be used for other factors in the same job
evaluation plan.

The weighted point system is essentially the same as the straight
point system except that the factors are not all considered equally im-











1. Education






2. Experience






3. Physical demand






4. Responsibility for process






5. Responsibility for safety






6. Responsibility for materials






7. Working conditions






8. Hazards






portant. This is reflected by assigning more points to some factors than
others. The amount of relative importance of the factors is a matter of
judgment. An example of a weighted point system is shown in Chart VII.
A geometric scale could be used just as well.

The advantage of the point system is that, at a later time, data are
available to show how a job was evaluated. The main disadvantage is the
lack of flexibility, due to the use of a predetermined number of degrees
and points which does not allow for the impact of the general economic

There are several modifications and combinations, too numerous to
list, of the basic plans described. With this system, as with all other job
evaluation programs, the only criterion to distinguish good plans from
poor ones is continued acceptance by management and labor.


In any job evaluation program there are two basic problems : ( 1 ) in-
stalling some system of job evaluation and (2) maintaining the system.

In each case there are certain essentials which must be thought out
and a policy established. The following sections of this Bulletin will point
out some of the problems of installing a system. The last section, starting
on page 36, will consider points about maintaining a particular system.


Establishing Policies

The first question to be answered is: "Do we want a job evaluation

Two main things to be considered are ( 1 ) how good is the present
method of determining relative base money rates, and (2) how well is it
accepted by management and labor.

Some systems now in use may appear to be very illogical. But, if the
parties involved like it, there is little reason to change. How simple or
how complex the present system is should not matter in this decision.

A new plan should be considered when either management or labor
is dissatisfied with the present one, or when they think that the present
plan could be improved.

Any policy aimed at establishing a new plan might appropriately
include statements covering:

( 1 ) The company's position in the new system, particularly top-man-
agement support.

(2) Labor's position — varying anywhere from full partnership in all
phases to acceptance of the general plan, but with the right of grievance
on any particular job evaluation.

(3) The employee's stake. Usually this is covered by a guarantee that
the present encumbered base money rate of any particular person will
not be reduced as long as he remains on the specific job.

(4) Procedure for maintaining the system. This will include, among
other things, a statement of what constitutes a change in any particular
situation sufficient to cause a new evaluation of a job.

(5) The relationship between the job evaluation and the collective
bargaining process and agreement.

Experience indicates that this policy statement should be worked out
before the actual process of altering or establishing a system is started in

Selecting the Plan

The next step is the selection of a plan. A company may adopt another
company's plan in its entirety, design a tailor-made plan after a study of
several systems, or develop a combination of these. The union may have a
voice in the selection.

In any case the company's own staff can be used, or outside services
or consultants can be secured. If outside services are used, it is essential
that provision be made for training a person on the staff of the company
to be responsible for the maintenance of the system after it has been
installed. This training is important for two reasons. First, because of the


economic point of view — the cost of setting up the system ; and second,
because it serves as a means of assuring the continuance of employee or
union acceptance.

The factor comparison methods and various forms of point systems
are the most popular. But, in selecting one of these plans, it should be
recognized that there is no absolute way to insure that the factors which
are used are the only essential factors. Nor is there any way of testing to
decide absolutely whether or not all the factors which are used are essen-
tial. Some guidance in selecting factors can be gained by testing the
particular contribution of a specific factor and its influence on the results.
This is strictly on a statistical or mathematical basis. This still leaves out
certain psychological aspects, not influencing the numerical results one
way or another to any marked degree, and these aspects may gain or
lose the acceptance of the whole idea. The statistical aspects will be
considered in a subsequent section, starting on page 36. The psychological
aspects have to be left to judgment of the situation which may exist in
each case.

Choosing the Factors

Guidance in selecting factors to be used in the ultimate plan can also
be gained from a study of the scope of the jobs to be evaluated.

Traditionally, jobs are grouped into families, or occupational ranges.
But, more fundamental categories are these:

( 1 ) Factory jobs, including direct and indirect labor in the factory.

(2) Clerical positions in the numerous offices through the company.

(3) Supervisory positions in the first lines of management.

(4) Managerial positions in middle and top management.

(5) Technical jobs in the staflf areas of a company.

The consensus, again based almost entirely on tradition, is that no
single plan can cover all these classifications; hence the use of the terms
"job evaluation" for the factory and "position evaluation" for the office.
Using such categories reduces the inequities which may exist within the
two broad groups, factory and office. But it leaves the main inequity —
that between office and factory.

This disadvantage is particularly evident in plants that have an
evaluation system for the factory and none for the office, yet in which
any broad shift of the wage curve for the factory group is accompanied
by at least a partial shift of the wage curve for the office group.

The theoretically sound basis would be to have one plan for the
entire company. However, this is usually blocked by lack of employee or
union acceptance. Unions often block this plan when there are multiple


bargaining units. Employees object when they fail to see the complete
picture. They fail to accept the fact that there will be job factors appli-
cable to some groups and not to others; some employees will get a zero
evaluation on some factors, while other employees will get a zero on
other factors. Zero evaluations trouble these people. To them a zero
evaluation for a factor is a psychological insult; they reject the whole
general philosophy of such an evaluation program. Nor do they agree
with giving some definite point-value to a factor which is not present
in a job. Such a procedure appears silly to them; hence, again, they
develop non-acceptance of the whole general philosophy of the evaluation

Until the people involved can be educated to broaden their thinking,
convenience dictates separate plans for broad groups of jobs — such as
factory or hourly-rate jobs, and ofHce or salary-rated positions.

Starting with this differentiation, the extremes of jobs that are to
come under the plan should be listed, with several intermediate jobs
scattered in between. This listing will aid in selecting common factors
in the job requirements of all the types of work to be covered.

Such factors may include: (1) education, (2) experience, (3) judg-
ment, (4) physical effort, (5) mental effort, (6) responsibility for equip-
ment, (7) responsibility for material and/or product, (8) responsibility
for the safety of others, (9) working conditions — surroundings, (10)
working conditions — hazards, (11) initiative, (12) dependability,
(13) responsibility for monetary decisions and handling, and (14) an-
alytical ability. This list is not all-inclusive.

If the factor comparison system is to be used, then after each of the
factors has been clearly and adequately described, the process of evalua-
tion, previously outlined, is ready to begin.

Determining Degrees and Points

The point system, however, requires a further step. After the various
factors have been described, the number of degrees and the points
assigned each degree must be determined and fully identified.

As to the number of degrees assigned to any one factor, there is no
set rule. The scope of jobs will assist in determining the number of
degrees. If the jobs to be evaluated cover a large range, from unskilled
to, and including, highly skilled types of work, the number of degrees will
be large. Usually it is not possible to identify clearly more than seven or
eight degrees of a factor. Listing a greater number of degrees results in
serious overlap between successive degrees. On the other hand, the use
of too few degrees does not permit the factor to differentiate one job from
another. This is explained in the subsequent section on checking the


plan on page 36. In determining how many and which degrees should be
used, extreme care has to be exercised. The whole process is largely a
matter of judgment, but it can be guided by the checking procedure

In assigning points to each degree and degrees to each factor, there
are certain basic considerations. Either all factors can be considered of
equal importance, or some factors can be regarded as more important
than others. Also, the successive degrees of any one factor may be con-
sidered to be of a constant rate of change or a varying rate of change.
As yet, no definite rules exist that can be applied in making a decision
in either one of these cases. Job evaluation plans that make use of points
have been devised by first judging what the point relationships should
be, and then trying out the plan to see whether it works without disturb-
ing too many of the prevailing conditions or relationships of relative base
money rates for various jobs. However, as is brought out in the subse-
quent section, Checking on Evaluation Program, some guidance can be
gained in this judgment.

Usually the importance of one factor in relation to another can be
judged on the basis of the type of work to be done, along with the require-
ments of the specific job. For example, in an industry where the experi-
ence requirement is low, one would find some such scale as this:

1. Skill factors 15% of importance

2. Effort factors 25% of importance

3. Responsibility factors 25% of importance

4. Working conditions factors 35% of importance
whereas in a precision tool industry the scale might be:

1. Skill factors 50% of importance

2. Effort factors 10% of importance

3. Responsibility factors 30% of importance

4. Working conditions factors 10% of importance

The magnitude of the points used is a matter of choice. The main thing
to avoid is the use of fractional parts of a point or of such a small number
that the relative totals are not easy to distinguish. This caution is par-
ticularly important when the number of total points for one job differs
only slightly from that of another, and the jobs fall in different labor
grades. The psychological effect is disturbing, since it is hard to justify
such fine measurements in a system based to a considerable extent on
subjective judgment. For examples of weighting effect see Charts IV, V,
VI, and VII.

Either an arithmetic or a geometric scale may be adopted for use


throughout the plan. As stated, in an arithmetic scale the amount of
change is of equal magnitude from one degree to the next for a factor;
in a geometric scale the amount becomes increasingly greater from one
degree to the next for the factor. Thus far, sufficient study has not been
made to determine just which scale is the most satisfactory. Present indi-
cations are that best results would require an arithmetic scale for some
factors, but a geometric scale for others. Furthermore, there is an inverse
relationship between the scale used and the ultimate shape of the wage
curve; for example, an arithmetic scale of points gives a curved wage
trend, and a geometric scale of points gives a straight wage trend. This
is explained further in the section on Wage Curve on page 30.

Job Description

The job evaluation program is no stronger than the weakest of its
parts — including job description. In fact, job description is the core
of many job evaluation programs. Through the securing of data for the
job description, the greatest number of people are reached. This enables
them to feel that they have a part in the acceptance of the ultimate
resulting labor grades and corresponding money rates.

Yet, in many cases the complete failure of the whole program can
be traced to poor job description. Hence it is vital to know what a good
job description is and how to make one.

If satisfactory results are to be achieved, the job description must
convey to the evaluators a clear, accurate, and complete picture of the
job requirements. Some suggest that economic worth of jobs should be
included in the job description. As yet, a clear method of presenting this
is not available.

Before starting to collect the data about the jobs, other possible uses
of the material could well be considered. The data might be applied in
such areas as training, employment, placement of the physically handi-
capped, and safety. When this is kept in mind the data are collected
more economically; moreover the psychological effect of conducting just
one survey rather than many surveys is good.

The actual data-gathering procedures will vary. A method used in
a certain situation will not work in another situation. But ultimately the
specific worker and/or his representative, and the supervisors, should be
permitted to pass judgment upon the final draft of any description that
concerns them.

The problem is to strike a balance between not enough and too much
information in the description. There is no sure way of knowing when
this balance has been achieved. Some believe that approval by the super-
visor and the worker and/or his union representative suffices. This is not



Blanko Corporation
Anytown, U.S.A.

Job TitIP Grinder - Rough (Castings)

Code No.

Total Points.



-»9 - Grinding

Section ^"""'^^

Grinds gates, fins, burrs, roughness, etc., from a wide variety
of castings such as small blanks attachments to large commercial
castings using stand grinder. Checks castings to determine size
and type of grinding vheel to use, to perform specified operation
according to previous instructions and with proper wheel, first
sounding for cracks, places safety washer correctly, and tightens
retaining nut. Dresses wheel when necessary with a star wheel
dresser to obtain proper wheel surface, and adjusts rest to
proper height and distance from wheel to accommodate size of work,
or compensate for wheel wear .

Shovels castings into pam at machine and manually holds casting
between rest and wheel manipulating part in most efficient
manner to remove excessive metal. Places ground castings in
barrel, and when completed separates grinder's and packer's
tickets, places packer's ticket on barrel and rolls barrel out
to be trucked to next operation. Occasionally uses hand air
grinder for setting types of grinding and burring such as large
flat hard iron plates, and inside of scoops and other castings
that can not be reached by conventional stand grinder.

SO. Such clearance, through signatures affixed to the description, can be
no better than a guide. Others place fine print at the bottom of the page
to the effect:

The above statement reflects the general details considered necessary to
describe the principal functions of the job, and shall not be construed as a
detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the job.

This fine print does not settle the problem, but evades it. A further guide
is the difficulty the evaluators have with the job description. The more


the evaluators of any job differ in their evaluations of job factors, the
greater the Hkelihood that the job description is. not clear, accurate, and

It is advisable not to use such all-inclusive words as "operates,"
"handles," "assists," and "may perform" except when the descriptions go
on to define and explain such terms.

The final job description may be in sentence-and-paragraph form or
it may be a check list. An example of the former is given in Figure IV.

Two further basic recommendations: (1) The jobs should be reason-
ably standardized before descriptions are attempted, and (2) descriptions
should be reviewed periodically to keep them up to date.

The Actual Job-Evaluation Process

One of the prime reasons for a Job Evaluation Program is the de-
termining as impartially as possible the relative status of each job in
respect to all the others. In this step the actual process of making such a
determination is set down. Detail is included to the extent that the
particular system of job evaluation directs. As previously pointed out,
though some systems of job evaluation are more detailed and refined
than others, detail alone does not insure a better evaluation job — certain
sorts of detail may actually detract from the accuracy of the results. See
the section on Cross-checking the Evaluation Program on page 36.

The evaluation may be done by one person or by a partly rotating
committee. Committees may be composed of management alone or of
management and labor. At least some members of any such committee
should be permanent, with one person in charge throughout all the
evaluations. Rotating members attend meetings at which jobs in their
work area are being evaluated and may also attend meetings that deal
with other jobs in which they are interested.

It is best for each person to do his assigned evaluations independent
of the others and then to compare the results. Any differences are to be
discussed and reconciled. There are two possible methods: (1) Evalu-
ating all jobs on one factor before proceeding to the next factor or
(2) evaluating a job on all factors before proceeding to the next job.
The first method is preferred, to avoid the unduly frequent change of
pace and thought required in the second method.

Delay in reconciling differences of opinion about the rating of a job
may be due to lack of clarity in the job description — - or to plain stub-
bornness. If the former, a new job description may be called for. These
non-reconciled evaluations are the main check on the adequacy of the
job description. It is, in fact, about the only sound check available.

In those cases in which stubbornness prevents reconciling differences


in evaluations, the task may be set aside until all other jobs have been
evaluated. Then, the ditlerences can usually be eliminated. It is undesir-
able to engage in "horse-trading" on the evaluations for these jobs.

A final form for a job evaluation can be made part of the job descrip-
tion form, or it can be on a separate sheet accompanying that form. See
Figure IV for job description. Figure V suggests the type of rating and
basis of rating which may be used.

At this point, the jobs should be arranged in the order of their rela-
tive worth. However, it may be found that some evaluations do not
reflect the intentions of the job evaluation plan. Furthermore, the addi-
tive results of each factor evaluation may not give the value of importance
which people may attach to certain jobs. This means that considerable
cross-checking should be done, by methods set forth in a subsequent
section on page 36.

Wage Survey

The purpose of the wage survey is to collect comparable wage data
that will enable the particular plant to determine on what wage levels it
wants to operate or has to operate and assist in reducing, if not elim-
inating, inequities which are in existence. Any plant is confronted with
inequity problems due to:

( 1 ) Inequities within its own plant.

(2) Inequities within its industry.

(3) Inequities within its labor market area.

(4) Gross inequities between industrial types within the labor market

(5) Some combination of two or more of the above classifications.
Just what the particular plant or company may do depends upon what it
wishes to achieve in the product-competition field and/or in the labor

The first step in the wage survey is the selection of those jobs to be
covered by the evaluation program. The process should: (1) Give a
rather complete coverage over the range of jobs evaluated; and (2) list
jobs which are fairly standard in job content in the area to be surveyed.

The second step is to draw up a list of organizations from which
to secure data.

Then, with a list of wage rate classifications (i.e., average hourly
earnings, base rate, occupational rate, etc.) it is best to make personal
calls to each company. In these calls a comparison of jobs can be made
by job content only. The wage data should be carefully gone over to be






































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Online LibraryLeo Charles PigageJob evaluation (Volume BEBR Faculty Working Paper v.5, no.3) → online text (page 2 of 4)