When Do I Ask for a Reclassification Review?
Jobs are not typically stagnant. New technology, new people with new ideas, changing curriculum, political pressures, fiscal limitations, customer demands, all bring change in small and sometimes significant ways to jobs all over your campus. So, when do you know it is time to have your job reviewed in this constantly changing environment? There is no easy answer to this question. Review the Draft Reclassification Review Process, and here are some things to guide you:
- You should consider requesting review when you think your job has changed significantly. This will be a subjective determination, but you are in a unique position to evaluate it, as you are the one doing the daily work.
- If you think your job has changed significantly, do the following mini-test to help determine whether, or not, you should request a reclassification review.
- Make a list of things you do now that you did not do a few years ago, can you specify the new duties?
- Now, in reviewing your list, do those new duties require a higher level of training or education than your previous work – did you go to school or classes to be able to do some of your current new duties and more importantly if they were going to fill your position would they need to ask for a higher level of training then previously?
- Do the new duties require a higher level of experience than the other duties? In other words if they were filling the positions today, would they require more previous work experience than they did previously?
- Do the new duties appear to be more difficult/complex than your other duties?
- Are there supervisory or lead worker duties that were not previously performed?
- Do the new duties have a greater impact on the organization than your other duties – for instance if you make an error relating to the new duties, is there a bigger impact to the organization – in terms of financial impact or delays in service delivery, etc?
By making the list and asking some of these questions, you can help diagnosis whether your duties have simply changed, or whether you are now working in a higher-level job than previously. If you answered yes to any of i. through v. then it is appropriate to talk with your supervisor about having your position reviewed. One thing to consider before requesting a reclassification review is that jobs can go up in grade or down. Sometimes the work functions change and seem significant to the incumbent, however the skill set required maybe a lower classification. It is important to understand that this possibility exists before you begin this process.
What is not included? Prior to requesting a reclassification, you should be aware of what is and what is not considered in the job evaluation process.
- Individual Qualifications are not considered – EG if the incumbent holds degrees or other formal or informal qualifications above those required to perform successfully in the position, those “higher” level qualification are NOT taken into consideration.
- Quality of work are not considered – EG if the incumbent produces a higher work quality than others in similar jobs or those who held the job previously, that quality cannot be considered when evaluating a job.
- Work Volume are not considered – EG neither the volume of work an incumbent is capable of putting out, nor an increase in work volume placed upon an incumbent can be considered in evaluating a job. Job volume is resolved through assignment of overtime, an organization living without some work done timely or an organization determining that additional staff are needed to maintain a function at a certain level.
- Temporary work/conditions – EG if your office area is under remodel and you have fumes from fresh paint, that is not a normal condition and would not therefore be considered in a job evaluation. The same would be true for temporary work assignments, if you are asked to supervise for two weeks, which does not become part of the regular duties, as it is only temporary.
The reason the above items are not considered, is because job evaluation does not evaluate people or incumbents, only the duties assigned to a position. The process narrowly reviews only the body of work required of the position under normal circumstances.
What is included? In doing a job evaluation, the following evaluation categories are reviewed:
- Knowledge– the level of formal or informal education required to perform the job successfully (minimum qualifications upon hire)
- Experience – the combination of required prior work experience – experience in related work or in a lesser position and the “break-in” time or learning period on the job.
- Complexity – both how complex are the key duties as well as the degree of independent action and original application, the degree of resourcefulness and planning required, devising new methods, analyzing/weighing options and the degree of independent decision making regarding those options, versus work that is largely governed by standard practices or guidelines.
- Supervision – the degree/amount of supervision received, such as setting tasks, reviewing work, handling exceptions, etc.
- Errors and/or Quality Requirement – the impact of and responsibility for errors and quality of work required in the job, is the work checked by others, potential impact of errors on the department, division, larger organization, general public, etc.
- Contact – the frequency of contact as well as the type of contact with others. Does it require furnishing and receiving information versus influencing and gaining agreements? Does the job require locating and seeking out new contacts, etc?
- Confidential Data – the extent to which the job requires integrity and discretion in safeguarding confidential data, how the data is used, and potential impact of disclosure.
- Manual Dexterity – manual dexterity requirements in terms of mental and visional attention requirements, coordination requirements, lifting requirements and potential fatigue factors.
- Working Conditions – the extent to which working conditions may be disagreeable or even hazardous.
If the Job is Supervisory in Nature
- Character – the degree and type of supervisory responsibility involved, lead/delegation work compared to fully responsible for corrective action up to and including termination/hire decisions.
- Scope – the size of the group supervised, as measured in fulltime equivalent personnel.
How to fill out the forms? In completing the forms, please read the directions of each section very carefully and try to be responsive to each section of the question. Try to be clear and use plain language.
Example: If you are responsible for highlighting areas in a budget report that show you are going over budget and then disseminating those reports out, just say that. However, if you are the person responsible for creating the report, reviewing the details of it and taking action or recommending action to change the problem areas, then say so.
It helps if you delineate what is expected of you in terms of problem solving and how far you are you expected to go. If something unusual comes up do you pass it on, make recommendations for solutions, or are you expected to determine what the solution options are, select and implement an option and then back brief your supervisor? These are three very different levels of responsibility, so please just be clear about your specific role.
Remember that when unclear language is used, such as facilitate (a frequently used word with many meanings) it tends to lead the job reviewer to have to ask follow-up questions, which can delay the process. The position will be evaluated based upon the responsibilities which are assigned to it, not based upon cleaver language in a reclassification form. The more clearly you can describe the duties of your position, the more quickly and accurately your job can be evaluated. Use the task section of the reclassification form to lay out your duties, and then refer back to what you have written as you begin to answer questions about knowledge, experienced, complexity, etc. These task descriptions are also used by evaluators first to provide an overarching view of your role and also when/if something is unclearly written in other sections, as a double check for the type of work being performed.
If you have questions about how to respond to a section, feel free to speak to Human Resources.. Sometimes by explaining what you do to them, can help you and HR better address a section of the form so that your answer is both complete and clear to the evaluators.