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classification job evaluation method

Matthew C. Bloom


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The classification method of job evaluation involves positioning job descriptions into a series of categories or classes. Milkovich and Newman (1993: 121) characterize these classes as “a series of carefully labeled shelves on a bookshelf.” Each shelf or class is defined in such a way that critical job duties, responsibilities, and other work factors are described in enough detail to allow jobs to be slotted, yet retain enough generality to cover all jobs in the organization. These class descriptions serve as the standard against which job descriptions are compared and ultimately slotted into a specific job class. Benchmark jobs are often used to anchor a class and facilitate slotting by serving as a model of comparison for all jobs in that class. Classification systems are very adaptable because the vagueness of class descriptions permits reevaluation of jobs as situations dictate (e.g., introduction of new technology). However, this vagueness also may make justifying pay decisions more difficult, since they are open to multiple interpretations. The job evaluation system used by the US government is a classification method. This system is the Office of Personnel Management's General Schedule (GS). It is most likely the job evaluation method applied to the greatest variety of jobs. The GS schedule uses level of difficulty to slot jobs into classes ( Hays and Reeves, 1984 ). The ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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