Non-Analytical Job Evaluation Methods

Non-analytical job evaluation techniques allow whole tasks to be compared in order to place them in a grade or a rank order, and they are not concerned with the parts or factors involved. They may be used independently or in tandem with an analytical system.

For example, the paired comparison approach described later may produce a ranking of occupations that can be used to assess an evaluation’s outcomes using an analytical method. It is therefore beneficial to understand how non-analytical schemes operate even if they are not utilized as the main scheme.

Non-analytical approaches can compare one job to another in order to determine if it should be valued more, less, or the same (ranking and “internal benchmarking” processes). They may also work on a job-to-grade basis, comparing the full job with a defined hierarchy of grade levels - this requires matching a job description to a grade description.

Non-analytical schemes are based on the comparisons of jobs as a whole, rather than analyzing and comparing them on a factor-by-factor basis. Only 14 percent of respondents’ schemes in the e-reward 2007 survey were non-analytical.

Analytical schemes are more difficult to devise but provide greater objectivity than non-analytical schemes. The subjective nature of the latter type of scheme means that they lack a factor plan and do not consider job complexity. It would be easy to make assumptions about job values based on preexisting ideas, which could skew results. Because of this, using a non-analytical scheme will not help you win an equal pay case in the UK court system.

Job classification, job ranking, paired comparison (a statistical version of ranking) and internal benchmarking are the four most common types of non-analytical schemes.

Job Classification

The method for establishing grade and pay structure is to calculate the number and characteristics of the levels or grades in a grade structure into which jobs will be placed. The skill, decision-making, and responsibility terms may be used as grade definitions, but they are not treated independently.

The process of job slotting, sometimes known as non-analytical matching, is used to evaluate candidates. This entails comparing a “whole” job description (one that has not been analyzed into variables) with the grade definitions to determine the grade with which the position most closely resembles.

Job classification and role-to-grade analytical matching may initially seem similar, but there is a key distinction. In job classification, grade profiles are defined empirically based on observable factors. Conversely, in role-to-grade analytical matching, grade profiles are defined analytically based on a set of Job Evaluation Factors. Therefore, when performing the latter type of analysis, one must match the analytically derived role profile to the corresponding Grade Profile Factor by Factor.

However, the line between analytical and non-analytical matching may be blurred when a conventional format is used for creating job descriptions or role profiles that include common headings for elements of jobs like levels of responsibility or knowledge and skill requirements.

Although some of these “factors” may not be compared in detail, they will be taken into consideration when making a decision. However, this might not meet the UK legal standard that a scheme must be analytical in order to provide an equal pay defense.

Job Ranking

The most basic form of job evaluation is called whole-job ranking. The process involves comparing entire jobs to one another and then putting them in order from most to least valuable for the organization. In a sense, all evaluation schemes are ranking exercises because they arrange jobs in a specific hierarchy.

The distinction between basic and more sophisticated ranking approaches is that job evaluation does not aim to quantify opinions. Instead, entire occupations are compared; they are not divided into factors or elements, but the comparison may be based on some general notion such as responsibility.

To ensure that the ranks given by point-factor rating are accurate, job ranking or paired comparison ranking may be used instead.

Paired Comparison Ranking

A paired comparison ranking is a more sophisticated type of whole-job ranking that makes use of statistics. It follows the belief that it is usually easier to compare one job with another than to make numerous comparisons in order to build up a rank order for many jobs.

To use this technique, you must compare each job as a whole to every other job until you have gone through all of them. If you think one job is more important than the other, it gets two points; if they are equal in importance, then the first job gets one point. The process continues until all jobs have been compared and given a score based on their importance.

Paired comparison ranking is a simpler way to compare one job against another, rather than having to evaluate multiple jobs at once. However, it can’t fix the main issues with whole-job ranking, such as the lack of defined standards for assessing relative worth or equal value.

The analytical method of paired comparisons has a limit to the number of jobs it can compare - 50 jobs require 1,225 comparisons. This approach is used pragmatically to compare job options on a factor-by-factor basis.

Internal Benchmarking

Internal benchmarking is comparing the job under evaluation to any internal job that has been judged to be correctly graded and compensated (a benchmark job) and assigning the position under consideration the same grade as that job. People frequently do it intuitively when evaluating jobs, but it isn’t usually termed a formal method of assessing jobs in academic circles.

This comparison is made without analyzing the jobs factor by factor, but rather on a whole-job basis. If there are specific procedures for preparing and setting out role profiles, and for comparing profiles of the role to be evaluated with standard benchmark role profiles, this classification can be formal.