2014 Job Evaluation and Grading Project

UNTHSC implements innovative job evaluation and grading project

A new Job Evaluation and Grading Project has been introduced at UNTHSC.

The project's goal -- establishing consistent staff job grades and tying wages to market levels -- will help UNTHSC attract, retain and motivate the talented employees necessary to create solutions for healthier communities.

Michael Williams, DO, MD, MBA, introduced the project at Town Hall meetings in January 2014.

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the project:

What is the Job Evaluation & Grading Project?

The project, announced in a June 27 email from the System HR Team, reviewed, re-graded and reclassified non-faculty jobs at UNTHSC to ensure fairness and equity in job structures, titles and salaries. Strongly endorsed by the UNTHSC Office of the President and top leaders, the project will help ensure team members are rewarded for the work they do, are paid a respectful wage and know their options for progressing in the organization.

The program also helps us make sure we can recruit, retain and motivate the talent required for us to create solutions for healthier communities.

The program’s goals are to:

  • Ensure fair pay that is tied to current market levels.
  • Establish clear career paths so team members know how they may advance in the organization.
  • Enhance transparency and consistency.
  • Streamline costs of managing the structure.
  • Help us recruit, retain and motivate the talent required to create solutions for a healthier community, as stated above.

The project compared the duties and responsibilities of all staff positions using seven factors common to all jobs:

  1. Functional knowledge (the knowledge needed to do your job)
  2. Business expertise
  3. Leadership skills
  4. Problem-solving ability
  5. Interpersonal skills
  6. Impacts of the job on the organization
  7. Area(s) of the organization the job impacts

Job Evaluation & Grading studies also will be conducted at UNT and implemented at UNT-Dallas.

Why did we review job classifications?

It’s a best practice to conduct these studies regularly to be sure that existing team members are treated fairly and to attract talented people, both high priorities at UNTHSC.

To do this, we:

  • Defined what each team member does.
  • Identified a job grade that reflects those duties.
  • Created an equitable and competitive salary range for each grade. 

Who performed the review?

More than 75 UNTHSC supervisors, managers and subject matter experts. They reviewed jobs within their areas, working with UNT System Human Resources Total Rewards staff, UNTHSC Campus HR representatives and Towers Watson consultants.

Who were the subject matter experts and how were they chosen?

All were staff members chosen by UNTHSC administrators and Human Resources staff because they had the broadest knowledge of the job duties within each department and/or organization.

What was the review result?

The review resulted in a new classification and compensation system that:

  • Established job grades for every staff position within the institution.
  • Resulted in new titles for some positions to improve consistency.
  • Realigned pay ranges for each job grade to be more competitive in our market.

What is a job grade?

Job grades are a way to group jobs that have similar ranges of responsibilities. Minimum and maximum salaries – based on market data – were established for each job grade. Every UNTHSC staff job now is linked to one of 18 job grades, with the president being at the top level, Grade 18.

Job grades for managers (those who supervise others):

  • Grades 8-12, Supervisors
  • Grades 12-15, Middle managers
  • Grades 15-17, Executives
  • Grade 18, UNTHSC President


Job grades for individual contributors (those who do not manage others):

  • Grades 1-4, Manual
  • Grades 4-8, Clerical/Administrative
  • Grades 7-10, Technician
  • Grades 8-12, Professional
  • Grades 12-15, Subject Matter Expert

How did we determine market-competitive levels for salaries?

Using salary information from these sources as appropriate for each job:

  • Towers Watson international consultants
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, a national association that monitors human resources and employment trends in higher education
  • Compensation Analyst, a tool owned by the IBM company, Kenexa 

Each salary range was based on the market data identified above and on the common skills required for each job. The mid-point of each salary range is aligned with the mid-point of the market. The remainder is distributed at the highs and lows of that range.

What did the study reveal about salaries, and what changes will result?

  • About 100 salaries were found to be below a respectful wage. This means many of these employees had to work two or more jobs to support themselves and their families. Others are below the minimum for their new job grade. These individuals’ salaries will be raised to the minimum level for their job grade as a first step.
  • A few people now have salaries above the maximum level for their new job grade. Their salaries will remain constant until the market range increases and the pay range is also increased. No salaries will be reduced as a result of this study.

How will we pay for these salary adjustments?

By re-investing funds from the merit payment pool we will be able to pay all team members a respectful wage and to bring all team members to the minimum salary for their job grade, reflecting UNTHSC’s values. As a result, there will be no merit payments for 2013.

When will I know how this affects me?

President Michael Williams will conduct a Town Hall this month to explain the program. Your department head and/or supervisor will provide specific information about your position by mid-February.

When does the new classification and compensation plan begin?

Salary and job title changes will be effective Feb. 1, 2014. Any salary adjustments will appear on your March 1 paycheck.

Why weren’t faculty members included?

Faculty compensation decisions are based on different factors than those for staff. UNTHSC’s Provost determines appropriate policy and procedures for faculty compensation.

Does this affect how executives are paid?

Executive job grades and titles also were reviewed and compared to market salaries.

How will this benefit us?

We want to create a level playing field, establish market-competitive salary ranges and make it easier for all to grow and progress in the organization.

  • The plan provides a more transparent, consistent and equitable job classification and compensation program.
  • We will be able to define clear career paths so team members know what they need to do to advance in the organization.
  • We’ll be better able to keep and attract the talented team members that we need at UNTHSC to fulfill our mission.

How will we get salary increases under this new system (in our current positions)?

Your salary could be increased if it’s found to be below the minimum for the local market average. Salaries will be reviewed every two years against market levels to ensure they are competitive. Salaries also may be increased based on job performance.

Who should I contact with questions?

Your immediate supervisor should be able to answer most of your questions. UNT System HR staff members also are available at 817-735-2690.

If I’m at the top of my salary range, do I need to move to another position to get a raise?

Probably, since all positions have a defined maximum upper range. You may need additional skills and training to move to a new position with a higher salary range. This is a great discussion to have with your direct supervisor.

How do I move into a higher job grade?

We always encourage team members to be aware of opportunities for growth and promotion. You may apply and compete for a job at a higher level than your current grade at any time. In addition, this study provides the foundation for us to create clear career paths for each position. When complete, this will make it easier for you to see how you can advance in the organization.

What options do I have if I don’t agree with my job grade?

UNTHSC’s top leaders reviewed and approved the plan to ensure fairness and equity. However, you may submit a request to change your classification or title to your supervisor. Your department head, dean or vice president and other appropriate executive team members will then determine whether a review will be considered. The review would follow the normal procedures in UNT Health Science Center staff compensation policies.

This page last updated 01st Jul 2014