What is the job evaluation and grading project?

Both UNT and the economy have changed substantially since the compensation and classification project of 2008. The results of that project, which compressed the number of official job titles into too few titles, are not serving the university as well as they should. And, some steps in that project weren't completed to the full benefit of the institution and its staff members.

This project will create consistency in job structures and titles by:

  • Creating job titles and descriptions more reflective of the work required for each job.
  • Using a methodology that is transparent and easy to understand, based on seven factors common to all jobs.

The project will establish job grades and a competitive salary ranges for each staff position, and identify where compensation may need to improve. It will create more flexible compensation strategies and policies by:

  • Establishing a sustainable model that can evolve over time in response to institutional needs and market forces.
  • Achieving more compensation flexibility by developing a better method for setting fair salary structures.

This project will give UNT the tools it needs to establish the foundational elements for career-path development.

Why is UNT reviewing the current job classifications and pay plan structure?

  • UNT's last classification and compensation project in 2008 reduced the staff job titles from approximately 800 to about 200. That compression does not serve the university well today. This project will expand the number of job titles so they more accurately reflect how UNT operates.

  • Regularly reviewing job classifications is considered a best practice to ensure that existing employees are treated fairly and that the university can attract and retain the most talented staff members.

  • The project will ensure fair and equitable pay structures.

  • The project will standardize job titles across the university while ensuring that drastically different jobs are not classified together.

  • The project will create new job descriptions that more accurately identify work related to each position. 

  • The project will provide the foundation to develop career paths where applicable.

What positions are not being reviewed?

This project covers classified staff positions. Positions that are not part of this review include:

  • Academic administrators who also hold faculty ranks- deans, associate deans, vice provosts, assistant and associate vice provosts, department chairs and faculty directors  
  • Faculty and instructors—tenure and tenure-track faculty members, lecturers, clinical professors, librarians, English as a second-language instructors, adjuncts 
  • Non-classified research professionals—research professors, research scientists and post-doctoral research associates
  • Students, non-student hourly, and temporary employees — salaried student employees, student and non-student hourly employees and task employees

How will the project affect titles?

The project will address the compression of official job titles resulting from the 2008 project by creating job titles and descriptions more reflective of the work required for each job.

How will the project affect pay?

  • No employee will lose his or her job or have their income or pay lowered as a result of the grading and evaluation project.

  • A new pay plan was implemented Oct. 1, 2017 and can be viewed here.

Will any reclassifications be allowed while the project is in process?

To help the project team remain focused on this important project and ensure its success, UNT is temporarily freezing changes to job reclassifications for all positions that are currently filled. This includes the annual position classification review window in the fall. However, business needs will require some exceptions. For the duration of this project, reclassification actions resulting from reorganizations and other organizational necessities may take place, but will require the approval of the appropriate vice president and the president.

Will this project affect the recruitment of candidates for new or vacant positions?

No. New and existing vacant positions can be filled using the current classification review and recruitment processes.

Who is overseeing the project?

A steering committee comprising leaders from UNT's executive team and from UNT System Human Resources is overseeing the project. This team will champion the overall effort, monitor its progress and generate support from other campus leaders. This team also will assess any risks, make recommendations to the president and ensure the project aligns with institutional goals.

Who is performing the position reviews?

  • A core project team consisting of UNT System Human Resources staff members has developed a project plan and will work with Towers Watson, a global company with significant experience in higher education human resources, to ensure the project is completed in a timely manner and that it meets UNT's needs. This team will provide training to subject matter experts and oversee the job grading tasks.
  • A team of subject matter experts - managers, approved by the steering committee and from all areas of the university - will provide input on each position and the job duties associated with each one. These experts will have a broad knowledge of the various jobs and duties in their department or area of expertise.

What determines how my position will be graded and classified in the new structure?

The project team will identify, subject to the steering committee's approval, certain managers and other subject matter experts from across campus. Those experts will help the project team define the duties associated with each type of job so they can be accurately graded.

The subject matter experts will assist the project team in evaluating each job and apply Towers Watson's patented “Global Grading Methodology” to each one. That methodology uses as its foundation the following seven factors that are common to all jobs:

  • Functional knowledge
  • Business expertise
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Nature of impact
  • Area of impact
  • Interpersonal skills

Will employees provide any input about their own job duties?

The subject matter experts may ask for input from individual employees in order to gain a better understanding of their duties.

The project team will review information from the subject matter experts, the current classification descriptions and each position's planning guide (UPO-31). 

How will the subject matter experts know what I do?

Managers are encouraged to become as familiar as possible with each position that reports to them to ensure they understand the work that is to be performed. The project team will help evaluate those duties to grade the jobs properly. The subject matter experts will receive training on what information they will need to provide about the jobs in their areas or areas of expertise before they participate in the job grading exercise. 

What area will be considered in the market analysis?

For jobs where the university recruits nationally, the team will look at the national market. For jobs that are recruited at a state or local level, we will compare similar jobs at the state or local level.

Will you compare jobs with other universities?

Positions requiring knowledge, skills and abilities specific to higher education will be reviewed against the higher education market data where it is available. However, positions that require similar knowledge, skills and abilities in both the private and public sectors will be reviewed against the similar market data applicable to either the private or public sectors.

How can I follow the progress of the project?

  • Town hall meetings with the president and members of the steering committee were held in July and August 2015 at UNT's main campus and at Discovery Park.
  • The project's webpage will be updated regularly.
  • Email updates will be sent at regular intervals throughout the process.

What changes will occur now that the project is complete?

  • Job titles and descriptions: 605 job titles and descriptions have been created that are more reflective of the work required for each position, allowing for more accurate market matching.
  • Pay structures: Six separate pay structures will be implemented to allow compensation packages to align better with the current job market.
  • FLSA exemption: Several positions will be switching from exempt to non-exempt, and vice-versa. Employees who are changing to exempt status will receive payouts for the comp time they have earned. Employees who are changing to non-exempt status will now be eligible to earn comp time at the time and a half rate.
  • TRS/ORP eligibility: Several positions will change from ORP eligible to TRS eligible. This will impact the timekeeping requirements for these positions, but will not impact the retirement selections of the employees currently in those positions.
  • Working titles: All working titles will be removed from EIS when the new official titles are uploaded into the system on September 15. Employees who feel they still need a working title may put in a request that must be approved by the Vice President over their division before the working title can be uploaded into EIS.

Is there an appeals process for the results of the Job Grading Project?

Yes, there is an appeals process in place for positions that were incorrectly reclassified as a result of the Job Grading Project.

An appeal may be warranted if:

  • There was a significant change in the major duties and responsibilities of the position before Oct. 1, 2017; and/or
  • The position was not assigned to the proper global grade as a result of the original SME evaluation.

An appeal is not warranted if prompted by:

  • An individual's disagreement with the salary range associated with the global grade or salary placement within the given range;
  • the new position title;
  • a review of an individual's performance;
  • an interim/temporary or future work assignment; and/or
  • an increase in the volume of work, but no substantial change to the type or complexity of work an individual performs.

Appeals Process Steps:

  1. Employee meets with supervisor to discuss concerns regarding results of Job Grading Project.
  2. Supervisor determines if review of the position is warranted and, if so, completes a revised or new Job Classification Form. Supervisor must include information as to why a review is requested and submit documents to department leader.
  3. If in agreement that the documentation should be reviewed, department leader submits documents to area Vice President.
  4. If in agreement that the documentation should be reviewed, Vice President submits request and documents to Human Resources.
  5. A Global Grading System evaluator in Human Resources reviews the submitted Job Classification Form and any supporting documentation provided by the Vice President and applies the new information to the same Global Grading System evaluation process used in the Job Grading Project.
  6. If further knowledge of the work is needed, Human Resources may ask the supervisor for a meeting to discuss.
  7. Human Resources communicates with Vice President regarding recommended title and grade assignment. Vice President approves or disapproves of the recommendation.
  8. Human Resources communicates determination of Vice President to supervisor, who conveys results directly to affected employees.

The appeals process may take 3-4 weeks to complete. If an appeal is granted, the new results will be effective the month of approval. All appeals for the Job Evaluation and Grading Project for Staff must be submitted to Human Resources (step 4 above) by Jan. 12, 2018.

Who can I contact with more questions about this project?

Contact UNT System Human Resources at 940-565-2281 or AskHR@unt.edu