Job evaluation making a comeback


Job evaluation making a comeback

"Job evaluation has not skulked off into the shadows. It is re-emerging with vigour." That's the message from Steve Watson of RewardWorks, writing in a recent edition of Benefits & Compensation International.

It was a perception of job evaluation as being bureaucratic, inflexible, time-consuming and inappropriate in today’ s organisations that led to it becoming discredited in many companies in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The emergence of concepts such as broadbanding, with its claim that it no longer depended on conventional job evaluation, helped to increase doubts about job evaluation.

Watson's central thesis is that job evaluation is very much making a comeback, but it is now "presented differently". What’ s more, job evaluation is "more efficient and less obvious".

Says Watson: "As to whether job evaluation is making a comeback, surveys say Yes experience says Yes observation says Yes. Did job evaluation ever go away? It went out of favour and hid for a while. Its value is appreciated but recognised as potentially dangerous. It has changed from guard dog to guide dog."

Computer-assisted job evaluation

Watson reckons that the computerisation of job evaluation is evolving into an effective way of supporting the ambitions of global organisations, largely due to the potential of network-based job evaluation tools.

In this context, there is now more choice than ever in implementing job evaluation. Watson points to five options:

  • manual systems
  • systems supported by stand-alone computers
  • local networked systems on a common restricted database
  • intranet/internet-based systems that permit clear control from a central point but allow significant involvement
  • intranet/internet-based systems that permit job evaluation decisions to be devolved to line management.

Want to know more?

Title: "Is job evaluation making a comeback -- or did it never go away?", Benefits & Compensation International June 2005.

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Published on a monthly basis, B& C International has a readership of multinational corporations and their advisers in around 40 countries.

Posted 1 July 2005