Grading or classification System

In this evaluation procedure the jobs are sorted out as belonging to one of several grades (such as Grade I, Grade-II, Grade III etc). The number of such grades and the characteristics distinguishing one grade from the other will have been earlier determined.

Procedure for Grading System: The procedure, in short, is as follows:

1. Decide on the jobs which are to be evaluated by this system, e.g. Will it cover only managerial jobs or non-managerial jobs or both? Since the grades directly relate to the pay scale, this first step is very necessary for the system.
2. Similarly, since the number of grades determine the number of pay scales, it would be necessary to decide on the approximate number of grades.
3. In order to help sorting of the jobs into different grades, every grade should be accompanied by a brief description of the distinguishing job characteristics; this description is a general one, without referring to any particular job, and applies to all the relevant jobs. This description should be (i) comprehensive enough to cover all relevant (i.e. same grade) jobs and at the same time be (ii) distinctly different from one grade to another. Key phrases describing the unique characteristics of the grades are generally included in the grade, description, supplemented with brief examples to elaborate the same. Sometimes, one or two key jobs are mentioned as belonging to a particular grade; this is meant to illustrate the particular grade description.
4. The job descriptions are now studied and sorted out into various grades according to the match between the job descriptions and the grade descriptions.

Limitations of the Grading System: This method is quite simple, deceptively so, for several reasons:

1. It is not very easy to come up with grade descriptions which distinguish one grade from another and at the same time find commonalities between a number of jobs belonging to a particular grade. This difficulty increases as the number of jobs increases.
2. Also, it is not easy to interpret the grade descriptions and sort out the jobs, particularly for new jobs which have to be fitted into the given grading system.
3. One of the major drawbacks of this system is that the grade description and the key phrases used therein determine the grade and therefore the pay. Therefore, the Grading System of Job Evaluation may be misused by manipulating either the grade description or the job description through the introduction of ‘suitable’ key phrases.

In spite of the above drawbacks, this system at least makes a conscious attempt at bringing in some objectivity through the ‘distinguishing characteristics’ separating one grade from another. The grading system is quite popular with government departments (in India and abroad) and public sector corporations.

Points System:

This method falls in the category of ‘comparing compensable elements’, as mentioned earlier.

Procedure for the Points System:

1. Select the relevant ‘factors’, i.e. comparable compensable elements, against which the set of jobs are to be evaluated.
2. Define the weightage points for each ‘factor’ in the overall evaluation process.
3. Within these weightage points for a factor, design a calibrated scale for different ‘degrees’ (levels) of requirement of that factor. Thus, depending upon the weightage of a factor and the relevant degree, the corresponding ‘point’ values may be established.
4. Check each job against a factor to determine the required ‘degree’; note down the ‘points’. For each job, add all ‘points’ corresponding to all factors to get a ‘total points value for the job’.
5. The span of ‘total points’ values, obtained by the entire set of jobs, in now divided into suitable ‘ranges’ of point values so that each range corresponds to a grade.