Job Factors and Yardsticks

Selection of Job Factors:

Ranking system and grading system measure job as a whole. This is the first approach which breaks down jobs into several essential or salient characteristics. The number of characteristics vary with the organizations. A job factor is defined as a specific requirements levied upon the job holder, which he must endure. To say, if a person occupies a position as a supervisor, he is expected to work, to supervise, to motivate employee. Thus he has to put some physical effort, besides mental. His responsibility is much more than that of a worker. Job factors are generally enumerated as follows:

1. Efforts
2. Responsibility
3. Skill
4. Working conditions

These abilities are input of employees for which they get compensation. There can be many sub divisions within each of these factors.

1. Education
2. Experience
3. Initiative

1. Equipment or process
2. Material or product
3. Safety of others
4. Work of others

1. Physical effort
2. Mental effort

Working Condition:
1. Work condition
2. Hazards

Usually the number of such sub-factors are kept at 10 or 11. But the more the number of sub-factors the greater will be accuracy due to detailed specification. The measurement of skill is achieved by taking into account education, experience and ingenuity. Responsibility refers to the accountability for the time and value of things. Efforts refer to the putting and applying physical and mental efforts on the job. While working condition obviously deals with what one may call safety precautions.

These factors are decided from the job contents. But job contents alter as technology and level of automation change in the organization. In other words, job evaluation system should change with the change in technology. As the degree of automation is increased, the job evaluation should give more weight age to higher education, higher responsibility, higher mental efforts.

The new concept is suggested by Elliott Jecques. It takes into account the various key factors that will tell on the overall performance of a job.

In spite of several job factors only one factor ‘time span of discretion’ is used. The actual meaning is this – the longest period of time during which employees are allowed to work without any supervision by superior. Allowance of work includes the exercise of discretion, initiative and judgment. Thus clearly the time span of discretion is weighted in respect of responsibility, which is common for all the jobs. The essence behind this approach is, those employees who enjoy equal time span of discretion should be rewarded equally.

Construction of the Yardsticks:

The construction of yardsticks is done by deciding the total points assigned or to be utilized in a system. The most important decision to be taken is what proportion of total points to be allocated to skill, effort, responsibility and working condition. That is to say, a decision is taken that if the total point in a system would be 1,000 then what could be the percentage contribution of each factor.

The determination of this will depend upon the nature of the organization, i.e. an enterprise with high automation technology should assign more points for responsibility since the manual skill is translated into machine skill. But generally, skill is given more weight age than responsibility, efforts and working conditions. If we decide 1000 point for a system, then it could be divided as:

Factor Number of points Percentage

Skill 500 50
Responsibility 200 20
Effort 150 15
Working condition 150 15
Total 1000 100

Skill and responsibility will vary with the situation. Assignment of points to the various factors is subjective. After the yardstick is developed the composition of points and degrees of the particular factors are worked out. For example, let us consider that of the total value 140 points are allocated to education. Then a seven point scale could be developed as follows:


1. Read write add and subtract 20
2. Two years high school or equivalent 40
3. Four years high school or two years Univ. or equivalent 60
4. Four years high school plus 2-3 years trade training 80
5. Four years high school plus 4 years trade training 100
6. Two or three years college plus 4 years trade training 120
7. Four years college degree plus 4 years trade training 140

This type of job evaluation manual is prepared by an outside agency or by the individual engineering experts of the company. To prepare a manual is a tiresome and time consuming process. So, most companies like to use ready made manual industry wise by external agencies. Here the defect is that the agency prepares manual keeping in mind the industry as a whole and because of this, a company may find some deviations in factors or degrees. But still the manual is the best for most of the companies.

Evaluation of the job:

Evaluation of job demands the construction of reliable yardstick and detailed job specification. Now the process of evaluation is very simple. The process consists of reading the job specifications carefully and comparing the information with the degree on yardstick and placing it accordingly. Adding up all the points give the points worth for that job.

In reality, a committee is appointed to evaluate jobs. The participants should have familiarity with the job to be rated. The degree of familiarity has impact on

1. Adaptability
2. Decision making
3. Mental Work
4. Working conditions
5. Managerial requirements

The more detailed the job specification the higher are the chances of accurate rating. Thus job specifications do much and they are preventive tools to check in case of any differences of opinions among the members of rating committee.