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Essay on Job Evaluation

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Definition of Job Evaluation
  2. Essay on the Objectives of Job Evaluation
  3. Essay on the Practical Application of Job Evaluation
  4. Essay on the Practice of Job Evaluation in India
  5. Essay on the Methods of Job Evaluation
  6. Essay on the Job Ranking and Grading System—Job Evaluation
  7. Essay on the Factor-Comparison and Profit Rating System of Job Evaluation
  8. Essay on the Merit Rating as Supplementary to Job Evaluation
  9. Essay on the Maturity Curves – Technique of Mana­gerial Job Evaluation
  10. Essay on the Comments on Job Evaluation

Essay # 1. Definition of Job Evaluation:

Job evaluation may be defined as a method of studying and grading jobs in order to provide a basis for a fair wage structure. It is concerned with the ranking of jobs and not directly with the men who do them.


Within each grade some workers will be more efficient than others; their wage rates under job evaluation systems will be the same. Job evaluation must be regarded as only one of the factors in determining wage structures, especially where wage rates and scales are fixed by, collective bargaining.

According to Kimball and Kimball, “Job evaluation represents an effort to determine the relative value of every job in a plant and to determine what the fair basic wage for such a job should be.”

Essay # 2. Objectives of  Job Evaluation:

It attempts to provide a fair method of setting up a wage structure by indicating that jobs requiring similar efforts, skill and responsibility should be equally remunerated, and that jobs calling for higher qualities should be paid more. Its object is to ensure equal pay for equal or equivalent work.


Changes in the classification or grading of jobs must be made when processes and methods of work are altered. Some jobs may become more difficult and should be upgraded.

Frequently, jobs have been graded and wages fixed inde­pendently by the manager or foreman in each department, and are unfair in relation to the grades and wages in other departments of the same undertaking; and this causes discontent among those workers who consider themselves underpaid.

A carefully devised wage structure for the whole undertaking may do much to remove these grievances. Managements hold similar views, and if job evaluation is done intelligently and fairly and representatives of the workers take part with management in the work, a basis for agreement between them may not be difficult to find.

Job evaluation has been more effective for manual and clerical workers than for the higher ranks of management and senior technicians, although it has been used to devise salary structures for them also. Its application has been widest in individual undertakings, particularly in the metal industry.


As undertakings grow in size and employ large numbers of workers on many different kinds of work, the management increasingly feels the need for a sort of yardstick to measure the relative qualities of the various occupations, and accordingly to establish wage and salary structures that give proper recognition to each grade.

The principles and methods of job evaluation have been extended to cover an industry or even more widely for the establishment of grading between industries on a national basis. These wider developments are, however, still in an early state, though job evaluation was tried on a nation-wide scale in the Netherlands after the Second World War.

Essay # 3. Practical Application of Job Evaluation:

It is new necessary to consider the use of the results of job evaluation for wage fixing. In arty undertaking the wage rates of different grades should be such that the workers accept them as fair. If several jobs are grouped together within a grade, the wage differences between them should be such as are considered reasonable because of the higher or lower qualities required in each case.


In other words, when, after job evaluation changes are made in wage differentials (that is in the wage structure) these should be considered equitable by a considerable majority of the workers. One of the main difficulties encountered, when a new wage structure based on job evaluation is introduced is that the wages previously paid for some jobs may be out of line with the new scale.

However, it must not be overlooked that, as time goes on, the scale determined by a job evaluation is likely to require modification. For example, if tools, machines or processes are introduced that make a job easier, its rating may be changed.

A wage structure based on job evaluation is liable to be disturbed by conditions of demand and supply affecting different grades of workers. For example, if there is a shortage of skilled electrical engineers with specialised experi­ence, it will no doubt be necessary during the shortage to pay them higher wages than their job evaluation grade would justify in relation to the qualities of other skilled, experienced workers.

Problems arise also in fixing the wages of piece-workers. These can be solved fairly easily if the work is standardised and not frequently changed. Job evaluation has been introduced on an increasing scale in industrialised countries since the Second World War.


By the mid-1960s some 50 million employees in the United States, or two-thirds of the employed labour force, were graded under job evaluation schemes of various kinds. They are in operation mainly at the level of the plant or undertaking, although a few industry-wide plans (e.g. for the steel industry) are in existence.

Larger organisations (200 or more employees) are found to be more likely to use job evaluation than smaller ones. In the United Kingdom, according to a survey by the National Board for Prices and Incomes in 1968, job evaluation covered 23 per cent, or over 6 million employees, of the employed labour force.

As in the United States, job evaluation tends to be applied at the level of the plant or undertaking and is more widely adopted in large organisations (according to the 1968 survey, 54 per cent of organisations with over 5,000 employees used job evaluation).

Unlike their counterparts in the United States, however, managerial and white-collar employees in the United Kingdom are more likely to work under job evaluation schemes than blue-collar workers.


Since 1968 the use of job evaluation appears to have been extended considerably, in part under the influence of the legislation requiring equal pay between men and women. In Sweden there are a number of industry-wide job evalua­tion plans covering at least 20 per cent of blue-collar workers, with the object of main­taining skill differentials that had been narrowed because of the upgrading of lower-paid jobs.

In the Federal Republic of Germany both industry-wide and regional job evaluation schemes are in existence. In the Netherlands a national job evaluation scheme for blue-collar workers was introduced after 1948 to implement a national wage policy, but since then a number of variants of this scheme have been developed and applied.

In countries with centrally planned economies job evaluation has been extensively applied. Occupations in each industry are classified into grades according to skill. In the early periods, because of shortages of skilled workers, wide differences in basic rates were fixed between the wages paid to workers in the lowest and to those in the highest grades in order to encourage workers to become skilled.

Later, when the number of skilled workers increased as a result of training and experience, the differ­ences were narrowed considerably.


The number of grades is small in comparison with other industrial countries, and the tendency in recent years has been to reduce it somewhat in order to simplify the wage system. In most industries there are new only six or seven grades, whereas formerly in some industries there were 10 or 12.

The steps or differences from one grade to another differ somewhat within industries and between industries in recognition of differences in the time it takes for workers to acquire the training and expe­rience they needed to qualify them to move from a lower to a higher grade.

Essay # 4. Practice of Job Evaluation in India:

The Background and Scope

In India, job evaluation as a method of rationalizing wage structure has been attempted, by and large, in public sector. Some bigger private sector industries have also taken recourse to job evaluation with cooperation of trade unions.


The following discussion is meant for providing a brief background and scope of job evaluation in India. The evolution of job evaluation has synchronized with the recommen­dations of the Third Pay Commission, Adminis­trative Staff College sample evaluation, and Staff Inspection Unit of the Ministry of Finance.

In 1956, a collective agreement between Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) and Tata Worker’s Union (INTUC) provided a framework of job evaluation acceptable to both. But generally speaking, trade unions in India do not find favour with job analysis as a system, because of the defective procedure of job analysis, job description and failure to evaluate conditions and hazards of job by managements.

Trade unions seem to be apprehensive of job displacement and reduction of wage rates on account of job evaluation upsetting traditional wage structure.

Wage Boards in our country have also not recommended nor have they adopted job evaluation for standardizing wage structure and wage differentials in different industries. Both unions and managements are more in favour of collective bargaining than job evaluation for fulfilling the professed objectives of job evaluation.

In Faridabad of North India and in Tamil Nadu, wage and salary surveys were made in 1976 to ascertain how jobs in cycle industries are rated in comparable industries. In this respect, various Chambers of Commerce may collect and supply data relating to job contents, qualities of personnel, and job description as between different industries and regions.

After getting full information regarding different types of jobs, job analysis is undertaken under Indian conditions, observation and interviews are generally preferred for this purpose rather than questionnaire and written description.


In most of the Indian industries, job des­cription in personnel department covers

(i) Job title

(ii) Job summary

(iii) Duties

(iv) Tools, machines, materials records etc.

(v) Supervision


(vi) Working conditions

(vii) Job qualities and job relations.

Essay # 5. Methods of Job Evaluation:

i. Grading System:

Various methods of job evaluation are in use. Under one of the simplest systems a number of labour grades are introduced. It may, for example, be found that in an engineering works there are 60 different manual occupations; a decision is taken to simplify the system and classify the occupations into four, five, eight or other suitable number of grades.


A simple four-grade system could be: highly skilled, skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled. The 60 occupations would then be discussed in detail by supervisors and others with special knowledge of the characteristics required for each occupation.

Among the principal characteristics are skill, intelligence and mental effort, physical effort, training and experience required, and working conditions whether in high temperatu­res, dust, high humidity, dirt, noise and fumes or in normal atmospheric and pleasant conditions.

Many of the occupations may fall easily into one or other of the grades but others may be so near the border-line that their grading is rather doubtful; workers doing somewhat difficult but light work may fairly be put in the same grade as workers doing simple but very heavy work.

Executive and administrative salaried grades in private industry and government service can similarly be classified and descrip­tions given of the qualifications required for each class or grade.

In a low grade the occupa­tional requirement may be an ability to do simple routine office work under close supervision and with little or no need for the worker to exercise independent judgment. Higher grades could require, in varying degree, educational quali­fications, administrative ability, leadership, responsibility and powers of independent judgment.


ii. Point Rating System:

Other systems are based on similar general principles but differ in detail. The one most widely used is point rating. This involves a systematic analysis of the factors or qualities required for each job.

These are broadly similar to those mentioned above in describing the grading or classification method: for example, skill, divided into education for training, experience and initiative; effort, both physical and mental; responsibility for equipment, mate­rial, safety of others, and the work of others; and job conditions, including good or poor conditions and risks involved.

Then each of these factors is considered according to the degree required; for example, effort required may be very little, little, average, great, or very great. Points are given to each degree of each factor. Descriptions of the work required by each job are examined and broken down into factors and degrees.

Points are given to each degree, the number of points increasing with the importance of the degree. Thus 5 points may be given where very little effort is required and the number raised progressively up to 25 points for very great effort.

Similarly, points varying according to degree are given for each of the other factors or qualities required by the job. The points are then totaled and these give the rating of each job in relation to other jobs. Many variations of this method have been applied indifferent undertakings.

One variation is to use it first for a number of carefully selected jobs which can readily be recognised, described and analysed into their various elements and degrees. These jobs should include some in the most highly skilled occupations, some in the middle range and others requiring relatively little skill.

These are systemati­cally rated by the point’s method. The ratings are then examined; if the results seem unsatis­factory, the factors chosen and the points given to the different degrees are revised so as to give good results, and the system is then applied to all the occupations.

Essay # 6. Job Ranking and Grading System—Job Evaluation:

These two methods are called “non-analytical” as they do not require the analysis of job content. The job ranking system is generally applied in small plants on organisations with a limited number of jobs, such as in small scale industries in West Bengal.

This is the most simple and inexpensive method of job evaluation which is based on accurate job description and organisation charts. The small sized factories find this method easier to adopt and implement.

Each job is ranked by all other jobs, outlining a hierarchy of jobs or job groups. Then standard wage rates are assigned to each level or groups of jobs, which are closely related in terms of rates and contents and treated on a par for purposes of promotion and transfer.

Job grading method is generally adopted in India for salaried people particularly in public sector and government services. In this method the lumber of grades on classifications and their functions are determined. This system takes into account difference in degrees of responsibility, skill, training, etc.

Different Pay Commissions as appointed by the Government of India and the Administrative Reforms Commission have strongly advocated and adopted reduction in number of grades for rationalizing pay scale or grades. In the U.K. also after nationalizing Coal Industry, this method was adopted. In India recently the latest Central Pay Commission has recommended narrowing down of different pay scales.

However, the Pay Commissions of Government of India were of opinion, that in large under­takings, this method might not yield desired results, though it is simple to apply. The main problem is to classify the dissimilar jobs accurately in relation to a limited number of grades.

Essay # 7. Factor-Comparison and Profit Rating System of Job Evaluation:

These two methods are called analytical methods as they require analysis of job content for determining each value. In India the first is seldom favoured by unions and workers. For managements, this method also appears to be clumsy and expensive.

For instance, it can only be applied by experts or committees. This factor comparison method locates within an organisation a small number of widely diversified “Key Jobs” which are, by and large, well remunerate.

Then four or five important job factors are taken on the basis of job analysis, and are located as important in greater or lesser degree in all jobs. Generally, the following factors are considered: mental requirement, skill require­ments, physical requirements, responsibility and working conditions etc.

Then key jobs are ranked in respect of each of the factors, and each key job’s current rate of pay is analysed to decide the percentage of the total rate attributable to each job element.

In India, this method has been applied generally to manual, clerical and supervisory jobs as the factors, i.e., skills, have been broadly well defined. Under this system the existing wage and salary practices are reflected in weight-age given to factors without any external comparisons.

Under the point rating system, which is considered the most scientific and systematic method, the following steps are adopted:

First, a group of important factors are defined and selected for the determination of wages, some such factors as education, training, mental, physical effort, responsibility, work environment.

Second, for each factor, a number of degrees are distinguished, i.e., average, small, very small etc.

Third, point values are assigned to each degree of each factor.

Fourth, by taking each individual job and comparing the job description with the degree in respect of all factors, jobs are evaluated.

The following two tables will give an idea of a job evaluation scheme based on point rating system as reported to the I.L.O. which was applied to some Indian Plants.

Factors and Points

Points for Various Jobs

Daily Rate of Wage

In some Indian firms, the problem of adjust­ment of existing wage rates to the new rates based on above type of job evaluation has been experienced at the time of collective bargaining.

The accommodation process is given in the following chart:

It will be evident from the above chart that balance dots represent the existing wage rates, the lowest rate in the above company being Rs. 10/- per day and the highest rate is Rs. 29/- per day. The line—indicates the trend of these wage rates; and the line—indicates the proposed new rates of wages.

The introduction of scientific wage structure is possible on the basis of the point rating system. But in many Indian Companies, the objectivity for which this system is noted, has been impaired by some arbitrary Values and definitions assigned by persons who are not experts in the subject.

Essay # 8. Merit Rating as Supplementary to Job Evaluation:

Some Indian Companies prefer to combine merit rating with job evaluation. While job evaluation system evaluates job and not the worker, the merit rating system evaluates the worker along with the job. The initial step of merit rating is evaluation of employee performance by imme­diate supervisors, which is actually performance appraisal.

The supervisor records the results of his analysis on a standard merit rating inventory forms by comparing actual performance against job assignments and work standard. The final step in this process is the use of the knowledge from such evaluation in making pay change recommendation.

The following may be mentioned as some specific types of merit rating inventories as developed in some companies to assist managers:

(i) Graphic rating scales,

(ii) Check lists,

(iii) Grouping and ranking,

(iv) Direct appraisal,

(v) Standards of performance,

(vi) Critical incident method.

Essay # 9. Maturity Curves – Technique of Mana­gerial Job Evaluation:

But managerial and supervisory jobs which are generally unsupervised may sometimes be required to be evaluated. This is not our subject matter of discussion. So a brief reference may be made to the technique of maturity curves.

In examining this technique the following steps are necessary:

(a) The basic yard-stick is the seniority or length of service.

(b) Annual or monthly salary.

(c) Maturity or career curves create a salary structure for each occupation group i.e., graduate engineers, junior managers etc.

(d) For each year, individual curves mark the highest and the lowest rates and selected percentiles.

(e) The appropriate rate for an individual manager is based on his comparative rating in his occupation and year.

Curves are developed on the basis of survey of occupations and years of experience, i.e., seniority or maturity indicator and current salaries. Salary rates are plotted for each specific job classification on the vertical axis and experience is plotted on the horizontal axis. This is shown in the following diagram.

Experience and Current Rates

An individual firm may use only the central half or only the upper half of the distribution for its own structure, and within the range the individual is assigned an appropriate salary.

Essay # 10. Comments on Job Evaluation:

Job evaluation as internal alignment system should be based on the principle of equity and fair wage differentials as between different occupations requiring different skills.

The prevailing methods should also take into con­sideration the following aspects:

External alignment or job pricing based cm comparison of the company wage rates with other comparable external rates.

The relative wages of an employee is no less important than absolute wages. The main purpose of job evaluation is to determine the relative worth of the job and to remove unfair wage differentials. If this objective is not achieved in an enterprise by specific job evaluation method, then the scheme will be self-defeating.

The prevailing job evaluation methods in Indian industries should be such as to remove the discrepancies of a wage payment system which allows high wages and salaries to persons not requiring high skills and responsibilities.

Also the job evaluation system should ensure cordial industrial relations, collective barga­ining as well as uniformity in wage structure.

The procedures to be followed in implementing job evaluation system may be suggested as follows:

(a) The job evaluation programme should be so planned and procedures so adopted as to be acceptable to unions.

(b) Selection of jobs to be evaluated.

(c) Procedures for the preparation of job descriptions and job specifications should be formal and specific.

(d) Committees should be appointed to perform job evaluation after selection of a job eva­luation method.

(e) Periodic review should be made to keep supervision of job evaluation.

In India, as in other countries, the contempo­rary job evaluation methods are not applicable to managerial and executive jobs requiring a good deal of decision-making, planning and supervision. It is much more difficult to apply to engineers and scientists. It is, therefore, advisable for Indian enterprises to exclude these types of jobs from the purview of eva­luation system.

Application of “career curve” approach, adoption of professional degrees and seniority may be considered as some methods of job evaluation rather than any standard system to executive and managerial jobs for evaluation.

In the USA a sophisticated system known as “Hay System” is adopted for managerial job evaluation under which all such types of jobs are standardised into three basic factors, i.e.,

(i) Know-how,

(ii) Problem-solving and

(iii) Accountability.

Under each of these main factors job description may be prepared on the basis of breadth and depth and evaluated accordingly.

In India, another problem of job evaluation is external alignment or job pricing in respect of a particular wage rate of a specific job of a company as compared with other similar companies. This is necessary for retaining or attracting qualified and efficient employees. But this is not an easy task for employers as job contents with same designations may differ considerably among employers.

The wage payment methods may also differ with varying cost of living in different geographical regions. Never­theless, external alignment tends to follow equalisation of wage rates as between different jobs in different labour markets on the basis of perfect competition of supply and demand.

Closely related to job pricing, problems of individual pay determination may also crop up in course of job evaluation. In Indian enter­prises, this problem may be dealt with by adopting single rates, informal approach, legislated or administered rules and merit rating approach.

The last one may be adopted in managerial job evaluation method as a special form of job performance appraisal. Without going into details, four important merit rating inventories may be mentioned for the conside­ration of management, i.e., graphic rating scales, check lists, grouping and ranking, direct appraisal, standards of performance and critical incident method.

Finally, some necessary conditions should be fulfilled for the success of job evaluation at plant level.

Some of these conditions may be as follows:

(i) Recognised unions should participate in the preparation and implementation of job evaluation.

(ii) The job evaluation scheme should be simple and clear to rank and file workers, and management must be able to communicate it to workers.

(iii) The method should be implemented jointly with management and union.

(iv) Wage rates and job classifications on the basis of job evaluation should be negotiable under collective bargaining even after job evaluation system is introduced.

(v) Prevailing wage rates should not-be reduced while job evaluation scheme is being prepared.

(vi) Wage and salary surveys and job des­criptions must precede job evaluation analysis in a company.

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