What’s changing?

The way employees are classified is shifting. The new job family structure contains job families, sub-families, career streams and levels. Each career stream contains levels that represent requirements reflecting increased skill, knowledge and responsibilities. Titles will be much more organized and consistent across the university. We will have an internal title that is consistent throughout the organization referred to as a job title. We recognize that in a few instances it’s necessary to have a “working title” which will be referred to as a position title. We will try to accommodate these where feasible, but hope to make these external position titles more consistent, as well, in phase 2.

What is the new job classification system intended to accomplish?

Today, there is not a clear job structure across campus.  The objective of the job family structure is to establish clear structure for job classifications, competencies associated with those jobs, and to provide transparency for career paths. Our goal is to enable employees and their managers to have meaningful discussions about their career at Purdue; the job family structure will allow individuals to understand where their current job falls within the established structure, and make informed decisions about their careers and development goals. 

Will people be forced to take a pay cut when they are placed in their job classification?

No, existing salaries will not change as a result of the new structure.

What impacts will this transformation have on compensation for staff members?

The implementation of the job family structure does not change your current compensation or benefit package. Compensation guidelines will be introduced in Fall 2018.

What’s not changing?
  • An employee’s pay is not changing.
  • Regardless of the job level an employee has been assigned in his or her current position, there will be no change to an employee’s medical, leave or retirement benefits while the employee remains in their current position. If an employee leaves his or her current position for another position within the University, he or she will receive pay and benefits associated with that particular job level.
Who is impacted?

All Purdue employees have been assigned to a job family, a sub-family, a career stream and a job level.

How many different job families will there be?

The new structure is organized into 15 job families and approximately 69 sub-families.

What elements of the structure are new to the University?

The concept of grouping positions into jobs and then by functional duties through families and sub‐families is a new model. This approach will allow the University to think outside of individual department and/or divisional structures.

Did we benchmark other universities or seek guidance?

Yes. Like many of our peers, we embarked on a job study. Partnering with Mercer, an expert in career solutions within higher education, we outlined an approach to leveling, defining and classifying jobs. The job family structure was brought before leadership regularly for continued discussion and refinement. Ultimately, the new structure is a combination of best practices of other higher education institutions and Purdue’s culture.

Is there a conversion chart that compares where positions and current classifications are assigned to the new structure?

No. This is a new structure and the two are not related.

How will the current classification “Op Tech” be impacted by the new job family structure?

In benchmarking interactions with our consultant and peer institutions, we found that there were no jobs equivalent to Purdue’s Operations/Technical Assistant group. As indicated elsewhere, consistency in structure and comparability are essential for system maintenance and usability. We also recognized potential concerns with current employees in the Operations/Technical group.

There will not be any newly created positions with the Op Tech classification.

Employees in an Op Tech position today will be grandfathered and maintain their current pay and benefit package, but no new op/tech positions will be created. When an op/tech leaves a position, the department will work with HR-Compensation on classifying the position in the most appropriate job family, job sub-family and career stream consistent with similar positions at Purdue and in the marketplace. If any Op Tech moves to a job classified as an S3, SK3, S4 or SK4 they will maintain their grandfathered benefits.

How were compensation bands determined?

Compensation bands were created in partnership with Mercer and align with both the external market and peer institutions. The majority of companies – in higher education and across industries – target the 50th percentile of the market for compensation.  Even with targeting the median, Purdue has a range of pay for every job that allows us flexibility to take into account an employee’s experience and performance. So while we target the median in aggregate, that doesn’t mean that every employee’s pay can or should be at the median. Employee’s current pay will not be impacted by the implementation of this structure.

When will the new job family structure be implemented?

The structure will be implemented on all campuses along with the Human Capital Management project and SuccessFactors, set to deploy January 1, 2019.

How will I be informed of changes to my internal position title and my job’s location in the job family structure?

Tools and resources will be put in place to train managers and supervisors about the new job family structure and how it will work. We will be working with Mercer to coordinate communication resources in order to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to learn how their position relates to the new structures.

How were levels determined?

The career stream level guide is a job leveling tool for determining internal job levels based on an analysis of universally applicable factors proven to recognize differences in job size. The following factors are used:

  • Organizational Impact
  • Problem Solving and Complexity
  • Communication and Influence
  • Leadership and Talent Management
  • Knowledge and Experience
Did unit/college leaders participate in the mapping process?

Yes. HR/Compensation provided leaders preliminary position mapping recommendations based on a review of existing position descriptions in comparison to standard criteria and subject matter expert feedback. 

How do duties and responsibilities of a position differ from the experience, education and abilities an employee brings to the position?

Positions are created based on duties and responsibilities required to meet departmental, organizational and ultimately university goals. The manager is responsible to ensure positions reflect the appropriate functional and decision‐making requirements. An individual brings a unique set of competencies and skills to a position based on their own experiences that may or may not be required to perform a job.

What career stream are supervisors mapped to?

Employees that administratively supervise fewer than three regular employees (excluding temps, and both grad and under-grad students) were not mapped to the management career stream. However, the management and professional career streams do not reflect a hierarchical relationship. The career streams reflect the overall nature of the work performed. In other words, the professional career stream provides promotional opportunity without necessarily moving to a management position.

Employees can discuss job family structure questions with their supervisor. Their unit leadership collaborated with compensation on the mapping process. Questions can also be sent to compensation@purdue.edu. We anticipate offering some informational sessions to key groups to communicate key principles regarding the new structures.

What is a job description, and how is it different from a position description?

A job description is a written narrative describing the general function and responsibilities of a job. Job descriptions utilize a common, overarching purpose to describe a job regardless of the department where a specific job resides. Position descriptions describe a position at a specific level. Position descriptions utilize specific, focused duties to describe a position. Position descriptions connect the person and the position.

Who manages job descriptions?

Compensation is the owner or holder of job descriptions. Job descriptions are maintained through Human Resources.

Do we still need to update position descriptions?

Position descriptions are held at the departmental level and kept in the department. It is up to each department to update their own position descriptions which can be used for recruiting, training and performance evaluation and can help identify changes in the position over time. 

Who maintains the Physical, Environmental and Hazardous Specifications (page 2 of a position description)?

The department will complete and maintain the Physical, Environmental, and Hazardous Specifications for each position. This form is used for Worker’s Compensation discussion, ADA requests and recruiting issues.

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