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Staff Promotion Guidelines

Staff promotions take place twice a year. Approved promotions go into effect January 1 and July 1. January 1 promotions must be submitted to VP of Human Resources by November 1 and July 1 promotions must be submitted by March 31.

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Definition of Promotion

Purdue defines a Promotion as a move to a job with greater responsibility and in a higher career stream level (e.g. a move from Professional 2 to Professional 3).

  • Promotions must meet or address a need within the college/business unit.
  • The college/business unit funds promotions. A promotion cannot occur if the budget cannot support a salary increase.
  • When considering an employee’s experience and education, the employee must meet at least the minimum requirements for the career level they are being considered for as outlined in the Purdue Career Stream Level Guide.

Promotion Criteria

Promotions come with greater job expectations and the addition of significant duties and/or key areas of responsibility. Generally, a change is significant when 25-40% or more of a position’s duties increase in level.

When considering a promotion, the first two items to review are:

  • Does a need exist within the college/business unit for a higher-level position?
  • Is there money available in the budget to fund a promotional increase?

The next step is to assess a staff member’s readiness for a promotion. To ensure an employee is ready to take on additional responsibility, a promotion must be supported by performance, experience and/or education. When considering an employee’s performance, managers should consider a mix of criteria that reflect the larger picture of an employee’s work. These include:

  • Skillset (ensuring their skillset matches the requirements of the position)
  • Sustained Performance (high performance levels in at least the two most recent review cycles)
  • Demonstrated steps taken to gain new skills and continue to grow in their career
  • Personal motivation and willingness for an increase in level and responsibility

Managers should keep records of important accomplishments that they might want to consider when it is time to promote one of their team members. To help support an employee’s readiness, it is common for an employee to perform the duties of a higher-level position for 3-6 months prior to the submission of a promotion request.

Purdue will not consider promotion requests:

  • Based on a manager’s subjective opinion unsupported by performance evaluations or metrics
  • Based solely on an employee’s length of service with the organization
  • Based solely on an employee’s completion of a degree or addition of a new skill
  • That are requested based on discrimination, fraternization, favoritism or nepotism

Additional consideration needs to be taken with any promotion to a management role from a non-management role. Managers play a key role in the growth and development of our staff. Individuals who take on this responsibility require a unique set of skills. Just because an employee is a high performing individual contributor does not mean they will be a successful manager. Steps must be taken to document that the candidate for promotion understands what will be expected of them as a manager and that they have the mindset and skillset required for the role.

Types of Promotions

Staff promotions at Purdue occur in the following situations:

Job Posting

A promotion that occurs when a position is posted and a current employee in a lower career stream level applies for and is hired into the position. In this type of promotion, the employee is evaluated against other candidates (internal and/or external) who apply for the open position. When selected and hired, the employee moves from their current position to the new position. Promotions of this type occur as needed throughout the year via the standard job requisition and posting process. Please review pay practices outlined in this table. 

Career Promotion

A promotion that occurs when an employee stays in their current position, and it is elevated to a higher career level. Promotions of this type must be supported by the Promotion Criteria and generally should only move a staff member up one career level (i.e. Professional 2 to Professional 3) and remain in the same job function (i.e. Business Analyst (P2) to Business Analyst, Senior (P3)).

  • Career promotion requests are initiated by the management of a college/business unit.
  • Before initiating a career promotion request, management must verify that funding exists within their budget to support a promotional increase.
  • Career promotions are approved by the senior leader of the college/business unit.

 Career promotions can occur within current job or a promotion to a new position.

  • Promotion within Job
    • This type of promotion occurs when a staff member’s position is elevated to a higher career level in the same job. An example would be an Academic Advisor (P2) to a Senior Academic Advisor (P3).
  • Promotion to a new Career Stream (i.e. Professional (P) to Management (M)).
    • This type of promotion occurs when an employee’s current position has evolved over time and there is a business need to consider a shift in a career stream. Examples of this include:
      • Event Coordinator, Lead (S4) to an Event Planner, Associate (P1)
      • Data Analyst, Associate (P1) to an Assessment and Analysis, Manager (M2)
      • Groundskeeper, Lead (S4) to a Grounds, Supervisor (M1)

Special Notes

  1. If you are considering promoting a sponsored employee, please check with your ISS Liaison to determine potential impact to the employee prior to seeking approval.
  2. If you are considering promoting an employee to a job in the IT Job Family, ensure you have received approval from the CIO.
  3. If a promotion will increase an employee’s pay over the benefit threshold, you may want to take this into consideration when determining the promotional increase.

Approval Process for Promotion

Approval Process for Promotion within Job

Unit management considering a career promotion for a member of their staff must first verify that a higher-level job exists within the Purdue Job Catalog via the Career Path Maker or contact If the desired job does not currently exist or the position is moving to a different career stream, the Approval Process for Promotion to a New Career Stream must be followed.

The senior leader of each area has the authority to determine the specific process that will be used to submit and review Promotions Within Job. However, at a minimum, the promotion process must:

  1. Be aligned with the Job Family Structure and Career Stream Level Guide
  2. Support diversity and inclusion
  3. Include documentation supporting the promotion of an individual to a higher-level position
  4. This documentation must be retained by unit management for future reference.   
  5. Include a review by the senior Human Resources leader for the campus prior to final approval by the senior leader to bring to light any additional information that may be helpful in the decision-making process (Ex. Organizational-wide implications/impacts, equity, adverse impact, etc.)
    1. An HR Promotion Review Template should be used to submit information to the Vice President for Human Resources
    2. The review spreadsheet must be submitted to the office of the VP for Human Resources by no later than:
      1. March 31 for promotions that will take effect on July 1
      2. November 1 for promotions that will take effect on January 1
  6. Include a final step to:
    1. Submit approved promotions to the business office for entry into SuccessFactors, and
  7. Notify managers of the final decisions so they can communicate to staff members.

Approval Process for Promotion to a Different Career Stream

If a promotion is to a job that does not exist in the Career Path Maker or a job that is in a different career stream (i.e. S to P or P to M) from the one an employee currently holds, unit leadership should:

  1. Contact their Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) or HR Representative
  2. The HRBP will facilitate a meeting with compensation to discuss the position and have it reviewed
  3. Compensation will
    1. Review the updated position description
    2. Ensure the position is aligned to the proper job and career level
    3. Create the new job and assign a pay band (if needed)
    4. Provide a promotional pay increase recommendation
  4. The HRBP will work with the manager to create a documentation packet to support the promotion request, including an updated position description
  5. The manager will submit the promotion packet to the senior leader of their college/business unit
  6. If approved, the manager will
    1. Work with their business office to update the job and pay information in SuccessFactors
    2. Notify the staff member of the promotion