UVA Job Family Project

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UVA Job Family Project

What is the Job Family Project?

Since 2006, the market ranges at the University for staff have not been updated.  In addition, the UVa job structure behind the market ranges has not been transparent to the employee or supervisor. The structure was not published and employees and supervisors did not have a clear understanding of the job or career progression.  When employees were applying for jobs, they had no way of knowing if the position they were applying for was a demotion, promotion, or lateral move.

Based on feedback from employees and supervisors, the University undertook the “Job Family Project” to streamline and update job titles and market data for staff. The original goals of the project were:

  • to reduce duplication of titles
  • to create consistent of use of titles across Grounds
  • to update the existing market ranges for accurate compensation analysis and decision making
  • to provide career planning tools for both employees and managers; and
  • to provide clarity of the UVa job structure to employees and managers.

The project has been in the design phase for the last 18 months and is now in the implementation phase.

What do you mean by “job structure”?

The job title structure for any organization is the listing of titles used in the organization. These titles are used to define jobs and to group like positions together for compensation comparison and analysis. This structure is largely behind the scenes but essential for supervisors to evaluate and recommend appropriate actions for staff. There has always been a job title structure at the University, this is just an update and will also provide additional clarity.

Who is affected by this new job structure?

All academic (agency 207) staff will be slotted into the new UVa job structure. Please note that Classified and Administrative and Professional faculty positions are also market matched “behind the scenes” just like University Staff; however, Classified and A&P Faculty incumbents maintain their status. Classified employees remain Classified and in their role titles in the state structure.

I am a Medical Center employee. Does this affect me?

No. The Medical Center has a separate job structure and market ranges from the Academic Division. The Medical Center’s job structure is already published on its website.

What is the new job structure?

All staff positions are first grouped into 15 job families, and then further categorized into sub-families.  Each job title has an updated market range and published job summary. The titles are available on the UHR website at www.hr.virginia.edu/job.

How was the new structure created?

In 2012, UHR called for volunteers in the UVa community to work on this project.  These volunteers were HR professionals as well as subject matter experts from each job family.  Through discussion and research, the work groups determined what jobs are needed within each subfamily, what minimum qualifications and typical job duties would be expected and looked at what other universities are doing.

The final structure is based on best practices being used today and is designed to provide consistency and flexibility in determining what level position is needed. SOM HR created focus groups of employees in these roles within the School.

SOM HR was heavily involved in the project and custom designed the Laboratory, Clinical Research and Health Services families and sub-families to suit the School’s needs.

What is the difference between the UVa Job Title and the working title?

The working title is the title most employees know for their position. It is what is listed in the University director (LDAP search engine), on the ID badge, and is the most descriptive title of their actual work. Every single position could potentially have a different working title.

The UVa Job Title is the behind the scenes title that groups positions doing similar work together for accurate compensation analysis. This title is attached to a market range based on available market data for the type of work being performed.

Will my working title have to change?

The supervisor still has the ability to recommend a working title that may be different from the UVA Job Title. However, if there is a direct conflict between the working title and the selected UVA job title, the working title may need to change. In addition, a former Integrated System limitation has been removed that now allows for us to “clean up” work titles including changing from all caps, removing shortened versions of words, etc.

If my working title changed, do I have to get a new ID badge?

It would be best to have an ID badge with the correct working title. SOM HR has talked to the ID office and they are prepared to issue new badges without charge. You should bring the ID form with your supervisor or HR contact’s signature with you along with your old badge. If there are very minor changes to the title (changing from all caps to lower case, for example), you do not have to get a new badge.

What is a “market range”?

A market range is a salary range for a UVA Job Title, based on market pay survey information.  It describes the going rate paid by other employers for similar jobs.  Based on market pay survey data, each range has a lower reference, competitive range and an upper reference.

How were the market ranges determined?

  • Best practice market pricing methodology was used to develop the market pay ranges.
  • CUPA, Towers Watson, EduComp, CompData and Onet were frequently used salary survey sources, consistent with past practice.
  • The salary data is used to set an average, or mean salary for each job title. From there we can derive the lower reference, competitive range and upper reference.

What is the biggest change from the old structure to the new?

All market ranges are updated to reflect current data. The new structure is built to allow for “promotion in place.” It allows the supervisor to recognize increased authority, independence and skills even when duties haven’t necessarily changed. It also has new titles that have never existed in the past and recognition of the “hybrid” roles we have at the University.

How will each employee/position be slotted into the new market ranges?

This slotting process is occurring now through April 1. SOM HR is working with each department administrator and/or HR contact.  The slotting is based on the last job description on file.

  1. The first step that your management/HR contact will perform is to determine the correct Job Family for your position.  The new titles focus on type of work, not the specific organization that houses the job. One family might employ people across multiple organizational units, depending on the type of work they perform. For example, general administration positions are found across Grounds in multiple schools and units.
  2. After the Job Family has been determined, the position’s duties and discretion/decision-making will be reviewed and a determination will be made as to which UVA Job Title Summary is the best general description of the work being performed.
  3. Specific job Slotting recommendations are reviewed and approved by University Human Resources to ensure consistent and fair implementation of the new job structure across the University.

Will I get a pay increase associated with slotting into the new structure?

No, there is no salary increase associated with the project.  The work the University is doing to clarify job titles and update market ranges is building the framework for the future, but there is no automatic pay increase associated with slotting. An adjustment in market ranges does not trigger a pay increase. Updating market ranges is a natural part of HR work and must be refreshed periodically.

The new market information will ensure that people are being compared to other people who are doing similar work and with similar qualifications, which will reveal any inequities that a supervisor should be aware of for future planning.  Any future pay opportunities will be based on new, accurate data that supervisors and staff can be confident in.

What if an employee’s pay is significantly below the Lower Market Reference assigned to the new UVA Job Title?

  • No immediate pay changes are associated with movement to the new UVA job structure. Over time, it’s expected that employee salaries will fall within the established market range.
  • No changes have been made to University Staff Compensation Policy which guides compensation decisions.

What is the timeline for implementation?

The School of Medicine has 1500 positions being slotted into the new structure during a very busy time. All positions are slotted as of June 1, 2014. Letters will be going to employees the first week of June.

How will I know what UVA job title I have been slotted into?

The slotting process is collaborative between the supervisor, the department administration, SOM HR and UHR. We will implement the changes on each job as we go, but UHR holds final review authority over all decisions. Once all 1500 jobs have been slotted in the School of Medicine, a memo will be sent to all affected employees showing them their new UVA job title and their new market range. It will also be visible in the Integrated System Self-Service, where you enter your time, under “My Information.”

I did not get a memo, but some of my coworkers did. Why not?

The only individuals who will not get a memo are Teaching and Research faculty (who are not part of this project), Professional Research Staff (also not part of this project), IT Professionals, and employees hired directly into the correct UVA job title since January. The IT structure was developed approximately 4 years ago prior to the larger project and those titles have not changed. If you’re not in any of those categories but did not get a memo please contact your department administrator.

My memo refers to PIR – “penetration in range.” What is this?

The University has adopted a market and merit based compensation structure for staff. The PIR is how far along you are into the market range and is one of the factors used in evaluating compensation. For example, a range penetration of 50% represents a salary at the market average – the going rate for the job.  More information can be found on UHR’s website:

Why did my PIR (penetration in range) change?

There are a few reasons that you may see a change in your PIR, including:

  • Change in the range “spread” – most all  market ranges now use a 100% range spread;
  • Change in the salaries paid in the market for your job;
  • Match to a more accurate UVA Job Title and market pay range.

I meet the qualifications for a higher level than the title I was assigned. Why am I not in the other title?

Position classification involves the analysis of core job responsibilities of the position and the minimum qualifications required in order to perform those duties. Job analysis is not based on the incumbent’s qualifications, their performance, or their capabilities. The incumbent’s extraordinary qualifications or performance can be considered by the supervisor in making compensation decisions, but they do not change the classification of the position.

I do all of the work listed in the summary for a certain UVA job title. Why was I not slotted there?

Some positions are reserved for certain levels within the organization. For example, the Executive Assistant title has bullet points that almost all administrative assistants at the University perform; however, the title is designed specifically for assistants supporting a VP or Dean, as the market generally pays more for position supporting these senior level executives. In addition, the summaries are not specific to a particular position. Each position was assigned a title based on the actual job description on file.

I don’t agree with where I was slotted. Can I appeal?

If you have concerns about your slotting, conversations with your HR Administrator and manager will help you understand the basis for the decision.   The job summaries are a guide for job analysis, providing examples of typical work, education and experience associated with each title.  Many other factors are considered in the slotting process, including complexity of the role within your department, and comparison to others in the School.   The job slotting decisions are made at the administration level in consultation with HR and those decisions are final.

So, what is in this project for me?

Moving forward, this project makes it easier to:

  • Maintain up to date market pay ranges;
  • Compare your job to other jobs at the University, to see what typical work, education, and pay might be for a career move within UVA.  Take a look at http://www.hr.virginia.edu/job/empview to see how your job is described and the full market range for that job
  • Determine which job openings represent promotional opportunities;
  • Establish and post a new job;
  • Understand the relationship between similar jobs and what it will take to progress in your career.

Want to see what other people like you do at UVa?  Visit www.myuvajob.com and get to know your colleagues.