Classification Structure FAQs

Classification Structure - July 26 Afternoon Session (edited) from GMS Training Team on Vimeo.

Why is Georgetown University implementing the new classification program?

Because the University’s current classification structure has not been updated in over a decade, the structure is severely out dated, and no longer accurately reflects the competitive labor markets where Georgetown University competes for talent.   The University has therefore undertaken the important task of modernizing its classification structure in order. The new structure reflects the University’s commitment to transparency, consistency, and competitiveness by properly aligning the University’s staff and AAP positions with the prevailing labor market, ensuring equitable pay, and supporting the integrity of the University’s compensation policies.

What is the new classification program?

The new classification program is a structure in which all administrative staff and AAP positions have been consistently classified into a consolidated catalog of job profiles which are tied to 13 market-based salary grades. A new set of compensation policies has also been established to govern this new program.

What is the Job Profile Catalog?  

A job profile is a category for organizing positons that perform similar work with comparable responsibilities and complexity.  Each job profile is assigned to a single salary grade.

The Job Profile Catalog is a detailed summary of each administrative job profile and the salary grade to which it is assigned.  In many instances job profiles are part of a progressive series in a job family, which clearly outlines the skills and experience needed to advance to a higher level job.  The Job Catalog is a useful tool for employees to gain job information necessary to strategically navigate career paths at Georgetown University.

Click here for the Job Profile Catalog.

How are positions assigned to job profiles?

Position descriptions are used to align positions to the appropriate job profiles. Job profiles are categories that are intended to represent similar, not identical, duties, responsibilities, skills and experience required of positions within that profile.

How is consistent classification determinations ensured?

The classification of positions for the initial implementation was accomplished through an extensive collaboration between the Department of Human Resources, department leaders, and executive leadership across all campuses.  This collaboration served to ensure a common understanding of the nature of the work performed across the University and appropriate organization of the positions within the new classification structure.

Once implemented, only the compensation team will classify positions, consulting with departments to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the work and consistent classification across campuses.

How are job profiles assigned to salary grades?

The Department of Human Resources participates in multiple annual salary surveys to stay current with labor trends and the external salary data. This data is used to benchmark job profiles and assign them to the appropriate salary grade.

What is a salary grade?

The salary grade is a range that identifies appropriate market pay parameters for the positions assigned to it. Each of the 13 grades has a minimum salary, a maximum hiring salary and a maximum salary. All salaries within a salary grade are appropriate for the positions assigned to that grade.

Click here for the salary grades

What is the market for Georgetown University?

The market is the labor pool in which Georgetown University competes to attract hire and retain the employees necessary to fulfill its mission and accomplish its goals. The nature and scope of the work performed by University employees necessitates that the classification program address a cross-sections of markets including higher education, industry and geographic labor data.

Do other colleges and universities use this type of classification program?

Over 65% of colleges and universities utilize a market based approach to classification and salary administration.  The popularity of this approach lies in its flexibility to recognize differing market rates of pay based on performance, skill level, internal equity, and relevant market conditions with a reasonable level administrative oversight.

Will the classification structure be reviewed on a regular basis?

The University is committed to reviewing the classification structure on a regular basis to ensure appropriate alignment with external markets and institutional needs.

What are the new compensation policies?

The new compensation policies are guidelines that govern the new classification program to ensure its integrity.  These policies define the key features of the program as well as how compensation changes will be managed within it (e.g., promotion, reclassification, transfer, bonuses, merit, etc.)

These guidelines are all found in the HR Policy Manual

Who is impacted by this new classification program?

The structure and policies of the new classification program will apply to all administrative staff and AAP positions except those covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

What are the benefits of the new classification program?
  • Comprehensive tools such as a job profile catalog will enable consistent classification of administrative positions, support performance management, and allow employees to strategically manage their careers.
  • Consistent classification structure and policies that creates a framework for the equitable application of clearly defined compensation policies.
  • The new classification structure is designed to be responsive to changes in the labor market, economic conditions, and regulatory statutes.
  • Ability to monitor structure on an annual or bi-annual basis to maintain updated, market based program.
When will this new classification program take effect?

The effective date is August 7, 2017.

Will my position change as a result of this new program?

No.  There will be no change to duties, title or reporting relationships as a result of this classification program. 

Will my salary change as a result of this new classification program?

No.  The classification program is simply a new structure designed to ensure consistency and fairness with appropriate placement of all administrative positions into the new position classification structure.

Will my new salary grade mean that I have been promoted/demoted?

No.  There was no direct grade mapping from the old classification structure to the new structure. In fact, direct mapping was not possible as there are fewer grades in the new structure.  Instead, all positions were evaluated and placed into the new structure based on the nature of the position.

at if I disagree with my classification?

Employees who believe their positions are incorrectly classified should contact their managers and Client Services Partner. The Client Services Partner and the compensation team will work with the supervisor/manager to determine if there exists sufficient basis to re-assess the position’s classification. Re-assessed positions will only be reclassified when there exists sufficient justification to do so.

How does employee performance impact this new classification program?

Employee performance does not impact a position’s classification, however performance management is an aspect of Georgetown University’s compensation administration and, as such, employee performance will be reviewed on an annual basis.   The link between employee performance, goal achievement and salary increases will be determined at the departmental level and within the University’s annual merit guidelines.

The ranges are wide, how is pay managed in such a wide range?

The grade ranges are wide to provide the necessary level of flexibility for department managers to compensate employees appropriately based upon departmental needs, demonstrated competencies and skills, sustained performance, and experience in the role.  It is also important to note that all salaries paid within a grade range are appropriate for the work performed.  

WHAT IF MY SALARY IS OVER THE GRADE MAXIMUM?

Employees who are within 4% of the maximum of their salary grade, or who are above the maximum of their salary grade on August 7, 2017 will remain eligible for annual merit increases for as long as they remain in their position. Any employee falling into this category will receive notice of merit eligibility prior the start of the merit review period.

Compensation policies in their entirety can be found here. 

Will salaries be identical across all campuses?

No.  Although it is intended that similar positions be classified consistently across campuses, it is not intended that administrative employees earn exactly the same rate of pay for the same or similar positions as a result of the implementation of this program. All salaries within a salary grade are appropriate for the positions assigned to that grade. Accordingly, individual employee salaries within job profiles and salary grades will vary. Key considerations for salary determination include, but are not limited to, relevant skills and experience, internal peer data, employee performance, and budget availability.

How does this new structure benefit me and my department?

Clearly defined job profiles and consistent compensation grades will more clearly identify employee development paths (inter and intra-departmentally) and support career growth so that employees, along with their supervisor(s), can strategically manage their careers and maximize their potential at Georgetown.

Will my AAP, SLP or SLE status changed as a result of this program?

No.  These classifications will remain the same.  All newly created and revised positions will continue to be reviewed.