Job Classification

Position Analysis | Position Descriptions | Classified Positions | Unclassified Positions | Position Changes

Position Analysis

The first step in creating a job at PSU is the position analysis. Position analysis is the systematic study of positions to determine what activities and responsibilities a position includes, its relative importance in comparison with other positions, the personal qualifications necessary for performance of the position and the conditions under which the work is performed. An important concept in position analysis is that an evaluation is conducted of the position, not the person doing the position (even though some position analysis data may be collected from incumbents).

In relation to employee pay practices, job analysis has two critical uses. First, it establishes similarities and differences in relation to the content of jobs. Second, it helps establish the internal equity and relative worth of like positions. In other words, if positions have equal content, then the pay established for them should be similar. If, on the other hand, position content is perceptibly different, then those differences, along with market data (both internal and external) and departmental budgets, will become part of the rationale for paying certain positions differently. Finally, a position analysis serves as a starting point for writing the employee position description.

The Unclassified Position Analysis Form was designed for use with our Academic Professional job group. This may be a useful format to consider whenever a new job needs to be created. You should contact the HR Compensation & Classification Team for guidance on position analysis. Both the unclassified and classified process can be found in PeopleAdmin.

Position Descriptions

The work completed in job analysis, is then used to create the position description. Position descriptions are constructed differently depending on the PSU position type.

The position description (or job description) establishes the foundation for the relationship with the university. It is used to post positions for recruitment, for job candidates to determine whether to apply for our positions, by selection committees in the selection process and to complete the evaluation of employee performance. As such, it is important that every employee receive a position description that accurately describes the essential duties and responsibilities as well as describes the skills, knowledge and abilities required to carry out the duties. Skills, knowledge and abilities that are not required, but are preferred, should also be listed and identified as preferred criteria. Job requirements, which are used as the selection criteria, should be examined closely to be certain that each skill, knowledge or ability listed is truly required and not simply the result of traditional practices.

It is important that supervisors and managers work with employees to review the job description periodically to ensure that it remains up to date and accurately reflects the job being performed. One approach is to do this as part of the annual performance evaluation.

General Elements of a Position Description

  • Name or title of the position
  • Name of the department and include the position title of the person to whom one reports for administrative or supervisory positions
  • Specific duties for which an individual will be responsible
  • Required and preferred skills, knowledge and abilities (directly relating to duties)
  • Credentials required (or preferred) to perform the job duties

Classified Positions

For our Classified staff, a completed job description form is compared to the USSE Classification Specifications. These Classification Specifications are the generic descriptors of work that are the basis for Classified jobs pay scales and serve as a very basic start for job duties. These are used in order to compare information gathered through job analysis to match up the job being reviewed to an existing classification.

Unclassified Positions

For our Unclassified staff, the job description is completed as outlined above. Position placement is determined by the duties and job responsibilities assigned to the position. According to various Collective Bargaining Agreements and/or internal University practices positions are then slotted into job titles or job families.

For Unclassified Academic Professionals there are five distinct job families and included representative duties and examples of titles that are resources for employees and their supervisors. These are outlined in the AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement:

For Unclassified Adjunct Faculty there are the following distinct appointments. Refer to PSUFA Collective Bargaining Agreement for details:

For Unclassified and Unrepresented staff the job description is titled and established in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources Compensation Manager. Un/Un Employees include:

Changes in Representation Status, Position Placement or Classification / Reclassification

Positions may change over time due to increased job responsibilities, departmental restructuring, and / or organizational change. The following are contractual obligations and recommendations for working through these changes.

Classified Employees - Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Articles 52 and 53 of the SEIU Collective Bargaining Agreement cover the process for how employees can change position classification or if the University changes the classification of a position. Supervisor advisement is the first step if there are changes to the position job duties that seem to fit better in a different classification. Supervisors can recommend a classification change* though PeopleAdmin. If there is no manager response, the process for changing classification in the aforementioned articles should be followed.

Unclassified & Unrepresented or Excluded Employees

Supervisors should be involved in changes to positions. Position descriptions or other documentation should be updated to reflect new responsibilities. Significant changes to positions may require a letter of offer and / or additional paperwork. Please contact HR for additional information and assistance.

If conditions are met for exclusion under statute and the position should no longer be a represented, the supervisor should discuss this with the Compensation & Classification Team. A memo and updated position description should be sent to the Comp / Class Manager stating the reasons for the exclusion. The Comp / Class Manager will send a memo back to the department confirming the exclusion.

American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

Article 17, Section 4 of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines requests for review of a position's placement in a Job Family (Section 3) or level for Academic Professionals. A supervisor may directly request a position placement review through HR but there are specific steps that an employee must follow in order to submit the same request.

Fixed-term instructional and research faculty position change guidelines are set by the contract and school for which you are working and further information on these positions can be found in Article 18.

*Please Contact the Compensation & Classification Team before starting any of these actions.