Qualitative Methods of Job Evaluation

1. Job Ranking Method

This is the oldest and simplest method of job evaluation. This is generally used in smaller units where the job raters know all the jobs quite well. In this method no effort is made to break a job down into its elements or factors, but the aim is to rather judge the job as a whole and determine the relative value by ranking one whole job against another whole job. In this technique ranking is done according to 'whole job' rather than a number of compensable efforts.

In it a committee constituted of several executives’ studies job descriptions. Then jobs are arranged from highest to lowest, in order of their value or merit to the organisation. Jobs also can be arranged according to the relative difficulty in performing them. So jobs are ranked in order of importance beginning with the most important to the least important jobs in the organisation. Job at the top of the list has the highest value and obviously the job at the bottom of the list will have the lowest value. This procedure is followed for jobs in each department and an attempt is then made to equate or compare jobs at various levels among the several departments. When this is completed, grade levels are defined and salary groups are formed. Jobs are placed into different salary ranges more or less on a predominated basis in their rank order.

An expert committee consisting of well-informed executives may, in relatively short time, rank several hundred jobs in various departments. In most of the instances, the ranking are not only based on job descriptions but on the raters general knowledge of the position.

According to this method, the following table is a hypothetical example of ranking of jobs having done the above ranking, additional jobs between already ranked may be assigned on appropriate place. This method might serve the purposes of a small organisation with easily defined jobs but would probably be most unsuitable for a large company with a complex organisational structure.

Ranking of office of a company
 Rank Monthly salary range
 Manager     8000 - 11000
 Assistant Manager
 6000 - 8000
 Superintendent 5000 - 7000
 Assistant 4000 - 6000
 Clerk / Typist
 3000 - 5000
 Peon 2000 - 3000

  • Simple: The system is quite simple. A company does not face any difficulty in installing this system.
  • Easy: As the workers understand the process there is no problem in administering this system.
  • Less time: Less time is taken in evaluating the jobs.
  • Suitable for smaller concern: This system is suitable for smaller organisation where the rates are fully aquainted with all the existing jobs in the enterprise.

  • No scientific approach: As there is no standard for an analysis of the whole job position, different bases of comparison may occur. Importance of the job may be arbitrarily ranked resulting in differences in similar jobs and may be resented by the employees.
  • No fair judgement: This method decides the ranks of the jobs on the basis of their importance but does not tell the reasons. So ranks judgements are subjective and the fairness of the judgement cannot be advocated.
  • Difficult for large organisation: In a complex industrial organisation, it is not possible to be familiar with all the jobs and thus general description will not enable correct assessment of the relative importance of the jobs

2. Job Classification or Grading method

This method is one step further in the first method. This is similar to ranking method because in both methods neither points nor money values are assigned to classify the jobs. No complicated procedures are followed. It was evolved as an improvement over the ranking method. Job descriptions and job specifications are widely used in it. The committee of executives goes through each job description and carefully weights it in the light of certain factors like skill, responsibilities, experience and type of work etc.

The Classification Job Evaluation System is based on pre-established general definitions of the kind of work that would be found at each level, grade or class in an organization. Each job is reviewed, evaluated and placed into a class or grade. The Classification Job Evaluation System is most commonly found in the public sector and heavily unionized industries.

Facts [+]

The Classification Job Evaluation System is based on pre-established general definitions of the kind of work that would be found at each level, grade or class in an organization. Each job is reviewed, evaluated and placed into a class or grade. The Classification Job Evaluation System is most commonly found in the public sector and heavily unionized industries.

"It is almost as difficult to keep a first class person in a fourth class job, as it is to keep a fourth class person in a first class job."

-- Paul H. Dunn

Separate classes may include office, clerical, managerial, personnel etc. In this way, it assigns each job to a particular grade or class. For each grade or class, there are different rates of wage.

Following table is a brief description of such a classification in an office:


Description of Job-Classification

I. Grade Unskilled

This generally covers the jobs of clerical nature, which requires accuracy, reliability etc. So special training is required.

II. Grade Skilled

This also covers the job with the nature of clerical work. But under this personnel require training programmes. This may include: draftsman, ledger man, laboratory assistant etc.

III.Grade Interpretative

This requires a special skill to perform the jobs. These may be of clerical or non-clerical nature. This includes: foremans, layout draftsman etc. This is also of non-supervisory nature.

IV. Grade Creative

This involves a high degree of creativity and special knowledge. This covers engineers, salesman, staff supervisor, designers etc.

V. Grade Executive

This is related to the supervisory and creative jobs category. This generally covers the managers of all different departments.

VI.Grade Administrative

This is related with a little bit policy formulation and implementation. They have to work with great sense of responsibility. This may include: division manager, district sales managers, works engineers and treasurer etc.

VII.Grade Policy

Their position is of the top in a concern. They have to formulate the policies of a company. This cover  the top management posts like directors, managers etc.



  1. Easy to understand: The installation of this system is also comparatively easy as there does not arise any difficulty in explaining the system to the employees. It is simple to operate and understand, as it does not take much time or require technical help.
  2. Accurate: Under this, it is possible to evaluate more accurately the job descriptions since the analysis is based on job descriptions.
  3. Acceptable wage-criteria: This also helps to create an effective wage rate. As grouping of jobs into classification makes pay determination problems administratively easier to handle.
  4. New jobs adjustment and their ranking: If a new job is to be introduced in a company, it is easy to associate it with a class or grade which is comparatively a less difficult task.
  5. Suitability: It is most suitable to the government departments. It is rarely applied in the industrial groups

  1. This is also a subjective method. Since personal evaluations by executives establish the major classes and decide into which grade each job shall be placed.
  2. This system is not suitable for a large scale company. The jobs are classified by total contents and by a factor that comprise them. Therefore it is difficult to compile any comprehensive class specification for a large scale organisation with a number of complex jobs.
  3. If in a concern detailed job analysis is not made, the judgement in respect of a total range of jobs may lead to incorrect results/classification.
  4. The existing wage and salary rates affect the grading of jobs. The raters justify the existing salary ranges. If the job description justifies the lowering of the grade of a particular job, it cannot be done because labour normally does not accept any adverse condition of service.
  5. Writing of a grade description is also a very difficult task. This system becomes more difficult to operate if the number of jobs increases in a concern.