faq - frequently asked questions

Here you will find a selection of our most frequently asked questions about gradar.

Yes, absolutely. As we developed our job grading methodology, it was very important to us to create a system that is bias- and discrimination free. While grading a job, only the requirements of a position are taken into account, never the job holder. The gender of the incumbent is irrelevant- provided that the requirement criteria to assess the job are neutral as well. We carefully paid attention to base the assessment of the job’s requirements on general factors that are not one-sided or discriminatory. Therefore, we chose to exclude requirements from our methodology that can be interpreted as “masculine”, like physical strength for example. (This aspect of a job is normally taken into account in compensation by extra hardship allowances for example.) Only then, we can assure that the gender of the job holder is indeed irrelevant in our system.

We also ensured in our career path model that not only management or budget responsibility provide high grading resulits, but IC jobs with comparable requirements can reach equally high grades as well.

Nevertheless, the fact that there is a gender pay gap cannot be denied. By combining analytical job grading with a compensation and demography analysis, we can evaluate and show you if the remuneration for a position, job family or for a complete organization is possibly discriminatory in your company, or at which points it is probably necessary to act and change. By including benchmarks or remuneration studies, this analysis can even be extended to the whole branch, up to a cross-sectoral review. Please talk to us if you’d like to know more.

Typically, working conditions are not necessary for evaluating the requirements of a position. When looking at labour agreements from across the globe and recent research findings, adverse working conditions, such as extreme temperatures (cold or heat) and humidity (arid climate or steam) are not relevant for the job grading process- but often lead to the justification of allowances / surcharges. An easy example for this would be the role of “warehouse workers” in an organisation. Some of them might work in a warehouse where the air condition is ensuring 21°C temperature all the time. Some might be working at a frozen storage facility where the employer is providing warm clothes and hot beverages. For the latter group the working conditions are definitely not as comfortable as for the others, and therefore they would be entitled to a “below 0°C”-allowance.

These allowances are typically specific to the industry (sometimes regulated within labour agreements) or organisation and may be based on special requirements to access a workplace (oil rig, nuclear power plant, etc.), climate, dirt, danger and so on. If the working conditions require a special qualification, this knowledge is of course to be considered in the evaluation of the factor “professional knowledge”.

The factor physical strength or effort can be found in early job evaluation systems, for example in those that follow the “Geneva scheme” from 1950. Back then, this factor may well have had its place, but incorporating this factor into a new system today would inevitably lead to a conflict with the principle of non-discrimination. Besides, the pure strength required is no longer a reliable indicator of the value of a position when we take into consideration the grade of automation and availability of tools. We have seen cases where extreme requirements in strength were still awarded with an allowance, although there is a strong tendency all over Europe and North America to remove this factor from labour agreements and company practice.

In addition to the reasoning mentioned before, we have not included this factor in gradar because work in the 21st century should be: "smarter, not harder."

We discussed this in detail and chose to not show the points for each factor level in the system. Practice has shown that by making the points visible, the job grading process often turns into a process of “point hunting” instead of concentrating on job grading itself. We do not want to be secretive but strongly believe that by establishing clear and functional qualitative categories as well as a sound documentary of the results, a high amount of transparency and quality is guaranteed. In our experience, this is even more important in the communication process: Compared to showing a number of points or rather cryptic number and letter strings, showing the results in understandable language provides a higher acceptance between all parties involved.

Revenue / sales are certainly key measurements for any company that is doing business. Some vendors of grading systems use the “setting the ceiling” approach to cap the amount of available grades by taking company size, number of employees and turnover into account. We decided against this. Our approach to determine the value of a job is to measure the factual job requirements and not the influence of external factors like company size or country of origin.

The sales volume a job holder very much depends on external factors such as market conditions, competitors, margins, quantities, prices, etc. We need to ensure the comparability of gradar’s job grading results across organisations, markets and cultures. We do not believe in discriminating jobs only because they are not based in the U.S. for example or in a European country where the per capita income (and sales opportunities) is higher than elsewhere. At the end of the day we use different pay bands for different countries or organisations.

There are a few more reasons, let’s assume the sales amount changes significantly from year to year due to changes in demand, inflation etc. In this case the grade of a job would have to change depending on the annual results, although the job requirements have not changed at all. Often it might even be the case that declining sales or changing market conditions lead to higher problem solving or communication efforts.

In addition: A definite sales amount can rarely be found in (global) job descriptions and is usually part of (local) target agreements. That’s why sales people usually have different performance based, variable pay programs than regular support personnel, engineers and the like.

In our grading methodology cost and revenue responsibility are basically considered as part of the business impact of a job. The business impact is a derived value determined by the circumstances of external markets, the position in the organizational structure and internal recognition. A job with high influence usually comes with high demands on knowledge and experience, problem-solving capabilities, communication skills, freedom of action as well as functional responsibility. The management and budget responsibility increases with managers' and project managers' organisational or project responsibility respectively . Therefore, the resulting grade is also a direct representation of the business impact of the assessed job.

gradar is an analytical job grading system that evaluates a job with a number of general factors based on its requirements, regardless of its job family. If you take the specific requirements of a job family into account, it is not possible to evaluate a job from another discipline in a consistent manner. A grade is a level that is supposed to be universal and independent of its career path- and family, this idea would be lost as well. Each job family would need to have its own evaluation logic and therefore one could only compare jobs within the same job family.

gradar is bulit to give results that are valid even across organisations, where results can not only be used internally but also for comparisons within and across industries. Therefore, it is a necessity that the factors are general and not only valid in a certain job family.

External employees should normally not be taken into account when evaluating the span of control of a management job. But in organizational units where there are many external employees who are just as involved as internal employees, it makes sense to adapt to this special situation and consider the external employees in the span of control. This exception should then be mentioned in the documentation of the job grading process.

When evaluating team size normally the number of employees (head count) is most relevant. The number of FTE (full time equivalent) employees is a typical corporate key indicator, but the real number of employees can be determining when evaluating leadership performance: it may be a lot more complex to manage five part-time employees than two full time workers.

When grading a job, only the requirements of the job are evaluated; never the incumbent. Same applies to possible mistakes; when analyzing the requirements of the job, it is assumed that the incumbent performs at 100%. We believe it is not necessary to imagine possible mistakes to have a realistic assessment of the position.

Again, only the requirements of a job are relevant in the job grading process, never the job holder as a person. When analysing the requirements of a job, it is assumed that the incumbent carries out his job at a standard performance of 100%. The individual performance of the incumbent is rather a subject of performance appraisal.

As said before, only the requirements of a job are taken into account, never the incumbent. Even if the incumbent’s potential may be a lot higher than the requirements of the job, it doesn’t change the significance of the job itself. For example, a delivery driver will never receive a higher grade only because the job holder holds a PhD degree. However, if similar misalignments become obvious in the grading process, this is a valuable pointer to hidden potentials in the organization and can be used in talent management.

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