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Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines


Guideline UL-HRG21 Staff Job Evaluation Reviews


  • Purpose
  • General Statement
  • Documenting Job Responsibilities
  • Requesting a Review
  • Review Process
  • Impact on Incumbent
  • Notification Process
  • Cross References


Job evaluation is the process of reviewing the duties and responsibilities of a position to assess its value to the organization. The focus is on the position, not the employee occupying the position. Through this process the appropriate salary band is assigned. The purpose of this guideline is to state the University Libraries' procedures for the evaluation and classification of staff positions.


The University Libraries recognize that the job duties and scope of responsibility of positions can change over the course of time.  These changes may be due to reorganizations, new initiatives, turnover, mergers/partnerships, downsizing, technology or changing goals and strategies.  It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that employees are performing responsibilities that are within the scope of their job and to submit the position for review once a determination has been made to make permanent and significant changes to the responsibilities of the position. 

The job review process focuses on how the position functions to meet the needs and goals of the organization. Comparisons are made to other positions within the organization with similar job duties and scope of responsibility. The review includes the following elements:

  • Nature of the job duties
  • Competencies required to successfully perform the duties
  • Complexity
  • Level of responsibility
  • Independent action and decision making
  • Scope of job responsibility
  • Other relevant factors, based on the job

This process is not to be used to reward employee performance, quality or effort.  The volume/quantity of work performed is not typically considered. Length of service and the employee’s time in the position are not relevant factors, nor is the employee’s education or experience.

The Libraries Human Resources Office is responsible for coordinating all job review activities, coordinating with the University’s Office of Human Resources, Recruitment and Compensation Division as necessary, and maintaining records of all job review requests that are received from Libraries' departments.

The University Libraries is responsible for financially supporting any reviews for which a salary adjustment is warranted. That is, funds are not added to the Libraries’ budget by the University for this purpose so we must reallocate funding from internal sources to meet this need.


It is management’s responsibility to determine what work is to be done, which methods are to be used, performance standards, and to whom the work is assigned. The supervisor and appropriate administrative heads make the final decision as to the duties performed by each employee in order to meet the work needs and goals of the unit. Job duties are documented using the Job Responsibilities Worksheet (JRW).

Typically the Job Responsibilities Worksheet is written by the employee, with the supervisor’s participation and approval. The result is consensus on the duties of the position. In the event there is disagreement on the duties, it is strongly encouraged that the supervisor and employee continue their dialog to reach a clear mutual understanding. However, if the disagreement cannot be resolved, the final description will reflect the supervisor’s description of the job.

Supervisors should review each employee’s JRW with the employee annually. It is recommended that this be done in conjunction with the Staff Review and Development Plan (SRDP) process.  If it is determined that the position has changed significantly, the JRW should be updated and submitted to LHR.

From time to time, LHR may request that jobs be reviewed and JRWs updated.

In some cases, job duties may be revised or changed on a temporary basis due to short-term needs. Temporary changes to a job do not warrant a revised JRW, and do not require a job evaluation.


Either the supervisor or the employee may request that a position undergo a job evaluation review.  Additionally, LHR may initiate a review as necessary.

Employee Initiated:

An employee may have his/her job reviewed when there has been a substantial change in duties and it is expected the changes will be permanent.  Employees must discuss their request to have their position reviewed with their immediate supervisor, prior to submitting the request to LHR.

Supervisor Initiated:

The supervisor may recognize that a job has evolved and changed over a period of time, so that the existing JRW is no longer accurate. The supervisor should involve the employee to update the JRW. If the job duties have changed significantly a job evaluation should be requested.

If a supervisor anticipates making permanent and substantial changes to a position he/she should request a review of the position prior to assigning the duties. The supervisor must discuss the anticipated assignment of new duties with the appropriate administrative head and the Human Resources Manager to determine if an upgrade of the position is likely and whether funding is available.  There may be instances where budgetary constraints warrant not changing the position, so it is important that this process be completed prior to assigning the new duties. The Dean, or Associate/Assistant Dean, has the final approval as to whether the duties are assigned and the position is subsequently reviewed. Note: If the job duties are anticipated to change by 50% or more, this is typically regarded as creation of a new job, which may require posting and a competitive process to select from among qualified applicants.

Human Resources Initiated:

LHR may initiate a job evaluation as it deems appropriate. In addition, LHR will establish a protocol to ensure that every staff job is evaluated periodically, even if the job duties are not known to have changed significantly.

Request Format:

A job evaluation request must be made in writing to the Libraries Human Resources Manager using the Request for Job Review form. A new Job Responsibilities Worksheet, the current Job Responsibilities Worksheet, and a brief summary of how the job has changed must be attached. The requestor may suggest a Job Family/Profile/Level that they believe is appropriate, if they wish.


Typically the Libraries Human Resources Manager will meet with the employee and supervisor to gain a fuller understanding of the job. Additional information and/or documents may be requested as necessary. Using the tools provided by the University’s Office of Human Resources, Recruitment and Compensation Division, the Libraries HR Manager will review the appropriate Job Family, Job Profile, and Level of the job. At times it may be beneficial to seek the advice and counsel of Recruitment and Compensation. For instance, when a job is not unique to the Libraries and comparable positions exist in other units of the University, a broader perspective will be important.

The Libraries Human Resources Manager will review his/her preliminary determination with the Dean or appropriate Associate/Assistant Dean, and the Director of Administrative and Financial Services.

Based on OHR guidelines, the Human Resources Manager’s determination may require additional approval by Recruitment and Compensation. The HR Manager will collect the required documentation and submit it as necessary according to the process defined by OHR.


A job evaluation review may result in an upgrade, a downgrade, reclassification that results in the same salary band, or no change to a position. In the event of an upgrade or downgrade, the guidelines established by the University’s Office of Human Resources, Recruitment and Compensation Division will be followed. In addition, internal equity and budgetary considerations may influence the final determination of salary.

Where a job evaluation results in a change to the employee’s salary, the effective date of the change will be the first day of the next calendar month following the review determination.

In some cases a job review may be requested for one employee that affects one or more other employees who perform the same job. It is not necessary for each employee/supervisor to request a review. Once the review is completed, the determination may be applied to all employees who perform the same job.


Prior to notifying the incumbent in writing of the review determination, the Libraries Human Resources Manager will discuss the preliminary decision with the Dean or appropriate Associate/Assistant Dean, Department Head, supervisor, and the Director of Administrative and Financial Services to seek their concurrence and identify availability of funds (including source of funding), if applicable.

If it has been determined that a salary adjustment is warranted and the appropriate administrators concur with the decision and funding is available, the following notification steps will occur:

  1. The employee’s supervisor will be notified by email of the final determination and the effective date, and will be given permission to share this information with the employee.  The appropriate administrators will be copied on the email.
  2. The employee will be sent a letter confirming the final determination, effective date, and new salary amount.

If no salary adjustment is warranted, the employee will be informed by email, with a copy to the supervisor.


Form:  Job Responsibilities Worksheet

Form:  Request for Job Review

Effective Date: June 2011
Date Approved: May 23, 2011 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 2011 -- New guideline

Last Review Date:  May 2011