Q: Why change the compensation system?
A: The University's compensation system has not been updated since 1998. The goal was to develop a market-based compensation structure that reflects both the external and internal value of University jobs.
Q: Who is impacted by the new compensation system?
A: The compensation system impacts 2,300 classified positions (current levels 1-19). It does not impact faculty, employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, or Post Doc Researchers and Limited Term Researchers.
Q: What information about the grades/pay opportunities of open jobs will be made available on the recruiting website?
A: Effective July 1, 2012, the new compensation structure will be posted on the University's website. It is recommended that recent job postings not include current leveling of positions. After July 1st, the new level of the job in the new structure will be included in postings.
Q: What does market and market pricing mean?
A: Market pricing is the process of reviewing published survey data to determine the competitive salary rate paid for similar benchmark jobs at other organizations. Market refers to an external group of employers and organizations used to determine competitive salary data.
Q: What types of markets were used?
A: The University of Delaware utilized both general industry and higher education markets to determine competitive salaries. In some instances, only higher education data was used. In other instances, only general industry was used. In many cases hybrid data (both general industry and higher education) was utilized. The Office Institutional Research, in consultation with the Sr. Leadership, defines our peer and aspirant peer group for higher education.
Q: What if the job description used to place my job into a title/grade wasn't up to date?
A: When job descriptions were up-to-date, they were used both to identify the correct market match and ensure individuals were placed into the correct title. If a current job description was not available, the job duties section of the most recent performance evaluation was used. For administrative support staff, a standard form was used to place incumbents into the accurate job title. All assignments of incumbents to jobs were validated through conversations with Senior Leadership.
Q: Should employees and managers continue to update job descriptions?
A: Yes. The University of Delaware wishes to maintain up-to-date and accurate job descriptions for all positions to ensure a shared understanding of job responsibilities. At a minimum, job descriptions should be updated every three to five years or more often if the job requirements shift significantly.
Q: Did the market analysis include benefits competitiveness?
A: The focus of this study was compensation competitiveness, rather than benefits competitiveness.
Q: Why does the structure go from 25 to 38?
A: Numbering was intentionally different from the existing structure to highlight the fact that this is a change for the institution. The choice to start at a higher number was based on the potential future need to build in grades below grade 25 or above grade 38.
Q: Are there separate compensation structures for salaried staff and professionals?
A: Going forward, there will be one structure for both exempt and non-exempt employees with the same pay opportunity for both. We will also be transitioning away from the terminology salaried staff and professionals.
Q: Will all positions that were at a certain level under the old compensation system be at the same grade in the new system?
A: Not necessarily. Positions were assigned to grades in the new system based on market data. We obtained the market data from surveys of comparable positions among our peer and aspirant peer higher education institutions. We also looked at market surveys of positions in general industry where appropriate. Because the new compensation system is based on market data, some positions that were at the same level in the old compensation system will be at different grades in the new system. Importantly, no one's pay will be reduced as a result of their position being placed in the new compensation system.
Q: Why were IT and Development selected to be part of the Select Market Structure?
A: During the market competitiveness review, it became clear that IT and Development jobs were paid at a premium for peer jobs (e.g. a Director in IT or Development is paid significantly higher in the market than, for example, a Director of HR or Marketing). To maintain the grouping of like jobs (e.g. Directors) into a group of grades, a parallel structure was created. Utilizing a parallel structure allows HR to monitor the market for these jobs and adjust it appropriately without affecting the core structure.
Q: Have any jobs been reclassified from non-exempt to exempt or vice versa as part of this process?
A: Exempt/non-exempt designations were not altered.
Q: What is FLSA classification, and how is it determined?
A: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that requires employers to pay covered non-exempt employees at least the federal minimal wage and overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. For a position to be exempt from the FLSA, the employer must demonstrate that it falls within one of the specific exemptions. Decisions on whether a position is exempt from the FLSA do not reflect a valuation of the employee. The University is in the process of finalizing an FLSA exemption worksheet which explains the process in additional detail.
Q: Is there a difference in pay opportunity if you are exempt versus non-exempt?
A: In the new system, the annual compensation for exempt and non-exempt employees in the same grade is identical. Non-exempt employees must document their time and are paid overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week.
Q: Will pay guidelines for the new system be provided on topics such as managing promotions, voluntary and involuntary demotions, job changes, new hires, and movement through the range?
A: Yes, pay guidelines are currently under review with Senior Leadership and will be provided by the end of 2012.
Q: Why did my title change?
A: The new system aligns job titling with both the market and higher education institutions of our size and type. We also wanted to provide consistency in titling across the institution. This will more clearly outline career paths and help UD recruit needed talent to advance its mission.
Q: In the new system, titles that formerly had four to five levels now have only two. Why is this the case?
A: In the old system, it was often difficult to distinguish job duties and responsibilities between multiple levels. The new system corrects this by providing clearer distinctions between the levels.
Q: If there are now only two levels when there used to be five of a particular job, how will I be able to apply for and recognize changes in an employee's job?
A: The first phase of implementation was to develop a market-based compensation structure and assign jobs to the appropriate grade. Future phases of the compensation system include updating the compensation policies and procedures, and providing mechanisms for recognizing significant changes in employee's jobs.
Q: I am now in the same title as another employee who used to be one level below. Are we going to be paid the same now?
A: The new bands are wider and the job titles encompass more employees with differing levels of experience and performance. Pay is individualized and will ultimately fall within the range that reflects an employee's experience, skill level, and performance. No pay changes other than bringing-to-minimums will result from this revision to titling.
Q: How do I move to a higher title within my area at the University of Delaware?
A: The new system allows for more employee clarity on career progression options. You will be able to understand which job changes represent a lateral or vertical move, and how to progress through jobs to achieve your ultimate career goal. Both in-grade (lateral) and between grade (vertical) promotions will be eligible for pay changes, a significant difference from the old system. The methodology will be outlined in the compensation guidelines which will be provided before the end of the calendar year. Individual development/career path discussions should occur with employees at the annual review and, as needed, at other points during the year. HR is happy to assist with these conversations as needed.
Q: Will you be issuing guidelines on titling and on creation of job descriptions once the new system is launched?
A: Yes. Titling guidelines were developed and used in creating the new titles.
Q: Will any salaries decrease as a result of this implementation?
A: The new Compensation System will not result in a reduction of pay for any employee.
Q: Will this impact my pension plan?
A: No. The new compensation structure will not change the retirement plan under which an employee is currently covered.
Q: What if I disagree with my new level or title?
A: The Office of Human Resources, Classification and Compensation Unit, has established an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to handle questions related to titling and assignment to grades. If there is a disagreement, please first discuss with your Manger/Supervisor and then submit questions to Classification and Compensation through the established email.
Q: How will the structure be maintained in future years? How often will a comprehensive market review be completed?
A: HR will review the structure annually based upon market trends, and adjust it accordingly. Comprehensive market reviews generally occur every 3-5 years, or as needed based upon changes in the marketplace