The following is an article from the May 2010 HR eNews, from UIC’s Human resources.
Developing Job Descriptions for Academic Professionals at UIC
Anniese Lemond, Director, Compensation
Campus Human Resources has begun creating job descriptions for Academic Professional positions at UIC. This communication is to keep you informed of this important activity.
Through the process of job analysis, we are systematically studying the work performed by Academic Professional employees to identify the duties and responsibilities, as well as the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform a particular task or group of tasks. This information provides the necessary data for creating job descriptions as well as sets the foundation for establishing compensation programs, career development, promotional and training opportunities for Academic
Many AP’s have already taken part in the job analysis activities and therefore may have a good understanding of the process. For those who have not yet participated, here are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the purpose, process and expected outcomes.
1. Why is UIC conducting job analysis for Academic Professional (AP) jobs?
Initially, the need to conduct the analysis at UIC resulted from the most recent findings contained in the audit report from the State Universities Civil Service System. Some jobs were deemed inappropriately classified as Academic Professional because there are substantially similar classifications within the Civil Service Class Plan. However, the reasons for conducting such an extensive job analysis go well beyond audit compliance.
In the short term, we will be able to support many of the current AP classifications with well defined and documented jobs. In the longer term, the information gained from these analyses creates the foundation for establishing compensation programs, career development, promotional and training opportunities for Academic Professional job holders.
2. Why is it important to review and analyze my Academic Professional job?
There are more than 3,000 Academic Professional job holders on Campus. While jobs may be similar, each job holder has a perspective that is valued. Input from as many job holders as possible is critical in helping to ensure that the resulting job, compensation, training and development models that are created represent the true environment and nature of work at UIC.
3. What is the process for going about this job analysis?
Overall there are three process components:
a. Data collection (i.e. the gathering of job information, duties, skills, educational levels, etc., from the job holders and Managers).
b. Job design/redesign and/or restructure (e.g. the review and assessment of job content, consolidation of substantially like jobs, enlargement or enrichment of job duties, determination of classification, job level, etc.)
c. Documentation of job content (i.e. the creation of job descriptions and an online job library).
For the Academic Professional, participation is two‐pronged consisting of a short pre‐interview questionnaire (designed to gain summary job duty information and employee demographic data) followed by an in‐person interview when necessary (designed to drill down into specific job duties) with the job holder and supervisor.
4. How will important aspects of this process be communicated?
We are planning regular communications via several mediums (e.g. Official email announcements, town hall meetings, brown bag lunches etc.) to keep employees informed of this important activity.
However, if at any time you have questions, please contact Anniese Lemond at email@example.com.
5. Which jobs will be reviewed as part of the job analysis process?
The focus will be on jobs with titles of Executive Director, Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director, Coordinator, Assistant To and Specialist. If an employee in one of the above titles has a faculty appointment (in addition to the Academic Professional one) that employee will not participate in this job analysis process.
6. Should we begin creating new job descriptions in anticipation of the job analysis interview?
No. One of the outputs from the face‐to‐face interview with the job holder is a written job summary that will be used as the basis for the job description for that job. In collaboration with Managers, Job Analysts in HR will create the final job descriptions.
7. Is the job summary document provided at the end of the face‐to‐face interview in fact a final job description?
The interview responses help to create the interview summary, which again will be one tool considered when the final job description is drafted. A draft of the job description will be written by a member of the UICHR Compensation Department, using such tools as the job analysis interview summary, the pre‐interview questionnaire, and comments from employees in the similar position. Once drafted the manager of that position will have an opportunity to review the job description before it is finalized.
8. Will Academic Professional positions be converted to Civil Service after the job analysis is complete?
Some changes in classification may occur as a result of the job analysis studies. During UIC’s most recent audit by the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS), the auditor indicated that some jobs should be classified as Civil Service rather than AP after conducting a cursory review of the only job documentation (i.e. Principal Administrative Position Exemption – PAPE ‐ forms) available.
A key goal of the job analysis process is to ensure that jobs are well defined and documented to support current classification as AP.
9. What happens if the job analysis results show that my job matches one that is part of the Civil Service Class Plan?
If the results of a job analysis show that the job is preliminarily determined to be misclassified as Academic Professional, analysts trained in the discipline of job analysis, design and evaluation within UICHR will work in consultation with the UIC Managers to review those jobs, the structure of the unit and assist in making necessary modifications to ensure that the business needs of the unit are met and that jobs are well designed and documented appropriately. Academic Professional employees will not be transitioned to Civil Service classifications without the review and consultation portions of the process being completed.
10. Is this interview related to Positive Time Reporting, the Furlough policy or hiring freeze (potential layoffs)?
No, these are all separate processes with different requirements.
The job analysis and job description development processes will be major undertakings with an imperative for completion as soon as practicable. As such, we look to all Academic Professionals and their supervisors for their full cooperation, support, and patience. If there are questions about the job analysis and job description process contact Anniese Lemond, Director of Compensation, firstname.lastname@example.org.