In any organization, the nature of employee jobs changes over time. The University of Colorado is not immune to such changes. As enabling technology has improved and competition for students and related funding has changed, CU’s staff position responsibilities have shifted to require more specialized types of work, often requiring increased levels of formal education and analytic and decision-making skills.
Consequently, the university last year concluded that the officer and exempt professional personnel staff group requires a competitive compensation structure to attract and retain the caliber of people who support the mission of the university. The process, which began last January, is complex. Some of the steps affect classified staff and faculty, too, as the university enhances the role technology can play in performing administrative functions.
The first two major tasks for completion are:
- Establishing exempt professional staff career families and crafting job titles for more precise compensation mapping to comparable jobs in salary surveys and the external market. Beginning today, all positions exempt from the State of Colorado Personnel System will be assigned a new job code and title and be placed within a career family. Examples of career families are Academic Services, Finance and Accounting, Health Care, and Student Services. Examples of job titles are director, associate director, assistant director, program director, professional and principal professional. According to E. Jill Pollock, vice president for employee and information systems, the principal professional is a new title, established to reflect a career path series that does not have to lead to manager status. Pollock indicated that employees in technical fields who wish to remain hands-on will be able to advance in their careers by increasing their value and contribution without taking on supervisory responsibilities, unless desired.
The human resources offices on each campus worked with departments to develop career families and job titles. What effect will this change have on individuals? Hardly any. Employees will continue to use their working titles, which may be useful in working with customers or constituent groups. No salaries will be affected as a consequence of the new career family grouping. Individual exempt professional staff may locate her or his new job title after today by logging into the portal, selecting Employee Information, and then selecting Pay Advice. The working title does not appear in the portal but usually can be found in the online campus directories.
- Upgrading Jobs at CU, the online job posting and recruitment system. Beginning in February 2013, the university will implement a new version of the software service to improve the recruitment module for faculty and staff. The upgrade also will add capability to house all position descriptions, which are being updated and loaded into the system by the HR offices in conjunction with campus departments. Additional information and training will be provided by campus HR departments as process improvements for both reviews of positions and recruitment/selection are implemented.
Next spring, other service modules will be introduced to:
- accelerate the actual hiring process and shift the now-paper performance management requirement to online with electronic signatures;
- extract information from the electronic position description to develop the initial job posting; and
- export the selected candidate’s demographics to the Oracle/PeopleSoft Human Resources Management System, reducing data entry.
System and campus HR administrators, with the assistance of an advisory group of 20 exempt professional staff selected by the president and chancellors, have begun work on the next aspects of the project for exempt professional staff. Areas include a draft compensation and total rewards approach, performance management, and career and professional development. Additional communications will follow as these elements are finalized.