The Nine Point-Factor Job Evaluation
The Nine Point-Factor Job Evaluation

In the never-ending search for better and easier forms of job pricing, the path seems to lead always to point-factor analysis as the most effective and reliable method. By assigning numerical scores to the fundamental elements of each job, a good point-factor system yields a neatly tiered arrangement of jobs, with each tier representing a group of jobs -- typically, vastly different in content that pay roughly the same rate. Point-factor job-pricing makes it possible for anyone to demonstrate objectively just what criteria were applied to the job and compensation analysis and how the point scores were calculated, lending considerable credibility to the final result. Moreover, the fact that all jobs are subjected to the same analysis ensures a high degree of internal equity and fosters a perception among employees that the system is fair.

Of the many systems of point-factor analysis that have come into fashion over the years, the most durable has been that used by the federal government to classify its civilian workforce. The federal government uses a simple system employing nine generic factors to describe the full spectrum of job demands and levels of responsibility. The government's system measures the requirements of each job against what is known as the "Primary Standard." This consists of a set of narrative descriptions of job demands for each of the nine factors. The descriptions range from relatively undemanding to extremely demanding, with a point score prescribed at each level, as in the following:

Factor 1: Knowledge 50-1 850 points
Factor 2: Supervisory Controls 25-650 points
Factor 3: Guidelines 25-650 points
Factor 4: Complexity 25-450 points
Factor 5: Scope and Effect 25-450 points
Factor 6: Personal Contacts 25-110 points
Factor 7: Purpose of Contacts 20-220 points
Factor 8: Physical Demands 5-50 points
Factor 9: Work Environment 5-50 points

More demanding jobs with higher levels of responsibility yield higher point scores and occupy higher pay grades. Once the aggregate score is calculated, the corresponding pay grade is determined. BLR has grafted the government's point-factor system onto this service by adapting the table to our system of pay.

For further information and helpful worksheets for major job categories, please see:

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