Purposes of Classification

Purposes of Classification

The position classification plan provides a framework for the organization's human resource management objectives and activities, as well as assures that employment practices comply with federal and state laws. The classification plan, with associated class specifications, facilitates other human resource functions such as recruitment and selection, pay structuring, training and development, performance evaluation, and workforce/employment planning.

Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment and selection involves attracting, interviewing, and selecting job applicants with the necessary skills to offset labor shortages. Position classification assists in the recruitment and selection process since job context (purpose, scope of responsibility, and degree of accountability); job content (identification and description of responsibilities); and job requirements (minimum skills, abilities, and experience necessary to perform a job) are identified by the class and class specifications.

Pay Structure

Position classification serves as the basis for the organization's pay structure. Classes are assigned to pay grades based on an assessment of the value of the work of one class relative to other classes. The assignment of a class to a pay grade based on its relative value to the organization builds equity across the organization and assures that there is a logical relationship between rates of pay and services provided.

Training and Development

Training and development programs are most effective when designed for and delivered to groups of employees selected on the basis of needs assessment. Position classification supports the training and development function by providing the means to identify employees by discrete groupings. Programs intended to improve or update job skills, to provide information, or to retrain employees can be tailored for a particular target group.

Performance Evaluation

Performance evaluation involves assessing how well an employee performs the duties and responsibilities assigned to the position the employee fills. Each position in the organization is identified by class and by typical statements concerning the duties and responsibilities listed in the specification for that class. The use of objective, job-related criteria in the evaluation process, e.g. assigned duties and responsibilities, reduces or eliminates subjective opinion.

Employment/Workforce Planning

Employment/workforce planning requires an organization to identify both the number and types of employees needed to perform work necessary for the future growth of the organization. The classification system facilitates this type of long-range planning because current classified positions and employees can be easily matched to projected needs.

Issued by the Office of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Bloomsburg University June 1994; Revised February 2002