Job Evaluation Techniques

Smith Upholstery has been in business since 1970. The company started out hand upholstering the seats for luxury automakers. It built a reputation of excellence. In recent years, however, many luxury automobile companies established in-house upholstering shops, leading to a reduction in business. The company’s founder, Robert Smith, anticipated these changes and actively sought contracts to upholster seats for the high-volume economy car market, using automated technology. Robert staffed the manufacturing line to oversee the operation of automated systems and troubleshoot problems that threatened to slow down the line.

Robert recognized that he needed help crafting job descriptions and job evaluation plans to help set pay rates. He hired Marco Colella following the completion of a master’s degree in human resources. Robert met Marco shortly after he began his first day of work. He reviewed priorities with Marco and Robert asked him to lead the job description and job evaluation projects. They agreed to meet at the end of the week to discuss a plan for getting this work done.

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Marco met with managers to understand current staffing and job structures. Also, he discussed anticipated staffing needs. Marco used the information that he gathered and what he learned about job descriptions and job evaluation in his degree program to develop a proposal for completing this project. He crafted alternatives for conducting job evaluation, including simple ranking, alternate ranking, and point method plans; and he estimated the time it would take to complete job evaluation with each method. Finally, Marco analyzed the pros and cons of each approach. Altogether, it would take two weeks to complete job evaluation with either simple or alternate ranking techniques and two months for the point method. Taking everything into account, Marco decided that the point method would provide the best information for building internally consistent job structures. Marco submitted his plan to Robert in anticipation of their upcoming meeting.

At the start of the meeting, Robert thanked Marco for his excellent plan and for the detailed rationale and timeline for each option. Although Marco recommended using the point method, Robert instructed him to conduct the job evaluations with the simple ranking method. He also asked Marco to conduct the ratings himself rather than involving multiple raters, indicating his desire to reduce the completion time from two weeks to one week. Marco respectfully asked Robert to reconsider his decision, but he would not. Instead, Robert also assigned Marco the task of completing the company’s first affirmative action plan, which was already two weeks overdue.


  1. 6-6. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the simple ranking, alternate ranking, and point method job evaluation techniques?
  2. 6-7. What problems may occur by following Robert’s approach?
  3. 6-8. What do you recommend Marco do first? Why?

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