Qualitative methods of job evaluation are distinguished by the fact that they involve the analysis of jobs as a whole. There is no attempt to isolate the components that comprise the position. Essentially there are two qualitative systems.
Straight ranking of jobs is the simplest of all job evaluation methods; however, it is effective only where there are relatively few positions to be evaluated (customarily less than 30) and where it is possible to make logical comparisons between jobs with common characteristics, such as clerical, technical, etc.
To simplify ranking and to make it possible to rank a maximum number of positions, a technique called paired comparisons is used by Leading Point Consultants. Whereas, a matrix is constructed such that jobs are listed on both vertical and horizontal axes. Comparisons now are made between two jobs at a time, an easier and less ambiguous process than attempting to rank a number of jobs at the same time. When each job has been compared with others, it is then possible to add up the relative rankings for each to determine the final listing.
When rankings have been completed, jobs that are considered to be relatively close to each other are grouped, and these groupings are turned into salary grades.
This second qualitative approach used by Leading Points is where an organization has a larger number of positions and where the nature of these jobs may be dissimilar.
In the classification system, jobs are sorted, much as books are sorted in a library. Different categories are defined that describe the level of complexity and the relative importance. For example, the highest classification level might be defined as one that requires a Ph.D. level of education, extensive background and experience in several professional or technical disciplines, and the ability to solve problems of complex nature and that has a critical impact on the organization. In contrast, the lowest classification level might include jobs that are simple and routine in nature, requiring only an ability to read and write, and that consist of duties and functions that can be learned easily in a short period of time.
When the classifications have been defined, jobs are then reviewed and placed into the correct classifications. After they have been placed in appropriate classifications, the jobs are then ranked. The result is a listing of all jobs in the organization from top to bottom. The grouping of jobs into grades would then follow, guided by the classifications.