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Current phase of Compensation and Classification Redesign Project offers chance for staff input

  Keyboard illustration
Completion of the Job Information Form—a.k.a. the JIF—is the next phase in the Compensation and Classification Redesign Project at the University. Your input is key in mapping out your work, your pay, and your career. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

Now it's your turn.

The University of Iowa's Compensation and Classification Redesign Project has reached a point where non-organized professional and scientific staff are asked to complete the Job Information Form—informally known as the JIF. Completion of the JIF involves providing a description of one's job here at the University.

Robert Millsap, senior assistant director in UI Human Resources, spoke with fyi about the JIF, answering questions about how the JIF fits into the redesign project, how much time it takes to complete the JIF, and collaboration with colleagues on completing this step of the process.

fyi: Let’s quickly recap why we need to redesign our compensation and classification system and what’s taken place thus far.

Millsap: A study of the current compensation and classification system for non-organized P&S staff confirmed that our 30-plus-year-old system could be improved. Specific goals for the project were developed that support the retention and recruitment of talent; they continue to be important to meet the University’s long-term, strategic goals.

Many people across campus have put a large amount of work and effort into this project. Steering and advisory committees were developed to work with Human Resources in implementing both the project and its communication plan. Expert panels were formed and worked to develop job functions and job families.

Currently, we are asking individuals to describe their jobs. The method of collecting this information is the Job Information Form—informally known as the JIF.

Let’s talk about the JIF. Any paperwork/documentation involving the description of one’s job might be approached with some level of anxiety. What do you say when staff ask “what’s in it for me?”

If I was asked directly “What’s in it for me?” I would answer, “This is your opportunity to tell us about your work.” This is the chance for all non-bargaining professional and scientific staff to give their input to the project.


For more info...

JIF form FAQ page:

Comp and Class
Redesign Project
home page: www


The information from the JIFs will be used with the work of the expert panels in building the new classification structure, and then placing each individual’s job in that structure. Completing the JIF now reserves the individual’s rights in case an employee doesn’t agree with his or her initial placement in the new classification system.

Later, when the project moves into the construction of the compensation system, the information from the JIFs will be used in determining levels for purposes of pay.  

Describe the JIF for readers who haven’t filled it out: are we looking at multiple-choice answers? Open-ended responses? A mixture?

Users will see questions in a variety of formats. Most questions provide the opportunity to comment and/or provide examples. The JIF was created to gather job information for a wide variety of jobs; therefore, not all questions will apply to everyone. Your answers help determine which further questions you will answer.

There is an extensive help function within the online form and also many examples to make completing it a little easier. We are encouraging staff to use their current job description, their performance expectations document, or other documents that describe their work as they respond to questions—this will help with the process.

We also are making information available in a Frequently Asked Questions section of the web site specific to the JIF:

How much detail about one’s job is desired?

Answering the questions to the best of one’s ability while briefly providing examples of work that illustrate the scope, impact, judgment, and innovation you exercise in your position—that’s what we are looking for. We have used a variety of question formats so that the JIF is less reliant upon an individual’s writing abilities.

The e-mail that went to all non-organized P&S staff mentioned that the JIF does not have to be completed in one sitting. So how much time will it take to fill this thing out?

It really varies. If you have a job with a current job description or performance expectations document, we are thinking maybe two hours. If your job has changed considerably from your original job description, or if you spend a considerable amount of time finding “just the right word” in a document, it will take you longer. 

We have tried to provide a lot of help within the form itself, and on the web site—we really don’t want this to be a huge time commitment. It also is perfectly acceptable to work with your co-workers and colleagues to get ideas or suggestions about how they are responding to individual questions and/or share common responses with each other.

Collaboration with colleagues of like jobs is allowed—is it encouraged?

The primary reason we are encouraging staff with similar positions to collaborate is to hopefully make the immediate task of filling out the JIF a little less challenging. It may also help individuals better understand the roles that others play.

How much involvement should one’s supervisor or HR rep have in this process?

The supervisor and HR rep are there for assistance if asked. Your supervisor will review and approve your responses and is expected to talk with you about any questions or concerns.       

Once the JIF deadline is reached (supervisors are to submit approved forms to HR by Friday, Dec. 11), what happens next? What’s the timetable for that action?

The information from the JIFs will be matched against the work of the expert panels.  Jobs will be placed into job family progressions where possible, again drawing upon the knowledge of individuals across campus. We anticipate notifying staff members in late spring as to their placement into a job family progress.

The overall plan for implementation is available on the web site, and will require considerable education and training for all staff and supervisors, prior to using the system to guide salary decisions for the July 1, 2011, implementation date.

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