Frequently Asked Questions

The Hay Method – who, what, when, why?

1. Why are we doing this?

We have implemented the Hay method for APSA and Excluded jobs so that SFU will have an efficient and timely, transparent and trusted job evaluation methodology that enables the attraction and retention of the best, diverse talent.

The Hay method is the world’s leading job evaluation methodology, used by the Canadian federal government, most provincial governments, and by approximately 35 post-secondary institutions across Canada.

Check out the Job Evaluation Infographic.

2. What have we done?

Check out the Job Evaluation Project page.  

3. How does this link to other HR processes?

Job evaluation is the foundation for:

  • Understanding and organizing our work
  • Comparing pay for similar work both internally and externally
  • Planning for the talent and capabilities we need to be successful

4. What is job evaluation?

Job evaluation is a systematic process of determining the relative worth or value of a Job and not the skills, abilities or performance of an individual.  The evaluation is based on a number of compensable factors.  It provides a framework to administer pay. 

Check out the Job Evaluation Infographic.

5. Why do we have a job evaluation system?

  • Job evaluation ensures that jobs with the same or comparable responsibilities and requirements are similarly compensated.  As a public sector employer, we are obligated to maintain pay equity, and job evaluation is integral to this requirement.
  • When job evaluation fairly and accurately allocates jobs to grades, we have more confidence that the pay level for that job is fair.
  • Job evaluation also allows us to accurately compare pay both internally and externally. Our primary goal is to build confidence in our internal equity.
  • Implementing this job evaluation methodology makes our process smoother, hence more efficient and timely.

6. Are CUPE employees also having their jobs evaluated under the new methodology?

No.
A “point factor" job evaluation system is used by SFU to determine the relative worth of positions in the CUPE, Local 3338 bargaining unit. The job evaluation system is known as the Weighted Job Questionnaire Custom (WJQ Custom) and is comprised of two directly related components, a job description and a job questionnaire.  Both components gather information on the responsibilities, effort, working conditions, and skill and knowledge characteristics of positions.  In the process of determining salary grade assignments, job description and job questionnaire responses are reviewed and validated using job analysis and computer verification routines.  Each pay grade on the CUPE salary scale has a range of points. Salary pay grades for positions are determined by cross-referencing total point values calculated by the system to the salary grades on the CUPE salary scale.

7. Will a result of the job evaluation project be an adjustment to APSA and Excluded staff salary schedules?

No. This project is about building confidence in our job evaluation processes at SFU. A review of salary schedules is outside the scope of this Job Evaluation project.

8. I currently have a job in for evaluation/re-evaluation. Will that request be affected by the job evaluation project?

  • All job evaluations currently in the queue, will be processed using the old method, up to November 24, 2018 and then the Hay Method effective November 25, 2018.
  • All NEW job evaluation requests, effective November 25, 2018 will be evaluated using the Hay Method only.

9. What are the benefits of having the new methodology?

  • It’s TRANSPARENT - Demystifies the job evaluation process and identifies the major factors that evaluate jobs at SFU.
  • It’s EFFICIENT and TIMELY - Streamlines the job evaluation process and provides quick results about the job you submitted.
  • It’s TRUSTED - Provides a valid rationale of why a job was provided with a specific grade.

Check out the Job Evaluation Infographic.

10. Who will be the point of contact for questions about the implementation?

  • Please check our updated Job Evaluation Project page for some current learning resources and our updated project timeline.
  • For other questions about this project please contact: job_eval@sfu.ca with the "SUBJECT: JE project question."

11. What are the factors that impact the new evaluation/re-evaluation? 

12. What is the Hay method? 

13. How does the Hay method differ from SFU’s previous job evaluation process?

The Hay method is the world’s leading job evaluation methodology, used by the Canadian federal government, most provincial governments, and by approximately 35 post-secondary institutions across Canada.  This means we will be able to compare our positions on a wider base of similar organizations to ensure fair and equitable evaluations are completed.

14. When is a job evaluated?

A job is evaluated when it is established. It is re-evaluated when there are substantive changes to the responsibilities, effort, working conditions, and skill and knowledge requirements.

15. What is a salary schedule?

  • The salary schedule is comprised of job grades. At SFU for APSA and Excluded staff our jobs measure from grades 1 to 20.
  • Each job grade has a corresponding salary range. There are also a number of steps/ levels with the salary range that are achieved at the completion of certain intervals.
  • While job evaluation is linked to grades and a job's grade to indicate where a job sits on the salary schedule, a review of salary schedules is outside the scope of this Job Evaluation project.

16. How does the Hay method differ from SFU’s previous job evaluation process?

The previous system was a ranking system and our new system is point based. The old system was very subjective and the Hay Method is objective.The Hay Method is tried and tested globally and used by federal, provincial and public sectors in Canada.

What do I need to know?

17. What does this mean for me?

Depending on the evaluation of the role using the Hay method, some roles may be graded differently as a result.

Individuals will NOT be impacted negatively by grading changes and adjustments are a way of moving forward under the new methodology. The communication of the Hay method results will occur in January and February.

Any salary adjustments will be retroactive back to November 25, 2018.  HR will be working in partnership with Payroll to process these results as quickly as possible.

Please check the Job Evaluation Project page for the updated project timeline.

Please do not contact payroll

18. What do I need to do?

  • Get clarity on what job evaluation is and is not. This is not a project to adjust pay.
  • Find out more about job evaluation.
  • Check out the Job Evaluation Infographic.

19. Will the evaluation process affect my pay?

In many cases there will be no change to pay if the position is evaluated within the same grade.  If the position is higher than your current grade, your salary will be adjusted accordingly (including retro pay back to the Hay method "go live" date, November 25, 2018).

Regardless of the results of the job evaluation, no existing employees' salaries will be negatively impacted by the results the Hay method generates.

20. How will I know if and when my position is impacted by the Hay method?  

We will be sharing the results with all staff in the New Year and providing leaders with individual letters for all staff.  All impacts to existing roles will be effective November 25, 2018. Please check the Job Evaluation Project page for updates to the project timeline.

Please do not contact payroll

21. What if I disagree with my new role grade?

  1. Talk to your manager. If the two of you jointly agree that your job description is not reflective of your current responsibilities and will result in MAJOR changes to your job description, work together to create an accurate job description. 

  2. Submit it to Compensation for review. Please check our Compensation Team site, for links on how to submit a job evaluation request and for job evaluation request priority.

22. My position’s grade did not change under the JE Project. Why not?

All positions were evaluated consistently under the new methodology and not all positions were impacted. As a result, many positions will remain in the current and correct grade.

23. Where can I get assistance with the job evaluation process?

Check out the Compensation Team site for tools and resources. Or contact job_eval@sfu.ca for assistance.

24. Why is the impact of this project taking so long?

Time is needed to educate leaders, implement calibration of feedback from VPs and to administer the process changes for every position within APSA and Excluded groups.

25. How can I support the implementation of this project as a leader?

We encourage you to stay curious, ask questions and stay up to date on the latest communications on the website.  Please share updates about the project with your staff and have them review the website as well.

26. What if the leader results spreadsheet I received contains people who no longer work in our department or is missing people who currently work in our department?

Please contact job_eval@sfu.ca with the "SUBJECT: Leader Report"

27. In what tax year will my retro pay be taxed?

As normal practice, any applicable retro payments will be taxed in the tax year they are paid.

28. What happens to an employee whose grade has decreased?

Their position would be identified as an anomaly (as per policy AD10.6 7.03). When a position is identified as an anomaly the employee will continue to be compensated at the salary grade level of the position prior to re-evaluation and they will be eligible to receive all future salary step and general salary increases at this salary grade level.

29. What happens if I sent in an occupied re-evaluation before the start of the project, which job description was used in the Hay method? The current one or the updated one?

The Hay evaluation is based on the updated job description and all additional supporting documents submitted as part of the occupied re-evaluation request.

30. What if I have a position that reports to me that is very unique (i.e. there are no comparable jobs in the department)? How is it evaluated?

Each job is evaluated on its own merit using the four factors identified in the Hay Method Job Evaluation process. We take into consideration similar roles which may be from a variety of departments for benchmarking purposes. For additional information, please see our infographic and video.

31. Does having more direct reports and having a higher budget within a department result in a grade increase/difference?

Roles are evaluated using the four factors identified in the Hay Method Job Evaluation process. Points are assigned for each factor. Points will vary but direct reports and the size of the budget do not automatically result in an increased grade level. This is because positions are not evaluated based on the number staff (i.e., 2 direct reports vs. 25) and budget alone.

Positions are also evaluated on the diversity/number of activities that are required to carry out job functions, which will result in higher points. However, this does not guarantee a grade increase, as grade changes are based on the total points accumulated.

Example: a Director overseeing multiple units (higher diversity/number of activities), will see a higher score compared to a Director accountable for one unit. For additional information, please see our infographic and video.

32. One of my employees asked for the rationale of their grade change, what should I tell them? 

We evaluate each role based on the current job description and organizational chart. The job evaluation process is about evaluating the job, not the person. Your employee’s grade was based on assigning points to the four factors of Know-How, Accountability, Problem Solving and Working Conditions. The total points allocated for the role was then added up and assigned the appropriate grade.

For additional information, please see our infographic and video.

33. What happens if I submitted an occupied re-evaluation before the start of the project? Which job description (JD) was used when evaluating the role using the Hay method? The old JD or the updated JD?

The Hay evaluation is based on the updated job description and all additional supporting documents submitted as part of the occupied re-evaluation request. For additional information, please see our infographic and video.

34. True or false, are Hay results based on my job title?

False. We evaluate a job description based on the current one and on the four factors of Know-How, Accountability, Problem Solving and Working Conditions. Your job’s score is totaled and then assigned the appropriate grade. For additional information, please see our infographic and video.

35. I heard that the Hay method does not account for gender bias? Is this true?

The Hay method does not focus on the person in the role (including gender). Instead, it focuses and evaluates a job based on the four f­­­­­­­­­actors to determine a non-biased score. For additional information, please see our infographic and video.

SFU strictly follows all employment standards and human rights legislation which prohibits discrimination of any kind.

36. What if I have received a letter for an employee on leave? 

If you received a letter for someone that is on a leave, please use your discretion in sharing. Contact your Advisor for advice if you have any questions.

37. What if I receive a letter for someone who is no longer reports to me?

If you have received a letter for someone that no longer reports to you, please email compensation@sfu.ca. These letters were created based on the current reporting relationships in myinfo.sfu.ca (PeopleSoft/HAP).

38. How does retro-pay work for an employee on maternal/parental leave? 

Retro-pay is based on the time worked in your role, retroactive to November 25, 2018. The employee would not be working, therefore not eligible for retro-pay. Upon their return to work, your salary will be based on the new Hay evaluation grade.

If the employee worked past November 25, 2018 and is eligible for retro-pay, they will be paid the amount owing. As per the EI Maternity and Parental Benefits Government of Canada site, retro payments will have no impact on EI Maternity and Parental Benefits.  

Managing budgets

39. Do managers need to find funding from their existing budgets for salary increases and any applicable retro pay resulting from the implementation of the Hay method or is this funded?

There will be a general allocation from contingency to fund, on a one-time basis, the impact of the APSA/APEX Job Evaluation project. Salary adjustments will be funded from contingency from November 25, 2018 to March 31, 2020. Subsequent to that date, it is expected that there will be sufficient increased revenues reflected in the 2020-21 budget model and therefore the recurring costs will be self-funded by departments.

If you have any questions about this please contact: budgethelp@sfu.ca