University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Human Resources Job Family Project

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The Compensation Department in the Office of Human Resources is conducting a comprehensive classification and compensation study of the Human Resources job family. The Human Resources job family has been identified as one of the first projects for this process.

This job family will include positions that perform work in the major accountability areas identified by this project. The job family study will include Human Resources professionals within the Civil Service and P&A employee groups. The Human Resources Job Family Project Team is composed of employees within the Office of Human Resources as well as college or department Human Resources across the University, and is responsible for contributing the content of the new job family structure.

Your Involvement


As an employee, your involvement in this project is to complete the employee questionnaire. The questionnaire will be administered through an electronic survey tool.

We anticipate completing the questionnaire will take approximately 1 to 3 hours, and can be completed on work time. We encourage you to take your time completing the questionnaire, doing an initial review of the entire questionnaire, then responding to questions, and finally doing a second review to provide additional examples and ensure questions are answered appropriately.


As a supervisor, you play a key role in this process. You will provide information and updates to your employees throughout the process as well as:

  • clarifying job responsibilities prior to the employee completing their survey,
  • reviewing the answers provided by your employee,
  • providing your own assessment of the position you supervise,
  • modifying the questionnaire that is pre-populated with the answers given by your employee, and
  • communicating classification decisions to your employee as part of implementation.


Project Communication

The HR job family has been put on hold and will be resumed in the fall of 2012.


Project Team

  • Mary Luther – Compensation Director, OHR
  • Rosie Barry – Program Director, OHR
  • Linda Bjornber – Human Resources Director, University Services
  • Deb Karner – Human Resources Director, CFAN
  • Laura Larson – Human Resources Director, Veterinary Medicine
  • Laura Negrini – Associate Departmental Director, OHR
  • Fred Owusu – Human Resources Director, AHC
  • Valerie Watson – Human Resources Director, Controller’s Office
  • Nan Wilhelmson – Director, OHR


Questionnaire Instructions & Process

General Instructions

This questionnaire is part of a University-wide Job Family initiative of the Office of Human Resources (OHR). This questionnaire will serve two purposes:

  1. To help create a classification career ladder for human resources professionals, and
  2. To determine the correct classification of your position within the new classification structure.

In order to develop the best structure and ensure appropriate classification assignment it is important that you provide accurate, detailed information about your current job duties. There are three sections to this questionnaire:

  1. Major accountability areas
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Supervision

Supervisors will be asked to complete an additional section regarding the skills and abilities required for each position.

Before you begin work on this questionnaire please make sure you have discussed your job responsibilities with your supervisor. Your completed questionnaire will be sent to your supervisor. Your supervisor will review the answers you provided and provide us with their own responses regarding your position. The supervisor's completed questionnaire will be sent to you and you will have an opportunity to comment.

Training on how to complete the HR job family questionnaire is provided in this UMConnect video. The first section will ask you to select the major accountability areas that are relevant to your position. After you complete the major accountability section you will be asked to review a list of job responsibilities within each of the major accountability areas you have chosen. As you progress through the second section you will be able to see the list of responsibilities for all the major accountability areas (even those you did not select). At that time if you decide that you perform work in an accountability area you did not choose you will be able to go back and select that area.

Job Responsibilities Section Instructions

In this section you will select all the responsibilities that describe (or closely describe) work of your current position. For some of the job responsibilities you will be asked to provide examples describing the specific work you perform. After you select the responsibilities that apply to your position you will be asked to provide an indication of the amount of time spent performing that responsibility utilizing the following four point scale. The scale has two anchors at the ends of the spectrum and two midpoints.

Scale for Job Family Questionnaire

This scale is meant to provide relative time spent on duties. It is not meant to be precise. In general, a responsibility that is a small part of your time is one where you devote one hour a week performing this duty. A responsibility that is a significant part of your time is one where you average eight hours a week performing this duty. We realize that some duties are only performed once or twice a year. When considering these duties, a small part of your time is roughly a full week of work over the course of a year and significant part of my time is 10 full weeks of work over a one year period.

After providing an indication of the amount of time devoted to each responsibility you will be asked to explain and provide examples of all the work you perform in that accountability area. If you have already provided information about a specific responsibility you do not need to repeat this information in your summary. This is also your opportunity to describe work that you perform that you believe falls in this accountability area but was not covered by the responsibility statements.

Key Terms

Below is a list of terms that are utilized in the job responsibility section to aide in the completion of this questionnaire.

Explain – make an idea, policy, or other information clear by describing in detail or revealing relevant facts. To make an obscure or complicated point clear.

Analyze and research – investigation of information or data leading to an interpretation of policies, ideas, or concepts and development of new theories or concepts or application Advise: to give a recommendation about what should be done. Typically after analyzing the facts.

Facilitate – to provide and make suggestions to ensure an effective process or resolution.

Partner – to join or associate with another as a principal or shared contributor to achieve a given goal Investigate: to observe or study by close observation or systematic inquiry.

Mentoring and Coaching – to train intensively in a one to one environment or provide ongoing instruction, role modeling, and advice.

Consult – to give professional advice on how to think about a particular problem. Typically involves educating the person on underlying concepts and theories.

Competency Instructions

This section is completed by the supervisor only. Please identify the statement for each section that best describes the work performed by your employee. We realize that many times employees have the competencies to perform work at a level higher than their current position. This section is not intended to measure the competency of your employee but rather the competency level required and performed by your employee in their current position.

Employee Review

This section is intended to be a place for you to note a disagreement with your supervisor regarding your position. Before completing this section please discuss the survey process with your supervisor including any concerns or questions you may have regarding the answers your supervisor provided. You and your supervisor will receive a final copy of all of your answers upon completion of this section.



What positions are included in the study?
All positions currently in an HR classification will be included in the study. Additionally we will include positions where the majority of the work performed falls within the major accountability areas of human resources.
How is the new classification structure going to relate to the old classification structure?
We are creating a new structure that is based on the current Human Resources work responsibilities, not based on the current structure. There is no intentional relationship between the new structure and the current structure.

More questions and answers may be found at the general Job Family Classification Project FAQs.


Key Terms

Job Family – A job family is a group of jobs with similar functions and are connected through the typical career paths of employees. Other connections may include common responsibilities, education, skills, knowledge, and abilities. Job Families include both civil service and P&A classifications.

Career Ladder – A career ladder is a unique career path within a job family. The career ladder identifies the unique responsibilities, experience, knowledge, and skills at various career levels.

Career Level – A career level is a specific level of responsibility, knowledge, and skill within a career ladder, and associated with the job requirements.

Position – A position is comprised of the duties and responsibilities of an individual employee.

Career Ladder Summary – The career ladder summary describes the general activities of the career ladder.

Classification Specification – The classification specifications include all the detailed information about the classification, including, but not limited to: pay, bargaining unit, EEO, FLSA, job responsibilities, and minimum qualification information. The classifications do not replace position specific job descriptions which should be based on the individual duties and responsibilities of individual employees.

Salary Structure – A series of levels and salary ranges which job classifications are assigned for purposes of administering salaries. The compensation structure recognizes internal and market pay differences among job classifications.

Benchmark job – Benchmark jobs are classifications (specific career levels) that are matched to market data collected from various professional salary surveys. The benchmark jobs are used to build the salary structure and guide the placement of non-benchmarks into the salary structure. Benchmark jobs help the University link the salary structure to market pay practices.