Sunday, May 15, 2011


Paperless Job Evaluations

If you're involved in compensation then you are most likely familiar with job analysis or job evaluation. Reviewing new or updated job descriptions is an integral part of our work.

And this process remains relatively unchanged over the last 15 years.

Typically we create the job evaluation document in our favorite word processor. We print the document for proofing. We may send it off to a manager or client via e-mail for review. If we're working on a larger project, there will be team members to keep in the loop. At some point the team will need get together to review all the jobs. This usually involves printing all the job evaluation documents, and putting them in binders. The team sits around a conference table looking at job documents and arriving at a final evaluation for the job for placement into the organization's salary structure.

Often times a new job document will arrive during the process or an existing document must be edited. Those changed documents are printed, copied and bound for use by the team. It's a laborious process. It's a hassle.

The graphic below (click for larger version) gives the general work flow for the current process, in the lower left corner and a new process, in the upper right corner.

The new process starts the same way. You create and edit the job document in a word processor. Only instead of printing it, copying it and binding it, you save it to the "cloud". The "cloud" may be a bit of an ambiguous and even over-used term, but it simply means that you save the document to a secure folder that exists in a location where you and your team can access it from anywhere you have an internet connection.

We use Dropbox. It allows us to connect our computers and our iPads (and iPhones and really any device with a web browser) to a shared folder in the "cloud".

Here's an example of the file selection pane in Dropbox on the iPad along with an open document on the right side ready for viewing.

Here's an image of a note taking application called PlainText on the iPad that we used for taking notes electronically during the job analysis process.

This app connects to your Dropbox account for saving and loading files. The files can be opened in your regular computer's word processor for later editing and/or printing if necessary.

And as an additional resource, we are able to access NEXTCOMP.NET via Safari on the iPad for market pricing and checking the results of the job analysis against the market data.

The biggest challenge we faced in working totally paperless was to change our habits. We've been working with paper for so long that it seems strange to not have a hard copy as a reference. We did print one set that we used during meetings as not everyone on the team had an iPad available, but the vast majority of the work leading up to the final meetings was completed in a paperless environment. And that's good for our efficiency and for the environment.


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