Classification and Compensation Study

Questions and answers about the Classification and Compensation Study.


To classify positions for New College administrative and support staff the following steps are required by the department:

  • Secure funding for the position from the appropriate budget authority for your unit.
  • Secure a position number
  • Submit a position description along with an updated organizational chart to the Office of Human Resources.

Writing position descriptions

Position descriptions are helpful to job applicants, employees, supervisors and to Human Resources staffers at every stage in the employment relationship. They provide information about the knowledge, training, education, and skills needed for each job. They prevent misunderstanding by informing employees what they need to know to successfully perform their jobs and fulfill the mission of the College.

Guidelines for essential versus marginal functions

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to make job-related decisions on the basis of whether a person can perform essential job functions, under reasonably accommodating conditions, in an acceptable manner. Job descriptions must identify which functions are essential, and employers must make employment decisions based upon the essential functions. Other functions, not designated essential, are categorized as marginal and are not to be used as a basis for employment decisions. Both essential and marginal functions must be identified in job descriptions.

An essential function is a duty or responsibility that is fundamental to the job — a critical or basic component of that job. A marginal function is relatively incidental to the reason for the job’s existence. An essential function cannot or should not be assigned elsewhere, but a marginal function, even though it is desirable to include in the job design, could be made part of another job without causing significant problems.

A marginal function is not unessential to the work unit, only to a given job. The function has to be accomplished, but it can be done by another employee or position.

For example, a job requires the operation of a machine. In the job description, “painting the machine twice a month” is stated. However, this is not critical to the execution of the job. “Operating the machine” is the critical role, hence it is listed in the “essential functions.” “Painting the machine” is not critical to the performance; hence, it is listed in the “marginal functions.” Redistributing the “painting the machine” function would not alter the “Machine Operator’s” job description.

  • What work is assigned to the position?
  • How is the work accomplished? (methods, procedures, etc.)
  • What are the primary duties?
  • How often are the duties performed?
  • What percentage of time per week (based on the work week) is spent on these duties? (example: If a 40-hour week then 4 hours a week = 10 percent, 2 hours a week = 5 percent.)
  • What specific materials, equipment or machines are used in carrying out the job?
  • Does the position work with other positions or alone? What type of involvement occurs with other positions?
  • What type of supervision is received? Who reviews a completed project for accuracy? How frequent is work reviewed?
  • Does the position supervise other positions?
  • What type of supervision is given to other positions?
  • What are the minimum qualifications a person must have to be able to do the job (education, training, and/or experience)? These must be at least those required by the class specifications.

Quantify whenever possible. Indicate dollar volume for financial responsibility, number of accounts, ledgers, grants, number of faculty in department, number of persons supervised, etc.

  • The job itself should be described — not the individual performing the job.
  • Position descriptions should be written in a concise, uniform and complete fashion to enable reviewing personnel to understand clearly the duties and responsibilities.
  • Position descriptions should be written in plain, straightforward, everyday English. Common terms should be used.

The position’s immediate supervisor should develop the position description and share with the employee so the expectations of the job functions are clear. The supervisor and management have the right and responsibility to authorize the content of a position description (assign duties and responsibilities).


  • Use short, direct verbs in the present tense.
  • Describe specifically and in sufficient detail:
  • What work is completed?
  • What methods are used?
  • What equipment and/or tools are used?
  • Responsibility for the results.
  • Consequence of actions or errors.
  • Instructions or guidelines provided.
  • Supervision exercised and received.
  • Relationship of position with others within the organization.
  • Any other pertinent facts.
  • Assign approximate percent of time spent in each outlined responsibility.
  • Provide sufficient information on the position description to clearly distinguish the level from the other levels in the series if requesting that a position be classified to a class within a class series.


  • Copy the verbiage from the class specification.
  • Use ambiguous terms, such as “handle,” “research,” etc., without an explanation as to what this involves.
  • Lump several responsibilities together and assign large percentages of time.
  • Use abbreviations or technical terms without an explanation.
  • Describe personal characteristics. (example: “Deals with the public and must have a pleasing personality at all times.”) This can be listed under “Other Characteristics of the Position” if necessary.
  • Administer – Manage or direct the execution of affairs.
  • Adopt – Take up and practice as one’s own.
  • Advise – Recommends a course of action; offer an informed opinion based on specialized knowledge.
  • Analyze – Separate into elements and critically examine.
  • Anticipate – Foresee and deal with in advance.
  • Appraise – Give an expert judgment of worth or merit.
  • Approve – Accept as satisfactory; exercise final authority with regard to commitment of resources.
  • Arrange – Make preparation for an event; put into proper order.
  • Assemble – Collect or gather together in a predetermined order from various sources.
  • Assign – Specify or designate tasks or duties to be performed by others.
  • Assure – Give confidence; make certain of.
  • Authorize – Approve; empower through vested authority.
  • Calculate – Make a mathematical computation.
  • Collaborate – Work jointly with; cooperate with others.
  • Collect – Gather.
  • Compile – Put together information, collect from other documents.
  • Conduct – Carry on; direct the execution of.
  • Confer – Consult with others to compare views.
  • Consolidate – Bring together.
  • Consult – Seek the advice of others.
  • Control – Measure, interpret and evaluate actions for conformance with plans or desired results.
  • Correspond – Communicate with.
  • Delegate – Commission another to perform tasks or duties that may carry specific degrees of accountability.
  • Design – Conceive, create and execute according to plan.
  • Determine – Resolve; fix conclusively or authoritatively.
  • Develop – Disclose, discover, perfect or unfold a plan or idea.
  • Direct – Guide work operations through the establishment of objectives, policies, regulations, practices, methods and standards.
  • Draft – Prepare papers or documents in preliminary form.
  • Endorse – Support or recommend.
  • Establish – Bring into existence.
  • Estimate – Forecast future requirements.
  • Evaluate – Determine or fix the value of.
  • Execute – Put into effect or carry out.
  • Expedite – Accelerate the process or progress of.
  • Formulate – Develop or devise.
  • Furnish – Provide with what is needed; supply.
  • Implement – Carry out; execute a plan or program.
  • Improve – Make something better.
  • Initiate – Start or introduce.
  • Inspect – Critically examine for suitability.
  • Interpret – Explain something to others.
  • Investigate – Study through close examination and systematic inquiry.
  • Issue – Put forth or to distribute officially.
  • Maintain – Keep in an existing state.
  • Monitor – Watch, observe, or check for a specific purpose.
  • Negotiate – Confer with others in order to reach an agreement.
  • Operate – Perform an activity or series of activities.
  • Participate – To take part in.
  • Perform – Fulfill or carry out.
  • Process – Handle in accordance with prescribed procedures.
  • Provide – Supply what is need; furnish.
  • Recommend – Advise or counsel a course of action; offer or suggest for adoption.
  • Represent – Act in the place of or for.
  • Report – Give an account of; furnish information or data.
  • Research – Inquire into a specific matter from several sources.
  • Review – Examine or reexamine.
  • Revise – Rework in order to correct or improve.
  • Schedule – Plan a timetable.
  • Sign – Formally approve a document.
  • Specify – State precisely in detail or name explicitly.
  • Submit – Yield or present for the discretion or judgment of others.
  • Supervise – Communicates with, trains and evaluates employees, plans and directs their work; and has the authority to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline subordinate employees or effectively recommends such actions.
  • Transcribe – Transfers data from one form of record to another or from one method of preparation to another without changing the nature of the data.
  • Verify – Confirm of establish authenticity; substantiate.

Avoid using ambiguous terms such as “assist,” “advise,” “handle,” “inspect,” and “research.” If it is essential that such terms be used, the degree of assistance, advice, handling, inspecting, or researching should be stated.

Complexity of Work Performed

  • Difficulty of tasks performed.
  • Variety of tasks performed.
  • Development of work methods.
  • Degree of independence and/or decision-making.

Consequence of Errors

  • Responsibility for safety of others.
  • Financial costs of errors.
  • Necessity for accuracy.


  • Amount of supervision received.
  • Classification of immediate supervisor.
  • Number and level of subordinates under direct supervision.

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Budget maintenance and planning.
  • Dollar amount responsible for, complexity of record kept, number of accounts, types and number of contracts and grants.
  • Purchasing authority.
  • Type and dollar amount of purchases made.

Reports and Record Keeping

  • Complexity of records systems used.
  • Design of records systems used.
  • Gathering and compiling report data.
  • Drawing inferences from data.
  • Quantitative reports compiled.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Technical knowledge required.
  • Amount of training required.
  • Education.
  • Special Certification.

Responsibility for Public Contact

  • Classes or segments of the public, level of public officials dealt with.
  • Subject matter dealt with, simple or complex.
  • Purposes of contact: to give information, negotiate problems, gain support, etc.

Use these KSA’s as the College standard, then write additional ones specific to the position.

Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in-group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.

Interpersonal Skills – This position requires a strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse setting.

Oral Communication – Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.

Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.

Cost Consciousness – Works within approved budget; Develops and implements cost saving measures. Articulates financial implications and realities.

Ethics – Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.

Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives;

Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.

Information Technology – Experience with and understanding of automated systems and analytical and reporting tools.

Designation of essential personnel for emergencies:

New College makes safety for its community a top priority. When interruptions in normal college operations occur as a result of an emergency, the college will exercise efficient use of its resources to ensure the safety and welfare of the college community, continuity of key operations, and the protection of college property.

The College’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) integrates the responses of all available college resources and provides for varying levels of campus emergency preparedness needed to address specific circumstances. The plan describes the roles and responsibilities of departments and employees in protecting life and property, in responding to the needs of those affected, and in disseminating accurate and timely information to the campus and the public. The goal is to ensure an organized, structured, coordinated and caring response in all emergency situations.

The EOP identifies designated personnel who may be needed to perform duties on campus during an interruption in normal operations. Essential personnel provide vital support to the college in the event of an emergency or disaster resulting in the official suspension of classes and/or closing of offices.

When the college officially closes or suspends classes due to an emergency, essential employees may be required to report to work if directed to do so by a supervisor or the college’s executive management team.

Departments are responsible for identifying essential employees and notifying them where and when they are required to report to work.

Essential employees should receive and acknowledge written designation of their essential employee status from their department. This will be accomplished upon their initial hire and renewed each year during their performance evaluation and position description review. The written designation remains in effect until the essential employee designation is rescinded in writing.

Continuation of critical and essential services.

Maintaining integrity of infrastructure, property or systems.

Staffing or functions needed at any point during a period offices are closed.

Response or assessment before, during or immediately following an emergency event.

Essential employees also have a responsibility to monitor official College communications related to an emergency, including the Campuswide Alerts page, and the campus phone alert system as well as maintain up-to-date contact information in Employee Self Service (NewCleis)

• If nonexempt employees are required to work during an emergency closing, in addition to their normal pay, they will earn one hour of compensatory leave for each hour worked during the emergency closing. For example, if a nonexempt employee works during an emergency closing for eight (8) hours, the employee will earn eight (8) hours of regular pay (unless they are in overtime status for the workweek), plus they will be granted eight (8) hours of compensatory leave. The employee may receive pay for the compensatory hours worked if requested. If the compensatory leave is not used by the employee within six (6) months following its accrual, the employee will be paid for the leave.

• Exempt staff employees are eligible for compensatory leave at the discretion of the supervisor. If a supervisor elects to provide compensatory leave, the same rules that apply to non-exempt employees will apply to exempt employees.

• Faculty are not eligible for compensatory leave under this process.

Classification and compensation (Sibson) study

We are pleased to report that the College is progressing on the work needed to complete the staff position classification and compensation project. Sibson Consulting, a human resources consulting firm nationally recognized for its work with higher education institutions, has reviewed all USPS and A&P position descriptions and is now conducting the market study.

Our ability to recruit and retain quality talent requires a competitive and fair compensation program that reflects our culture and work environment. We will accomplish this by providing a financially responsible, overarching compensation program, salary structure and job evaluation system.

The study phase is expected to run through the summer of 2018. A project timeline for the study is included with this correspondence.  The implementation plan will likely take several years to accomplish.  Please note that until the study is fully completed we will not know what adjustments, if any, may be made to individual salaries. We will keep you informed of our progress.

We appreciate your support and patience as we embark on this important effort. Thank you

New College of Florida Benchmarking Institutions

Information Update (July 12, 2018)
1. All position descriptions have been received, analyzed and benchmarked by Sibson compensation analysts. Sibson’s analysts have made recommendations regarding title changes and reclassifications based on these benchmarks.

2. Meetings have been held with each of the President’s senior staff to ensure that every employee is appropriately classified, that the organizational structure is accurate and that each position is placed correctly within the unit.

3. A new position classification and pay grade system has been developed based on 11 pay grades. An employee’s length of service in a given position was factored as part of compensation considerations.

4. A review of salary compression issues within position titles based on date of hire within the position is almost complete and options for addressing this issue are being formulated.

5. The College is closing out FY 2017-18 and building the FY 2018-19 operating budget. Analysis is being completed for determining the funding that can be set aside for salary adjustments for all employees, including staff covered under the Sibson study as well as faculty (who are not part of the Sibson study). Implementation of the Sibson salary study will be structured around what is affordable for this current fiscal year.

Upon completion of the study an implementation plan will be developed. It will not be financially feasible to increase everyone at one time, but a plan will be developed to make adjustments possible over a manageable period of time with a goal to begin in summer.

Position descriptions were reviewed by Human Resources. Those that had not been updated for several years were reviewed with management. Further review will be forthcoming as the study continues.

Please see the link for the Benchmark Institution List on this page.


If the position descriptions need revising, employees will be notified by their supervisors. The results of the Sibson salary survey portion of this project will not be known until summer. Campus communications will be forthcoming as the project continues.

Employees will be notified by letter if they are affected by the salary survey results.

No. The Sibson study is being conducted to give us updated position descriptions that will result in a classification system that coordinates with the SUS system. The study will also aid us in benchmarking position salaries.

No. It will not be used to judge job effectiveness or job performance.

Yearly. It is a best practice that supervisors and employees review the position descriptions at the same time as the annual evaluation for any significant changes in duty.

Once the study is complete individuals who are performing in excess of their respective job description will be ‘flagged’ and re-evaluated as to the proper channels to take to remedy the situation. For example, some positions may need to be re-classified.

Each position description will state the knowledge, skills, abilities, education level, and amount of experience required. After the review of job descriptions, the relative recruitment markets will be determined and from this a salary range will be applied.

Sibson utilized College and University Personnel Administration (CUPA) salary survey data for CUPA Staff in High Education and two  other companies who specialize in salary compensation data:
Willis Tower Waters (TW)
Comp Analyst

For CUPA data see the national benchmark peer group slide.

For TW and Comp Analyst they used Tampa, Sarasota metro level data. If metro level data was not available, United States  data were analyzed.

See  this slide  Methodology Overview

Sibson classification and compensation study implementation

Phase One

  • Phase One: All employees below the minimum of the new pay grade will be brought up to the new minimum.
  • Phase One employees will see this change in their salary amount reflected in the September 14, 2018 paycheck.
  • Phase One employees will receive a letter outlining this change in salary.
  • Some Phase One employees may also see changes in their classification title as well as their salary amount. This will be noted in the letter.
  • Some Phase One employees may have their titles changed but not their salary as they are already above the minimum of the pay grade. This will be noted in a letter.

Information regarding additional phases and implementation will be provided as the budget is finalized for the fiscal year.

New College of Florida Salary Schedules

New College of Florida 2019 Salary Schedule

New College of Florida 2020 Salary Schedule by pay grade

New College of Florida 2020 Salary Schedule by job title


Your current total compensation package is available at your fingertips!

Log into New Cleis
Select the “Employee” tab
Select “Pay Information” option
Select “Compensation Package” option
View your total compensation package

Amounts are projected over a full year based on your current salary benefits package and plan elections.