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North Dakota Human Resource Management Services

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600 E Boulevard Ave
Dept 113
Bismarck, ND 58505-0120

Phone · 701.328.3290
Fax · 701.328.1475
Email · hrms@nd.gov

Employment Verification · 701.328.2677

Classification Process

Introduction and Definitions

This section provides supervisors and employees a basic understanding of the position classification process. Human Resource Management Services (HRMS) classifies all positions, except those specifically identified in North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) 54-44.3-20. Following are definitions for terms that will be used throughout the remainder of this section.

Definitions & Examples

Hay Guide Chart - Profile Method of Job Evaluation (Hay System)
A job evaluation system that uses a point factor method of evaluating jobs. Points are assigned to various factors within a job (class) and the total points correspond to pay grades and salary ranges.

Job Description Questionnaire (JDQ) (SFN 2572)
A job description form used to gather information for the purpose of classifying a position and determining a pay grade. The JDQ contains detailed information about the position and is completed by the employee and/or supervisor.

Classification/Reclassification Request Form (SFN 2584)
A form used to request classification of a new position or reclassification of an existing position.

A grouping of common tasks, duties, and responsibilities. For example: Office Assistant is a job.

Job or position title. For example: Office Assistant I is a class.

Job performed usually by one person.

Class Description
Lists the scope, examples of duties performed, and minimum qualifications of a job or class. The class descriptions are generic in nature describing positions that are similar in type, level, and scope of responsibility. The duties listed in the class description are not intended to be all-inclusive or position specific.

Class Code
Number assigned to a class. For example: 0031 is the class code for Office Assistant I.

Position #
Number assigned to each position within a business unit (or agency).

Business Unit#/Department #
Identification numbers assigned to each agency through the budget/accounting process. Within each business unit, departments may be assigned numbers. For example: Office of Management and Budget’s business unit # is 11000; Human Resource Management Services (a division of OMB) has the department # 110113. A business unit # and department # may be the same.

Pay Grade
Number corresponding to a range of points in the Hay System. For example: the class Office Assistant I, corresponds to pay grade C (104-118 points).

Salary Range
Range of dollars corresponding to a pay grade. For example: the class Office Assistant I, pay grade C, corresponds to a salary range.

Hay Guide Chart Profile Method of Job Evaluation (Hay System)

Human Resource Management Services adopted the Hay System effective July 1, 2012 based on a legislative study of employee classification and compensation practices.


The purpose of the Hay System is to provide a consistent procedure to evaluate position classifications by:


The Hay System provides a structured and consistent method to evaluate jobs. Using this method eliminates much of the subjectivity inherent in other types of compensation systems and ensures that jobs that compare in value are paid within the same pay grade.

Thorough job analysis is the cornerstone of any human resource system and is used in human resource practices such as the selection process, salary administration, and performance management.


The Hay System uses a point factor method to evaluate classes. The classes are evaluated by three primary factors: know how, problem solving, and accountability. Each primary factor contains several elements. The factors and elements are listed below:

- Classification Factors

Know How Problem Solving Accountability
  • Practical / Technical Knowledge
  • Planning, Organizing, & Integrating (Managerial) Knowledge
  • Communicating & Influencing Skills
  • Thinking Environment - Freedom to Think
  • Thinking Challenge
  • Freedom to Act
  • Nature of Impact
  • Magnitude (Area of Impact)

Practical / Technical Knowledge is used to recognize increasing specialization (Depth) and/or the requirement for a greater breadth (scope) of knowledge.

Planning, Organizing, & Integrating (Managerial) Knowledge is knowledge required for integrating and managing activities and functions.

Communicating & Influencing Skills reflects skills needed to communicate with and influence individuals and/or groups within and outside the organization.

Thinking Environment - Freedom to Think reflects the degree to which thinking is constrained by rules, methods, procedures, precedents, policies, strategy, etc.

Thinking Challenge reflects the complexity of the problems encountered and the extent to which original thinking must be employed to arrive at solutions. Thinking Challenge measures the complexity of decisions with which a position is faced.

Freedom to Act reflects the extent to which the job / role decides on the measures and actions to be taken to achieve the required results.

Nature of Impact reflects the nature and degree of influence the job has on defined end results, as expressed in Magnitude.

Magnitude (Area of Impact) reflects the area of the organization most clearly affected by the job, expressed in qualitative or quantitative measures.

One other add-on factor, Additional Compensable Elements, which considers severity of hazard and frequency of exposure, does not apply to all classes.

These factors (except Additional Compensable Elements) are common to all positions within the State classified service. Every position in the classified service contains each of the factors to some degree or level.

When a job is evaluated, points are assigned to each factor based on the degree or level each factor is present, and a total point value is derived. The total points assigned to the position determine the grade and corresponding salary range.

For More Information About The Hay System

Contact the Human Resource Officer assigned to your agency by calling Human Resource Management Services at 328-3290 or your agency Human Resources representative.

The salary ranges, class descriptions, and the job class index are available on HRMS’s website.

Classification Procedure

A supervisor or employee may initiate a request for classification or reclassification for the following reasons:

The classification process examines and evaluates the duties, tasks, and requirements of the position - not the abilities, background, or performance of the person in the position. An increase in the quality or volume of work does not generally justify reclassification.

Employee’s Responsibility – For reclassifying an existing position, the employee documents duties and tasks on Part A of the JDQ.

Supervisor’s Responsibility – For classifying a new position or reclassifying a vacant position, the supervisor completes the entire JDQ. For reclassifying an existing position, the supervisor completes Part B of the JDQ. The agency’s designated Human Resources representative reviews the documentation and, if justified, submits the request to HRMS along with any supporting documentation such as an organizational chart. HRMS then begins the evaluation process.

HRMS’s Responsibility - Once HRMS receives a classification/reclassification request, it is logged in and given to a Human Resource Officer. The Human Resource Officer uses a variety of information to analyze a classification and arrive at a decision. Classification is more than comparing the position to the class description. It generally involves a review and analysis of the position’s duties and responsibilities as listed on the JDQ, class descriptions, organizational charts, class history file, position comparisons, and may include a discussion with the employee and/or supervisor.

Job Evaluation Committee's (JEC) Responsibility - JEC is a committee of HRMS and Agency HR staff trained in the Hay Guide Chart - Profile Method of Job Evaluation (Hay System) who are responsible for reviewing, maintaining, and evaluating the positions under the State Classified Service.

It is critical that the supervisor and employee thoroughly review and complete the required forms and submit all related documentation in order for the Human Resource Officer to make a quality and timely decision. Within 60 days, HRMS will notify the agency and employee of the decision.

If an employee or supervisor is not satisfied with the HRMS decision, he or she may request a review and determination by JEC. Contact HRMS for information regarding Request for Reconsideration of Classification.

Appeal Process

After a review and determination by JEC, a supervisor or employee may formally appeal a classification decision to the State Personnel Board by submitting a written notice to HRMS within fifteen working days from the date the final classification decision was mailed by HRMS. The appeal must state the reason for the appeal. The Director of HRMS will then schedule a meeting of the State Personnel Board to consider the appeal. The decision of the State Personnel Board is final.

NDAC 4-07-03

NDAC 59.5-03