Cognitive Based Job Classification

PGN HR uses adult cognitive requirements assessment as well as point-factor method when analyzing and classifying jobs. We call our system "Levels of Work Complexity" or LWC. We developed a large inventory of international and local benchmark jobs and built highly structured standards from it. The standards consist of tiers, strata, and taxonomies of jobs according to specific industry.

PGN HR's adult cognitive based job classification, LWC is rooted in many years of research. Cognitive psychologist, Dr. Daniel Ulibarri and compensation expert, Elena Mason developed LWC in 2004. Our research involved over 9,000 jobs and over 15,000 incumbents.

Elena Mason, CCP, SPHR, CEO PGN HR

PGN HR's cognitive-based job classification method measures the requisite mental processes that have visible consequences and manifested in the work place. A few examples of such consequences may include, (1) delays in responding to issues (2) output that can be assessed for accuracy (3) consequences of errors in performances or lapses in judgment that can be scrutinized and categorized.

The results of such assessments translate into levels of work complexity through which PGN HR's proprietary method, "Levels of Work Complexity (LWC)" was born. PGN HR uses the following parameters as foundation for creating taxonomies, tiers, strata of jobs — a.k.a. "job architecture."

PGN HR’s Levels of Work Complexity© consist of classifying positions into one of six (6) levels of increasing job complexity and then further classifying jobs as high, medium or low in the level.

The parameters we use for classifying jobs into one of the six(6) levels are:

  • The time it takes to complete the longest task (time horizon) in which the individual uses knowledge of the job and discretion to produce an output without feedback from a supervisor or client;
  • The scope of the responsibility as determined by the number of functions in which the position is involved either as a worker or a supervisor;
  • The nature of the work (manual, operational, coordinating, supervisory, tactical operational, tactical strategic, strategic), and;
  • Impact in the organization or the role of the position in the organization.

For decades, our curated solutions for job classification have been helping organizations in public and private sectors. Our approach is rooted in quality standards and in the science of adult cognitive requirements for each job within an organization.

We provided our job classification approach to: Texas Tech University, Texas Tech Health and Science Center, Texas Tech Health and Science Center in El Paso, Angelo State University, College of Southern Nevada, Truckee Meadows Community College, New Braunfels Utility, City of Denton, Denton Municipal Electric, Gila County, Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, Texas Political Subdivision, Texas Medical Board, and others.

Our deep understanding of the science of the mind and how adults continue to learn even through the golden age of 100 years sheds lights into the often murky aspects of placing an occupation or a job into a specific job architecture. This understanding, supplemented by our knowledge of international and common classification or occupational groupings makes our approach a formidably strong foundation for accurately placing jobs into the right taxonomy, tier, strata, grade, and location within the grade.

It goes without saying that an objective analyst or administrator holds fiduciary responsibility to properly classify a job. Because it can affect both the employee's final take home pay, and the organization's bottom line.

PGN HR uses adult cognitive requirements assessment as well as point-factor method when analyzing and classifying jobs. We developed a large inventory of international and local benchmark jobs and built a highly structured standard from it. The standard consists of tiers, strata, and taxonomies of jobs according to industry.

Our approach to job evaluation takes into account our clients' business realities. We include dimensions that are important to our clients, which typically includes revenues, net profit, organizational strategic objectives, talent competition, and of course the factors that come with the job itself.

Integration and Expansion

We seek opportunities to integrate our solutions with the client's existing system for job classification and further expand on our results through statistical analysis. We assign jobs in strata according to varying levels of adult cognition requirements as job complexities expands. Our results assist in determining the placement of jobs in the classification, grade, and ultimately in the organizational structure.

Point-Factor Method

To validate the results of our method, we perform statistical analysis to arrive at a proper job stratus based on Job Complexity Level or Adult Cognitive Requirements. We use multiple regression analysis, measures of central tendencies, and measures of variability to analyze the predictive values of each factor and strength in relationship between major factors and job complexity levels. These statistical analyses allow us to determine exactly when jobs are properly classified, properly graded, and equitably compensated.

How To Define A Labor Market

The ultimate goal of PGN HR’s market study is to know the external competitiveness of each job within a defined labor market, not against the universe.

Wage Structuring Strategy

With best practices in mind, we endeavor for pay structure designs that are 100% synonymous to the market midpoint. This is an admirable maxim, but one difficult to observe.

Compensation Philosophy Development

A compensation philosophy is one of the most powerful statements an organization can have. It dictates the strategy for how salaries are to be administered and governed.

State of Washington Changes FLSA Rules by January 1, 2021

Because of the state’s decision to change the threshold for FLSA, many employers (including our clients) will be forced to either raise employee salaries to maintain exemptions for overtime pay or reclassify employees as non-exempt and pay overtime, offer paid sick leave and of course meal breaks.