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Human Resources
University of Mississippi

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KEY TERMS & CONCEPTS

Below you will find key terms and definitions as they relate to compensation and compensation management.  The list below will be a living document which means as we progress through the VIEW2022 more terms, concepts and definition will be added or slightly modified.

Please see below most up to date terms and definitions as of 1/19/2023.

 

Term / ConceptDescription
Benchmark JobA job whose major responsibilities and requirements are common in the market. These jobs are typically included in salary surveys and have reliable market data readily available year after year.
Career PathVaried forms of career progression including advancement within a subfamily or transition to a different discipline of work. This can be examined through the job classification framework.
Career TrackA career type characterized by unique responsibilities. The career tracks at UM are Operational, Professional, Managerial
Compensation PhilosophyA formal statement documenting UM's position on employee compensation and creating a framework for consistency by defining components of the compensation program.
Compensation PlaybookGuidelines that ensure salaries and pay adjustments are determined by using a consistent approach across the organization and are aligned with the compensation program’s design and intent.
Compensation Program ElementsThe various levers an organization can pull to reward employees for their work
Compensation SurveysCollections of data on current market rates and trends. Surveys report data by industry, nature of work, financial scope or size, geography, etc. Surveys are conducted by third-party professional organizations and stored internally in a compensation database to inform internal pay practices.
Competitive Labor MarketThe primary industry or peer group the University of Mississippi competes
Complexity of WorkThe duties, the degree of autonomy, and the scope of responsibilities. The level of complexity is based on the work and not on the employee in the role.
Dimension Level GuideGuide with establish criteria utilized to categorize work responsibilities within the compensation frame work. Utilizing the same dimensions when evaluating roles will help drive consistency in process. Dimensions currently in place are (Complexity of Work, Communication, Scope of Accountability, Autonomy, Effective Knowledge, People Management)
EquityThe practice of ensuring employees performing similar duties (in similar work environments) are paid fairly without regard for race, color, gender, religion, sex, national origin, age, and/or disability for similar work performed, but takes into account market and job-related factors such as performance, education, work experience, seniority, etc.
ExemptThe term that refers to jobs that are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (i.e., “exempted” from the law). Exempt employees are paid a set salary for defined responsibilities and are expected to fulfill the duties of their jobs regardless of hours work required. Employees in exempt jobs are not eligible to receive overtime compensation.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)A federal law that sets the minimum wage as well as other work rules, and guaranteed overtime pay for work beyond 40 hours a week for jobs covered by the law. The law includes specific “tests” to determine whether a job will be covered by the law (“non-exempt”) or not covered (“exempt”). These tests consider job duties, (such as education, experience, skills, or performance) not characteristics of a specific employee
Job Family / Sub-FamilyOverall groupings (and sub-groupings) of jobs where work performed is of similar nature
Job Family and SubfamilyA job Family and Subfamily is an overall grouping of jobs where work performed is of similar nature. Families and subfamilies are intended to reflect the nature of the work and may not align directly to the organizational structure.
Job FrameworkAn organization of UM jobs into families, subfamilies, career tracks and levels based on the job's responsibilities within the university.
Job LevelsVariations in the degree of jobs, such as the differences between the entry, intermediate and senior levels, based on differences in scope, organization impact, complexity of work, independence and supervision, and/or management responsibilities.
Job Profilea generalized description of a role, without regard to any specific employee, that describes the work performed and impact to the organization Used as system of record for HR staff.
Job ResponsibilitiesA series of statements indicating what the major work responsibilities are and why they are performed. The responsibility statements support the job summary and form the basis for development of specific objectives or performance standards.
Job SummaryA clear, concise statement explaining the major functions of the position. The job summary describes the "what" and the 'why," not the "how."
Job TitleA formal naming convention that reflects the content of the actual responsibilities performed within the job. Job titles may have multiple levels (e.g., Accountant I & Accountant II).
Managerial Career TrackJobs that oversee broad portfolios of responsibility; plan, prioritize, and/or direct responsibilities of employees; and/or manage strategy and policy development for a function, department, or unit.
Market DataSalary data provided by reputable salary survey vendors that represents the external market
Market DefinitionExternal organizations UM compare ourselves to. The University of Mississippi will use a combination of the following labor markets to ensure competitive compensation. Peer Institution, Aspirational Peer Institutions, SEC Institutions, and regional data. Market Definitions will vary based on the role.
Market PositionAn organization’s stance on employee pay relative to market. Unique market factors may lead to different market positioning for certain segments of the university.
Market Salary BenchmarkingThe linking of jobs to the market by analyzing and comparing standard job descriptions to the compensation survey benchmark. Note: review is of the work and responsibilities assigned to the role, not the comparing of titles.
Market TitleA title commonly found in the market for a job. Some titles may have multiple Market Title matches
New Hire Pay SettingProcess or guidelines as to where a new hire should be brought into the compensation structure. The University will use a quartile system that places the new hire within the compensation structure based on defined criteria including experience, KSB, and education. New hires will not be placed within the new compensation structure based on individual department budget.
Non-Benchmark JobA job that is either not common in the market or that is not included in compensation surveys. Jobs that have been tailored to meet specific needs of the institution or a department, or to align with the expertise of an individual are examples of non-benchmark jobs
Non-ExemptRefers to jobs that are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (i.e., “not exempted” from the law) and are subject to all its’ provisions. Employees are required to account for time worked on an hourly and fractional hourly basis and are paid for overtime hours.
Operational Career TrackJobs that provide support and/or service in a “hands-on” environment that contributes to regular University operations. This may include, but is not limited to, work that is administrative, technical, and/or operational in nature.
Pay RangesLower and upper limits of compensation for a job, typically housed within one structure
Position Description (PD)A description of a specific job as it relates to an employee (i.e., position), which is based primarily on a standard job description.
Professional Career TrackJobs that primarily design, implement, guide, and/or deliver processes, programs, and/or policies using specialized knowledge or skills typically acquired through advanced education or equivalent advanced learning attained through experience.
Recruiting ProfileDetailed description of a role without regard to any specific employee used to advertise a specific job to a job seeker. An engaging description of daily tasks, KSAs, minimum, and preferred qualifications.
Salary GradeThe building blocks of a salary structure. Each salary grade has a range (minimum and maximum values)
Salary MaximumThe highest rate of pay within a salary range.
Salary MidpointThe middle of a salary range.
Salary MinimumThe lowest rate of pay in a salary range.
Salary RangeThe lower and upper limits of compensation of a job, which include minimum, midpoint, and maximum values.
Salary StructureA hierarchical grouping of jobs and salary ranges within an organization. Salary structures are often expressed as salary grades that reflect the value of a job in the external market and/or the internal value to an organization.
Salary Survey AnchoringProcess of aligning a current UM job to a salary survey in which a direct match is not available. The job is then anchored above or below the available match within the survey to best price the job.
Subject Matter Expert (SME)A person who possesses a deep understanding of a particular subject. SMEs are utilized throughout this study.
Thumbnail Job DescriptionA concise description of work being represented in a job found in a compensation survey. This is used to tie UM jobs to the external market.
View2022Name of the Classification and Compensation survey being completed at the University of Mississippi.
Working TitleA title that clearly describes the responsibilities and scope of an individual position and provides more description to the Job Title or Title of Record.