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Human Resources
University of Mississippi


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 VIEW2022 more terms, concepts and definition will be added or slightly modified.


Term / ConceptDescription
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, and Managerial (not a specifically linear progression).
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 against which 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 established 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)
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 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 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. Not meant as a means for performance mgmt or recruiting.
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."
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. This career track gets their work done through the work of others.
Market CompetitiveA compensation level that aligns closely with the prevailing rates in the job market for similar roles and responsibilities. This pay ensures that employees are paid at a level matching or slightly above what other employers offer for similar responsibilities, taking into account factors such as job responsibilities, experience, education and skill requirements.
Market DataSalary data provided by reputable salary survey vendors that represents the external market. Market data is collected by the central compensation team and not by individual departments / units.
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 MatchA 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.
Market RelevantA compensation level that, while not necessarily matching the market, falls within a reasonable and generally accepted range for similar roles. It ensures that employees are paid within a broad range relative to the prevailing rates for their job functions, considering factors such as job responsibilities, experience, education, and skill requirements.
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.
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-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. Used for performance management for the specific role. This may also be referred to as a Job Description (JD).
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 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 closest 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.
View2022Name of the Classification and Compensation project being completed at the University of Mississippi. The purpose of naming the project View2022 was in the future being able to quickly identify when our compensation and classification program had last been evaluated. July 2022 is when the project started.


Links to all View2022 Webpages

View2022 Compensation Structure

View2022 Terms and Concepts

View2022 Communications

View2022 Guiding Principles

View2022 Project Phases

View2022 Project Participants and Engagement Opportunities

View2022 Survey Results

View2022 FAQ


Updated: 7/11/2024