Glossary of terms

Performs broad and/or focused assignments requiring significant experience or specialist training in particular area; works under minimal supervision; applies KSA’s to enhancing strategies and procedures; recognized peers as a resource; problem solving requires analysis of unique issues/problems without precedent or structure. 

Benchmark job
Job with duties that are well understood and for which market pay information is readily available from published salary surveys. It is a“standard” job that is similar across organizations and typically has many incumbents. Benchmark jobs can be used for making pay comparisons either within the organization or to comparable jobs outside the organization.

Career path “advancement” or career path “promotion”
When employees advance through their career path, within their current position (e.g., “promotion in place”), they are eligible for a salary increase typically in the range of 3% to 5%.  These promotions are typically “non-competitive,” earned by acquiring additional knowledge and skills and successfully completing milestones in the career development plan as approved by the department head. The progression planned as part of career development may be through the same or to a different career path. These career advancements are supported by a written development plan as part of the performance management process.

Central HR
Provides HR leadership across the institution, designs policies and develops programs, collaborates with school/unit HR professionals as primary customer, manages infrastructure and technology, offers deep subject matter expertise problem solving in difficult situations, leverages scale with flexibility to adapt to school/unit needs, researches and adjusts to market trends, continuous process improvement, analyzes data and tracks metrics, provides executive leadership and governance over the entire HR function.

The ratio of FTE base salary or hourly rate to the pay range midpoint. A ratio equal to 1.00 (or 100%) means an employee’s base pay is equal to the pay range midpoint.

Classified employee
Employees who are covered by the Virginia Personnel Act, Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia, and the policies and procedures established by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management and who are not participating university employees.

Compensation surveys
These are salary, pay practice, and trends surveys conducted by third-party professional organizations. These surveys adhere strictly with safe harbor guidelines in order to avoid antitrust violations that may be viewed by the federal government as price fixing.

A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees. 

Competitive offers
A salary offer made in order to retain employees who are highly skilled and performing at a high level. Managers shall take into consideration the external market for the employee’s current position, impact on internal equity and the employee’s performance.

Covered institution
On and after the effective date of its initial Management Agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia, a public institution of higher education of the Commonwealth that has entered into a Management Agreement with the Commonwealth.

When employees change jobs to a position with a lower market range. Demotions can be voluntary or involuntary. Typically there is a salary decrease with an involuntary demotion.  Voluntary demotions can occur both competitively (through the hiring/search process) or non-competitively. When employees apply and are competitively selected for positions at a lower market range, the salary in the new range is determined based on their qualifications and experience (same as a new hire).

Equity adjustment
An adjustment made when there is an inequity between the salary of one employee and another in the same job with comparable experience, qualifications, contribution level, and performance to bring salaries into alignment.

Applies basic knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) to perform the necessary responsibilities while developing new specialized KSA’s; may need guided supervision; has no or limited experience and tasks can be learned on the job; limited decision making required.

Applies KSA’s to multiple components; leading knowledge and skill across or in leading multiple projects/orgs; demonstrates knowledge of trends in field; serves as leader and/or expert in role; provides coaching to others; applies KSA’s to creating, developing, implementing and enhancing strategies and procedures; has strategic focus.

HR administrator (currently personnel administrator or PA)
Provides highly skilled technical expertise in the administration of HR transactions, focus on delivery of processes with end-to-end service, strong systems expertise, data administration, handle general inquiries, primary interaction is with employees, applicants, retirees, and external customers.

HR professional
At VP/Dean level (currently Super PA’s) serves as consultant & advisor, provides embedded expertise and authority at school/division level, empowered to make decisions and execute transactions; primary interaction is with school/unit leadership and managers, partners with Central HR to design, evaluate, and deliver policies and programs.

Internal equity
Criterion used to determine fairness in pay among employees of an organization.

Job analysis
The process for identifying the roles, responsibilities, competencies and requirements to successfully perform a job.

Job code
The code used for the salary range assigned to a job.

Job evaluation/classification
The process for assigning a role, level, and salary range to a job and for assessing the FLSA status for a job.

KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)
The attributes required to perform a job and are generally demonstrated through qualifying service, education, or training.

Management agreement
The agreement required by subsection D of § 23-38.88 of the Act between the university and the Commonwealth.

Identified and defined by a combination of factors, e.g., geography (local, regional, national, international), industry, organization size. It reflects the environment that an organization competes with for qualified staff.

Merit increases (also known as “Pay for Performance”)
Employees are awarded raises in the annual salary increase process (“on cycle”) based on the assessment of performance as determined during the performance review process. These salary increases may also take into consideration market, equity, retention, and other compensable factors. Employees with salaries at the top of the market range may receive the salary increase in the form of a lump sum payment. 

Mid point (50th percentile)
The middle data point in an ordered array of data. Where there is an even number of data points, the median is derived by averaging the middle two data points.

Non-benchmark job
A job where a Market Reference Point is unavailable due to insufficient or absence of market data. A pay range for a non-benchmark job is established by slotting the job. Slotting involves comparing the job against similar jobs in the university and assessing how the job fits within the University.

Off Cycle bonus
Most bonuses are awarded during the annual process. However, off cycle bonuses may be granted under exceptional circumstances to address unanticipated situations that occur during the year.

Overload pay
Overload compensation is monetary remuneration, other than administrative stipend, paid to an unclassified employee (faculty member) for services in excess of full-time effort for institutional-funded activities.

Pay compression
A salary situation that occurs when differences in pay are too small to be considered equitable. May apply to differences between (1) pay of supervisors and subordinates, (2) pay of experienced and newly hired employees in the same job, (3) pay of top performers and average performers, and (4) pay of employees of comparable contribution and value.

Applies learned KSA’s to a variety of tasks and projects; performs focused assignments that require prior experience; may need minimal guidance in addressing situations[1] [2] [3]  that are not routine.

When employees change jobs to a position with a higher market range, they typically receive a salary increase. The new salary is determined within the higher market range based on their qualifications and experience (same as a new hire). These promotions are typically “competitive,” earned through the hiring/search process.

Recognition award
A monetary bonus or leave allotment intended to encourage and reward the accomplishments and contributions of employees in ways separate from the performance appraisal process. Rather than recognizing overall performance, recognition awards acknowledge one or more specific instances of exemplary performance.

Salary range
The range of salaries, from minimum to maximum, that is assigned to a group of jobs that have similar pay rates in the market. There are three ranges per position which ultimate create a range spread of 110%.

Starting pay
The initial rate of compensation an employee receives in exchange for services. It excludes extra lump sum compensation such as bonuses or overtime pay. An employee's starting pay can be expressed as an hourly rate or as an annual salary.

A fixed regular sum paid as a salary or allowance not paid through our payroll system.

Supplemental pay
Compensation paid to an employee in addition to regular wages and include, but are not limited to, call back pay, stand-by pay, and shift differentials.

Temporary pay (Acting Pay)
Additional pay may be provided to employees who temporarily takes on additional responsibilities substantially greater than their assigned position. Employees who take on a temporary assignment are placed in the new market range based on their qualifications and experience (same as a new hire). Temporary/acting pay is typically provided for no more than one (1) year. Exceptions beyond the one (1) year require approval of the Provost or appropriate Vice President and HR. 

When employees change jobs to a position with the same market range, the salary in the new range is determined based on their qualifications and experience. The salary may increase, decrease, or stay the same.