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A characteristic of a set of jobs that is used in an analytical job evaluation scheme. Factors may include skill, effort, decision-making, working conditions, and responsibility for people, finance, and equipment. Ideally, factors should be present in the jobs being evaluated to a greater or lesser degree, in order that individual jobs can be scored under each factor heading. The total scores across factors can then determine the sorting of jobs into a hierarchy and their division into a set of pay grades. Factors should be relevant, clearly defined, gender neutral, and cover the main features of the jobs subject to evaluation. Typically, they are broken down into a number of ‘factor levels’, such that the factor skill will comprise definitions of high, low, and intermediate levels of skill. It is also common to weight factors, such that those that are more important to the employing organization carry a higher potential score. Skill, for instance, may be given a higher weight than working conditions. In choosing, defining, and weighting job factors it is essential that care is given to the question of discrimination, as gender bias in job evaluation schemes can perpetuate the underpayment of women and is contrary to equal pay law.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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