Human Resources

Willamette University Staff Compensation and Classification

Willamette University is currently conducting a compensation and classification study with the intent of establishing an improved system for classifying jobs appropriately and determining appropriate compensation levels, as well as managing classification and compensation on a continuing basis. This site has been established to help you stay apprised of the progress of the study and find any related communications or information. As always, please feel free to contact the Office of Human Resources with any questions you may have.

Compansation Program Diagram

Phase A

The philosophy, strategy, and vision development phase of the project was completed in December 2013 following a number of focus group interviews involving department leaders, staff committees, and other stakeholders.  This resulted in defining a new Vision and Compensation Philosophy for staff compensation and classification at Willamette University.  


Phase B

The Job Analysis and Design Phase was concluded in mid-summer 2014.  This phase asked staff to provide information on a web-based Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) about the work that they do.  Both incumbents and supervisors completed online PDQs which allowed Sibson Consulting to evaluate each job to determine if a benchmark job existed in salary surveys that are being used for the project.  In the absence of and in addition to PDQs, Sibson used Job Descriptions to assess market competitiveness in Phase C of the project.  The PDQs and Job Descriptions are also being used for "leveling" non-benchmark jobs into the new salary structure. 


Phase C 

Market Analysis was conducted in late summer through the fall of 2014 to determine benchmark job pay in the local, national, cross-industry and industry-specific labor markets.  124 benchmark jobs were identified and priced relative to these markets to ensure our new system is market competitive. 


Phase D

The new system of grades and pay ranges was selected from a range of design choices to establish a Willamette University program of salary structures that reflected the original goals of the project.  This was completed in January 2015.  As of February 2015, non-benchmark jobs are being "leveled" into the structure with the goal of implementing new system June 1, 2015.  Pay and pay guidelines will continue to be developed to determine how employees are moved through ranges over time based on merit, commitment/service, or a combination of both. 

Current Status

  • Benchmarking and Market Analysis Phase (C) is completed as of November 14, 2014.
  • Final Phase, which is Program Design Phase, is currently underway.

Additional Resources

The Human Resources Office wants to provide the university community with informational links throughout the duration of the Classification and Compensation study, in an effort to answer questions, provide relevant information, and to address concerns.