Career Banding Logo
Last Update: 6-12-2006

Frequently Asked Questions

Note: Since Career Banding is a new system in DHHS and in NC state government, we are learning and building the system as we go. These answers will reflect our latest interpretations and understanding of the system, and we will revise and add to the information as we learn more.

For questions not answered here, please use the e-mail link at the bottom of the page and a member of the Human Resource Banding Project Team will respond.

What is Career Banding and why are we going to this new system?

Career Banding is a new human resources system that affects the way we classify, hire, pay, promote, evaluate, and provide career development opportunities for our employees.

The new system will be phased into state government over the next few years. To reduce the number of job classes and titles in state government, jobs that are similar will be grouped together into more general job classes (called Job Families). The combined job classes will be grouped into larger pay ranges and may be assigned new titles.

The Office of State Human Resources initiated this new Human Resources system throughout state government for a number of reasons:

  • The current system is outdated and we need to reduce the number of job classes and titles in state government.
  • Pay should be based on current market rates to help us retain qualified employees.
  • Career Banding gives agency directors more flexibility to set pay rates for qualified employees.
  • Career Banding creates more emphasis on career development.


Will my salary or job duties change under Career Banding?

Although you may have a new job title in the future, your duties should not change.

Your workplan will be rewritten to describe “competencies” (skills, knowledge, abilities, and key behaviors) that are needed for you to do your job well and advance through your new pay range, but you will notice few other changes in the new system.

In the current budget year, there are no anticipated salary increases associated with any jobs that are converted to the banding system in DHHS.

In future years after your job has been “banded”, you may be able to get a pay increase if:

  • Budget money is available to fund the increase; and
  • Pay studies comparing your pay to other public employers and private industry confirm that employees in your job family are being underpaid; or
  • You move up through the new banding pay range by demonstrating new job-related competencies (skills, knowledge, abilities, and key behaviors) that you may have acquired through further education, training or on-the-job skill building. Note that you have to be "demonstrating" these competencies on the job to move up through the pay range. This means that if you learn how to perform a new or higher level competency that you cannot use in your current job, you will not be eligible to receive a higher pay rate for the new skill that you are not "demonstrating" in your position. Of course, acquiring new skills can reward you in the long run, however, by allowing you to move up to a higher level in your work unit if needed in the future or qualify for promotions into positions where you can use those new skills!


What are the benefits to Career Banding?

We anticipate that there will be many benefits to the new system. Although any pay increases will always be tied to the overall budget for the year, the Banding system should make some things easier to manage.

Here are some expected benefits:

  • Managers will have more flexibility than they do under the current system to grant pay adjustments including pay increases (if budget money is available) for eligible employees.
  • Employees will be able to move up through the pay range by acquiring and demonstrating new job-related competencies, education, or training.
  • DHHS as a whole should be able to attract and keep more talented employees who know that there is a potential for career advancement.


When will my job be "banded"?

We have banded our Information Technology jobs as well as our Law Enforcement jobs. The next classes to be banded will be Institutional Services (Nutritional Services and Building and Environmental Services) and certain jobs under the Operations and Skilled Trades Job Families.


What are Job Families and where will my job fit?

The following explanation is illustrated in a graphic below to help you see how all of the pieces fit.

Staff from DHHS and other state agencies have been working with the Office of State personnel (OSHR) to define 10 Job Families to include all of our current jobs. Each Job Family will have a number of "Career Branches" and under that, a number of "Banded Class Series" that will include your job.

The banding profile for a "office assistant" job, for example, will be:

Administrative and Managerial Job Family


Office Programs Support Career Branch

    Office Support Banded Class Series    

  • The overall Job Family for office assistants would be the "Administrative and Managerial Job Family";
  • The major Career Branch for office assistants would be the "Office Programs Support Career Branch"; and
  • The direct Banded Class Series for office assistants would be the "Office Support Banded Class Series".


How will my job fit into a "pay band"?

A pay band is a range of pay set for a group of employees. Each major Job Family will have a wide pay band associated with it. Human Resource Staff will research current data on the average pay rates for similar employees who work in government and private industry to establish fair pay "bands" for each Job Family and each Banded Class Series under each Job Family. The range will go from the lowest rate for a new or inexperienced employee to the highest rate for a highly skilled or experienced employee.


How will banding affect me as a manager?

When jobs are moved into a pay band, agency directors should have more flexibility than they do under the current system to grant pay increases for eligible employees. Job-related competencies, education, and/or training will be defined for each pay band. As employees acquire these skills or meet these requirements, managers will be able to authorize appropriate pay increases (as budgets allow).


What is a competency? Who decides what competencies will be in my job and what level of competencies I have attained?

Competencies are the skills, knowledge, abilities, and key behaviors that you need to perform your job. DHHS Human Resources staff will be working with division and institution managers, supervisors, and representative groups of employees to make sure that the Competency Profiles for your job are accurate and develop some specific "Key Activities" to further describe how you may be demonstrating these competencies on the job. (When your job is banded, you should be given a copy of your Competency Profile. The profiles are also posted on this web site under your Job Family as they are developed. See Business & Technology Applications Technician Competency Profile for an example.)

These competencies will be used to:

  • find qualified applicants to fill vacant positions,
  • assess eligibility for pay increases when you demonstrate higher competency levels, and
  • plan career development and training to help you increase your competencies.

The defined competencies will be grouped into 3 categories related to 3 pay ranges within a pay band:

  • Contributing (entry level)
  • Journey (experienced)
  • Advanced (expert)

You and your supervisor will decide what level of competencies you are demonstrating. We also plan to use a performance management system under banding that should not differ very much from the current system of workplans and annual reviews. There may be some new forms, but the basic philosophy of making sure that employees understand what is expected of them, meeting periodically to assess their progress, and evaluating performance at least annually should remain the same.

Competencies will relate to all aspects of Human Resources. You may want to view a graphic that illustrates this relationship. (Use your "back" button to return to this page after viewing the grahic.) You may also read a more detailed Employee Fact Sheet on Competency Assessment for more information.


How will banding affect my ability to advance?

Many current jobs in state government leave no room for advancement other than entering supervision or management.

When your job is placed into a banded career path, you may be able to work your way up in responsibility and pay by going from "contributing" to "journey" or from "journey" to "advanced" by increasing your competencies. And since your current job may be banded with other similar jobs, you may be able to move more easily into a similar position that would give you even more career advancement opportunities.


Could my job be negatively affected by banding? Could I be layed off/RIF'd?

DHHS anticipates no layoffs or Reduction in Force (RIFs) as a result of this move into the new system.

Although you may have a new job title in the future, your duties should not change. Your workplan may be rewritten to describe “competencies” that are needed for you to do your job well and advance through your new pay range, but your pay would not be reduced as a result of where your particular skills are in the new pay range.



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