Frequently Asked Questions
following are typical questions that you may receive from managers
or issues that you will face on the overall processes involved
with Career Banding. Please contact
with any additional questions or if you would like us to post
other FAQs here.
- How will banding affect me as a manager?
When jobs are moved into a pay band, management will have
more flexibility than they do under the current system to
grant pay increases for eligible employees. Managers will
be responsible for competency assessments to determine appropriate
level and pay.
- How does a manager get delegated authority to
make pay decisions?
Once OSP grants delegation of authority
to DHHS, Central HR will work with program management and
the local HR office to establish delegated authority agreements
and monitor the results.
- Who has final approval authority for banding decisions?
HR will work with managers to determine
the appropriate banded class based on the role of the job.
Individual competency level and pay decisions will be decided
by the hiring manager in consultation with HR.
- Will management be provided new money for implementation?
There is no new state budget money available
specifically for this project. Management will have access
to the existing generation of salary reserve that has historically
been used for promotional increases, in-ranges, range revisions
and reallocation/reclassifications. This salary reserve
money can be used for career banding pay increases.
- How do we know when an employee should be moved
from one CJA level to another?
Management is responsible for competency
assessments which determine the employees rating and pay.
Managers will receive training on the competency assessment
- Should we make sure that existing classifications
are correct before doing the rollover to a banded class?
Yes. Rollover will occur without
significant study of individual positions, so identify the
affected positions as early as possible and make sure that
the position descriptions are current and are classified
correctly before rollover.
- How are T-graded positions handled in Career Banding?
There will not be any T-grades
in career banding. The broader classes will accommodate
- Will we still be able to hire trainees for Career
OSP has indicated that trainees
will not be used in the career banding system. So, if you
have an applicant who does not meet the minimum education
requirements for the banded class, you can no longer hire
that applicant as a trainee.
- What is a promotion?
A promotion is movement of an employee
from one career banded class to another with a higher journey
- Can managers change competencies in profiles?
No, the competencies listed in the DHHS
profiles were validated by DHHS focus groups and should
be sufficient. However, if further competency development
is necessary contact the DHR-Class/Comp Section at
- Does the manager have to use all the competencies
when assessing an employee?
The competencies included in the profiles
should be applicable to all jobs / roles. However, if one
or two are not applicable to the specific job, they do not
have to assess the employee on that competency.
- What is HR's role and the Division Director's role
in signing the competency assessment? Do they have to sign
We strongly encourage the HR Manager, and
Division / School / Facility Director as well as the employee
to sign the competency assessment form. This will indicate
that they have reviewed the form and are aware of the competency
- What happens if management assigns new duties,
but a competency assessment is not done?
Management is responsible for competency
assessments on a regular basis.
- Will non-technical managers be uncomfortable assessing
competencies of very technical skills (i.e. IT)?
DIRM and/or other technical subject
matter experts should be available to provide guidance and
consultation. This is not an unusual situation and occurs
- What if the competency assessment indicates the
employee is advanced but funding is not available?
Level the employee at the advanced
level. Award any pay increases when funding becomes available.
Any pay increases will be awarded on a current basis, not
- Who determines the competency level of a new hire?
Hiring Managers determine the competency
level of a new hire. They will use the information from
the application, interview and reference checks to make
the initial assessment level determination. Hiring Managers
will need to complete a full assessment at the end of the
new hire's probationary period.
Posting and Advertising:
- Is a posting required to advance an employee across
a banded class if the employee has demonstrated the required
No, not as long as there is a business
need and the pay factors have been identified.
- When a position is vacant how does a manager determine
the business need or decision to advertise at the C/J/A
Managers would determine the business
need and competency level based on the competencies of existing
staff and the needs of the work unit and organization, including
budget considerations. The manager may look within the work
unit for possible career development opportunities before
deciding which level to post.
- How is the business need established? Who establishes
the business need?
Managers are responsible for establishing
and defending the business need.
- Can you post a job at one competency level, then
decide to hire at another level? Lower or higher?
No. However, you may fill a position
at a lower level IF you advertised in the initial posting
that you may consider applicants with lower level competency
qualifications, if fully qualified applicants are not available.
You cannot fill positions at a higher level if it was not
posted that way. (See note
in Recruitment section of guide for exact wording requirements.)
- If a journey level job becomes vacant, does the
hiring manager have to post the vacancy, or can he elect
to just move an existing contributing level employee (who
has developed and demonstrated journey level competencies)
into the journey level slot; and then post (recruit) at
the contributing level?
Yes. The managers may reassign
journey level duties to the existing employee and give them
a career progression increase. If more than one employee
has the competencies to do the job, an internal posting
period is recommended.
- Is posting the full range for the banded class
Yes. The full range will automatically
default based on the schematic code for the class.
- Is posting of a recruitment hiring range also
Yes. The recruitment range should
match the competency level (C, J, or A) recruited for and
should also take into account equity and budget considerations,
if applicable. (This could be subject to change based on
future direction from OSP.)
- Do you have to include a statement in the job
vacancy announcement for every competency related to the
No. However, the essential and
predominate competencies which are critical to main purpose
and function of the job should be listed.
- How do hiring managers screen for behaviors?
They should use behavioral based
interview questions and reference checks to obtain information
about an applicants past behaviors. Additional career banding
recruitment and selection training is planned. Selection
tools training is currently offered quarterly through
DHR - Employee and Management Development.
- Can you make a job offer outside the posted recruitment
No. The range advertised is binding.
However, if you have included a statement in the posting
that you will consider a lower level candidate (such as
contributing), you may make an offer in that lower level
posted range. (See note
in Recruitment section of guide for exact wording requirements.)
- What if HR disagrees with a manager's pay decision?
Since we are all new at this process,
we will be working together to assure that DHHS management
has effective flexibility while staying within the State
with any questions that arise when
trying to work with your managers on a difficult pay matter.
and Pay Issues:
- What happens if at rollover an employee is assessed
at the contributing level, but their pay is at journey or
Their pay remains the same. However,
the employee cannot be granted a future salary increase
until the rate of their assigned competency level “catches
up” with their existing pay.
- Can an employee get a salary increase while on
Salary increases should not be
awarded until probation is completed.
- Can an employee receive a salary increase with
a duty change?
Yes, but only if the employee has
demonstrated additional competencies related to the new
- Are salary increases possible with a horizontal
Salary increases will be possible with horizontal
transfers in the Career-Banded system provided all the pay
factors are applied and an increase is clearly justified
based on competency assessment.
- What happens if an employee is going to be banded
in a range that does not go as high as their existing salary?
If this occurs, each case will
be reviewed individually and the decision may vary depending
on the situation.
- What is the difference between the Journey Market
Rate and the Market Reference Rate?
The journey market rate is the
statewide market rate for the banded class. Employees at
or near this rate fully demonstrate all journey level competencies
for the banded class. Through experience, management may
determine that in their locality a particular Journey Market
Rate is not competitive (either too high or too low). A
Market Reference Rate might be a solution. For example,
a request can be made to OSP for a higher Market Reference
Rate if there is documented turnover, recruitment and market
data to support the request.
- Will managers receive guidelines on how to prioritize
funding for career-banding over graded positions?
This should be a decision made
by individual divisions and institutions based on organizational
business need, and should not be dependent on one pay system
- Will managers be able to request a retention adjustment
based on an outside offer? What about from another state
Retention adjustments will be allowed
if a key employee has an outside offer of employment and
criteria is met to support a salary adjustment within the
pay range of the employee’s banded class. (Criteria
is being developed by OSP.) Retention adjustments will not
be allowed for offers internal to state government.
- Who will communicate the dispute process to employees?
How will employees be notified of the 15 day - 60 day timeframes.
Employees should be informed of
this process at Career Banding orientation. Information
about the dispute process is available on the DHHS Career
- As a manager do I complete a performance management
plan and a competency assessment on each employee?
Yes, supervisors will be trained on how
to develop workplans and how complete competency assessments,
as well as career development plans.
- Will managers equate competency assessments with performance
The competency assessment will document the employee's competency
rating / level (C,J,A) which assesses skill level, not performance.
The performance management review will document the employee's
overall performance rating (outstanding, very good, good,
below good, and unsatisfactory). Eventually, competency
assessments will be conducted at the same time as performance
management reviews are conducted.