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Banding Guide

Procedural Guide for HR Managers and Analysts

Last Update: 3-15-2006

Frequently Asked Questions

Manager FAQs

The 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.
General Questions:
  1. 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.
  2. How does a manager get delegated authority to make pay decisions?
    Once OSHR 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 process.
  6. 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.
  7. How are T-graded positions handled in Career Banding?
    There will not be any T-grades in career banding. The broader classes will accommodate all roles.
  8. Will we still be able to hire trainees for Career Banded positions?
    OSHR 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.
  9. What is a promotion?
    A promotion is movement of an employee from one career banded class to another with a higher journey market rate.
Competency Assessment:
  1. 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 .
  2. 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.
  3. What is HR's role and the Division Director's role in signing the competency assessment? Do they have to sign it?
    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 level assessment.
  4. What happens if management assigns new duties, but a competency assessment is not done?
    Management is responsible for competency assessments on a regular basis.
  5. 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 now.
  6. 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 retroactive.
  7. 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.
Vacancy Posting and Advertising:
  1. Is a posting required to advance an employee across a banded class if the employee has demonstrated the required competencies?
    No, not as long as there is a business need and the pay factors have been identified.
  2. When a position is vacant how does a manager determine the business need or decision to advertise at the C/J/A level?
    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.
  3. How is the business need established? Who establishes the business need?
    Managers are responsible for establishing and defending the business need.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. Is posting the full range for the banded class required?
    Yes. The full range will automatically default based on the schematic code for the class.
  7. Is posting of a recruitment hiring range also required?
    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 OSHR.)
  8. Do you have to include a statement in the job vacancy announcement for every competency related to the class?
    No. However, the essential and predominate competencies which are critical to main purpose and function of the job should be listed.
  9. 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.
  10. Can you make a job offer outside the posted recruitment hiring range?
    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.)
  11. 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 policies. Contact with any questions that arise when trying to work with your managers on a difficult pay matter.
Salary and Pay Issues:
  1. What happens if at rollover an employee is assessed at the contributing level, but their pay is at journey or advanced?
    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.
  2. Can an employee get a salary increase while on probation?
    Salary increases should not be awarded until probation is completed.
  3. 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 duties.
  4. Are salary increases possible with a horizontal transfer?
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 OSHR for a higher Market Reference Rate if there is documented turnover, recruitment and market data to support the request.
  7. 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 versus another.
  8. Will managers be able to request a retention adjustment based on an outside offer? What about from another state agency?
    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 OSHR.) Retention adjustments will not be allowed for offers internal to state government.
Dispute Process:
  1. 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 Banding website.
Performance Management:
  1. 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.
  2. Will managers equate competency assessments with performance management?
    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.
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