In this Section

  1. Overview
  2. Writing the Job Description (1st Step)
  3. Determine the Job Family (2nd Step)
  4. Determine Job Family Zone (3rd Step)
  5. Determine Title (4th Step)
  6. Determine the Exempt/Non-Exempt and Managerial/Professional or Office/Service Status

Other Resources

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Job analysis is the process of gathering and analyzing information about the content and the human requirements of jobs, as well as, the context in which jobs are performed. This process is used to determine placement of jobs. Under NU Values the decision-making in this area is shared by units and Human Resources. Specific internal approval processes will be determined by the unit's organizational leadership.

Job analysis defines the organization of jobs within a job family. It allows units to identify paths of job progression for employees interested in improving their opportunities for career advancement and increasing compensation.

A relative value is placed on the differing factors described in the Zone Placement Matrix. All new and existing positions will be assigned to a job family and zone using the job analysis process. This process is designed to place positions into families and zones based upon assigned duties, qualifications and competencies as measured by the five criteria found in the Zone Placement Matrix.

Organizational unit leaders are encouraged to consult with Human Resources for guidance at any step in the job analysis process.

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Writing the Job Description (1st Step)

The job description is a written statement that describes the work that is to be done and the skills, knowledge and abilities needed to perform the work. Each job has a description identifying the duties, qualifications, decision-making, interactions, supervision received/exercised and impact of the position. Where necessary, the description also includes special physical or patient care requirements. In NU Values all job descriptions are made up of the following sections, using the Job Description System (PeopleAdmin):

  1. General Information
  2. Job Summary
  3. Salary Considerations
  4. Duties and Responsibilities
  5. Zone Definition Factors
    1. General Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
    2. Problem Solving/Decision Making
    3. Interactions
    4. Nature of Supervision
    5. Impact
  6. Minimum Qualifications
  7. Physical Requirements (Complete, as necessary.)

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Determine the Job Family (2nd Step)

Job families are broadly defined groupings of jobs. They are composed of jobs related through common vocations/professions. Some will have different levels of complexity of duties or different scopes of responsibility and require a different level of qualifications and competencies. University of Nebraska Job Families and a brief description of each are defined in Job Families.

The leadership within an organizational unit with guidance from Human Resources determines the appropriate job family for a new or changing position. Job family decisions are based on the definition of the job family and by scanning lists of job titles currently found in the family.

Some positions will have duties aligned to more than one job family. Human Resources will provide assistance in determining job families for these positions.

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Determine Job Family Zone (3rd Step)

Determine the appropriate zone within the selected job family by matching the job description of the new or revised job to the zone criteria described in the Zone Placement Matrix. Descriptions of other unit jobs in the job family zone should also be reviewed when making this determination.

Job families have four zones:

  1. Assistant
  2. Associate
  3. Specialist
  4. Senior

Each zone represents a recognizable and measurable difference in levels of responsibilities, complexity, impact, skills and expertise within the specific job family. The objective of the zone placement is to find the zone that generally fits with the nature of the job. Some jobs may contain duties and responsibilities that partially fit in two zones. The best-fit zone is the one that is consistent with the majority of the job's duties and responsibilities.


The following zone definition factors are described in the Zone Placement Matrix. They are used to make zone placement decisions.

  1. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  2. Problem Solving and Decision Making
  3. Interactions
  4. Nature of Supervision
  5. Impact

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Determine Title (4th Step)

Under NU Values a position will have two titles, a System Title and a Working Title. The System job title is determined by combining the job family name with the zone title. A more specific title, called the Working Title, is determined by organizational unit leadership.

Working titles will be used in the units to differentiate jobs to the extent that the organizational unit leadership feels appropriate. Jobs that are very similar should have the same working title. Working titles should avoid, wherever possible, using the Zone Placement Title of a zone other than the one placed in, i.e., a position in the Associate Zone would not be called Project Specialist.

It is important that working titles accurately reflect the nature and level of the job because:

  1. Working titles will be stored in SAP and other computer systems and used for reporting purposes.
  2. While job descriptions are used, working titles are a primary identifier when matching university jobs to the general labor market.

We anticipate that, over time, job titles will be refined. The goals of refining job titles are to:

  • Establish clear and meaningful distinctions among job titles.
  • Support cross training,
  • Encourage a multi-skilled staff that works across traditional job boundaries.

For assistance when assigning titles to jobs, consult with Human Resources.

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Determine the Exempt/Non-Exempt and Managerial/Professional or Office/Service Status

The exempt/nonexempt and Managerial/Professional-Office/Service status of each job will be assigned by Human Resources. Exempt-nonexempt status is based upon an interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it relates to the duties and responsibilities of each job. Managerial/Professional or Office/Service status correlates closely with exempt/nonexempt and impacts some benefits of the job.