[IPAC-List] Consistency

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Thu Jan 13 12:20:33 EST 2011

I'm plowing my way through 9,530 comments to our annual survey of
candidates (I'm pondering requesting danger pay). Happily, some of the
comments are delightfully succinct praise for the survey itself.

But sadly, these are not the majority.....

A number of the comments that surface pertain to sluggishness of
process, and many are likely unique to our legal context, but one of the
comment categories that comes up regularly enough concerns perceived
inconsistencies in the required qualifications across departments and
agencies, or within a large agency with many distributed branches, for
jobs that are seemingly identically classified. That is, the respondent
says "I applied to an ad for this same job classification HERE and they
only wanted XX and YY, whereas applying for it THERE required much
higher levels of those things, or even more things". Those things might
be number of years of experience with something, perhaps more education
in a given area, a higher score on the same or more tests, and so on.

I understand that agencies can often compete with each other for a
limited talent pool by means of "classification creep" and giving a
higher classification to a job as a means of providing higher
compensation levels (since they cannot just simply offer a higher salary
unless the classification justifies it). But that is obviously not a
sustainable recruitment strategy.

I know we have, and you probably have, "classification standards", but
that does not mean they are rigorously applied and adhered to, or
**perceived** as having been adhered to. So I'm curious. How do you
folks out there address consistency of classification and its impact or
ripple effects on assessment tools and criteria, min quals, and such?
What sorts of pan-organizational controls, communication strategies, or
corrective mechanisms do you put in place? Do you keep track centrally
of what selection criteria are applied, or impose them centrally to
assure consistency? Or do people in your particular jurisdiction and
line of work just accept it as a fact of life that the same sort of job
will be classified, assessed, and selected for differently in this place
and that place?

Mark Hammer


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