According to the New Jersey Department of Personnel, position classification involves the "grouping together, into categories or classes, positions which are sufficiently similar in 1) duties and responsibilities, 2) level of difficulty, and 3) requirements."
The New Jersey Department of Personnel was formerly responsible for the creation of titles, their reevaluation and the reclassification of positions. Subsequent to the creation of the generic title system, these functions were assumed by the Department of Higher Education in 1985.
Under the system of generic titles, professional staff have one of 12 in-unit titles. These 12 titles replaced some 150 functionally specific titles, which existed under the old Civil Service system. Examples of generic titles are Administrative Assistant I, Professional Services Specialist II and Program Assistant. However, not all professional staff were switched to the generic system; there are still some professional staff in our unit who bear old Civil Service functional titles because these could not be matched with the new generic titles. These old or "retained titles" are to disappear as their current incumbents leave them.
Each of the 12 generic titles has a JOB SPECIFICATION. Each job specification contains certain information: the job definition, examples of work, education and experience requirements, knowledge and abilities, unit designation and salary range designation. The salary for any given title is determined by a study of the duties and responsibilities of the job through the process of JOB EVALUATION. New Jersey uses a Hay-based system and this system underlies the generic titles. Each position at the colleges and universities has a JOB DESCRIPTION. In theory, when a new position is created, a job description is written for it. After it is written it is compared to the JOB SPECIFICATIONS, and assigned its title based on matching with a JOB SPECIFICATION. The job is then advertised as bearing a particular title and salary.
According to the New Jersey Administrative Code( 4A:3-3.5), reclassification occurs “When the duties and responsibilities of a position change to the extent that they are no longer similar to the duties and responsibilities set forth in the [generic] specification and the title is no longer appropriate…”
This change occurs when the duties and responsibilities of a position change; such changes may be gradual or sudden. If the change(s) is (are) so significant that the current title is no longer appropriate, a reclassification of the position is in order. The reclassification may be lateral, upward, or downward. Upward reclassification would result in the assignment of a new and higher generic title to the professional staff member's position-it is the position that is reclassified, not the employee-because the old title is no longer reflective of the job content of the position.