Compensation Glossary and FAQs

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions and the definition of commonly used compensation terms. You may find it useful to become familiar with these terms to understand this project and other compensation program activities in GTHR.

Glossary

Job Classification and Compensation System (JCCS) Staff positions at Georgia Tech are part of the JCCS. This system defines each position’s job structure, title, pay range and quartile, and pay grade. The JCCS is designed to encourage and facilitate staff employee professional growth and development.
Salary Ranges Structures that reflect the minimum and maximum pay for a job at Georgia Tech. Internal and external hires must start at no less than the minimum of the salary range of the pay grade for the position into which they have been hired.
Pay Grades Georgia Tech groups jobs with similar internal and external value into Pay Grades within a salary structure. Each pay grade in each salary structure is segmented into quartiles. Individual job performance and job knowledge along with the Institute’s financial position determine individual employee placement in the applicable grade.  All salaries are capped at a position’s salary range maximum.
 
Equity Adjustment / Market Adjustment Salary increases for an individual or group of employees whose salary has fallen behind the external market.
Job Structures

Georgia Tech groups job grades with similar characteristics into job structure categories. There are five job structure categories at Georgia Tech: Administrative, Craft & Skilled Traders, Development, Information Technology, and Science & Research Support.

 

Curious to learn more? Click here for additional details on Georgia Tech’s compensation structure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Will every employee receive an equity increase as a result of the project?

While each faculty and staff member at Georgia Tech is valued, not every employee will receive an increase through this market equity review.

Who is more likely to receive an equity increase?

Employees with demonstrated skills in their field and those with the highest level of job qualification, difficult to find skills, and Georgia Tech experience will be considered for a salary adjustment. Adjustments will be made through a phased approach, starting with the most disparate positions to market and priority positions with significant turnover.

Who is less likely to receive an equity increase?

Employees that have been newly hired, newly assigned, or newly promoted will not be eligible for an equity increase. These employees are generally assigned to Quartile I in their position’s salary range. For more information, visit hr.gatech.edu/staff-job-descriptions-and-salary-structures.

When will the equity increases become effective?

Staff equity adjustments will be effective in December 2021. Georgia Tech is targeting an early 2022 effective date for faculty adjustments. Adjustments may continue throughout the fiscal year based on unit funding and a phased approach.

Which components of the JCCS will be updated?

Staff positions at Georgia Tech are part of the Job Classification and Compensation System (JCCS) that defines each position’s job structure, title, pay range and quartile, and pay grade. In this project, we are reviewing select components of the JCCS to determine where changes may be needed. This may include potential updates to the system of salary grade tiers and the minimum and maximum salary of each grade.

Are research faculty and Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) staff a part of this assessment?

The current market equity study includes GTRI staff positions. A study for GTRI research faculty was completed in 2020.

How do we assess knowledge, skills, and competencies for the sake of pay? 

Knowledge, skills, and competencies are based on the job description. If a job description lacks this information, please work with your HR representative and compensation consultant to update your position's job description. 

How do we assess knowledge, skills, and competencies for the sake of pay? 

Knowledge, skills, and competencies are based on the job description. If a job description lacks this information, please work with your HR representative and compensation consultant to update your position's job description. 

How are years of experience being calculated in the new compensation quartiles found in the JCCS and considered in the market equity study? 

Each Georgia Tech job is assigned to a salary range in a salary structure and each range in the structure has been divided into quartiles. Individual employees are slotted into the applicable quartile based on their years in the current Georgia Tech role.

The years of direct job-related experience associated with each quartile are based on leading market practice for various job levels as reflected in the published compensation surveys being used for the market equity study.

In the future, departments can submit individual employee equity requests that consider previous direct experience performing the same scope of responsibilities, provided the employee was not recently promoted. 

How will you consider recently promoted employees who have significant years of experience? Are they penalized due to the short period of time they have operated in their new role? 

When an employee is promoted or reclassified to a position in a higher Pay Grade, the employee will normally be awarded a promotional or reclassification increase. Determinations of the actual increase will consider relevant factors such as internal compensation equity and the individual’s qualifications and experience for the position. Not all promotions will result in a compensation increase.

If a recently promoted employee’s salary falls below the minimum of their salary range, that employee will receive an increase to the new range minimum. However, that employee’s prior experience will not be reviewed again to determine placement in their position’s salary range.​

How do you determine the salary for each role? How does the salary increase occur in the staff quartile system? 

Starting salaries for external hires at Georgia Tech are determined based on the applicant’s prior experience, skills, or education, directly compared to other employees that are similarly situated at Georgia Tech. Promotional or reclassification increases consider relevant factors such as internal compensation equity and the individual’s qualifications and experience for the position.

At Georgia Tech, Internal and External hires must start at no less than the minimum of the salary range of the pay grade for the position into which they have been hired. Starting compensation for Internal and External hires that is above the midpoint of the salary range of the Pay Grade (the entry point of the third quartile) must gain additional approvals from GTHR.

In connection with the recent merit study, Georgia Tech aged its salary structures forward to enhance structure alignment with market. If a newly hired or recently promoted employee’s salary falls below the minimum of their aged-forward salary range, that employee will receive an increase to the new range minimum. However, that employee’s prior experience will not be reviewed again to determine placement in their position’s salary range.

Georgia Tech remains committed to providing to employees with pay for performance and will not award salary increases based solely on time in role. Georgia Tech will continue to award merit pay, when funded by the State, promotional and reclassification increases, and equity and market-based adjustments when budgets and funding allow.