FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and Answers


1.         What is classification?  Classification is a process which groups civil service positions into appropriate classes on the basis of the kind and level of work assigned and knowledge, skills, abilities, education, training and experience required.

2.         What is a class?  A class (of work) is a group of positions which have sufficiently similar duties and responsibilities such that the same class title and same pay range or pay grade apply to each position in the class.  A class is defined by a class specification.  Office Assistant III is an example of a class.

3.         What is a series?    A series consists of classes which are similar as to subject matter of work, but differ in level of difficulty, responsibility and qualifications required.  The classes Office Assistant I, II, III, IV and V make up the Office Assistant series.

4.         What is a class specification?    A class specification is an official document that defines the primary purpose and functions of a specific class, in terms of the nature and scope of duties and responsibilities; level of difficulty and authority; and knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the work.  A class specification serves as the standard by which civil service positions are classified.

5.         What is a position?  A position is a specific job, whether occupied or vacant, consisting of all the duties and responsibilities assigned by management, requiring the full or part time employment of one person.

6.         What is a position description?  A position description is an official written document that describes the major duties and responsibilities assigned to a particular position by the appointing authority.

7.         What is the difference between a class specification and a position description?  A class specification provides the parameters for a class of work in terms of the nature and scope of duties and responsibilities; level of difficulty and authority; and knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the work, and serves as the standard by which civil service positions are evaluated and classified.  A position description describes the specific duties and responsibilities assigned to a particular position.

8.         Where can I find class specifications?  The State’s class specifications can be found at https://dhrd.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/WP_Class-Specifications-and-Minimum-Qualification-Requirements.xls 

9.         Can I have a copy of my position description?  All employees should have access to their own position descriptions.  To obtain a copy of your position description, check with your supervisor or your department’s personnel office.

10.       When should a position description be reviewed and updated?  Position descriptions should accurately reflect the work assigned.  Position descriptions need to be updated when there are significant changes in the work assigned.  Position descriptions should be reviewed and updated, if necessary, prior to establishing performance standards and prior to filling vacancies.

11.       Who writes position descriptions?  As management retains the authority to assign the work to be performed, supervisors are generally responsible for writing position descriptions.  However, employees may be asked to provide input, or to draft a position description of their work for their supervisor’s consideration.

12.       How is my pay determined?  Your basic rate of pay is determined by the pay grade assigned to the class of work your position is allocated to, the appropriate salary schedule and applicable rules, collective bargaining agreements and/or executive orders.  Your basic rate of pay does not include additional or extra compensation such as overtime, stand-by duty, lump sum pay, bonuses, and other pay differentials.

13.       What is the rate of pay for new hires?  Generally, the hiring pay rate is the minimum or entry rate of the pay grade for the class of work.

14.       Can I be hired above the minimum rate of pay?  Recruitment incentives may be authorized for certain difficult-to-fill and labor shortage positions.  The job announcement will reflect whether an incentive has been authorized.

15.       Who can I talk to if I have questions about my position or pay?  The first person to approach if you have questions about your position or pay is your supervisor.  You may also contact your department’s personnel office for assistance.

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