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Harvard Law School is committed to a staff compensation program that provides competitive pay through a fair and equitable process.

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On this page, you can find find details on the policies, timelines and additional information on our compensation and position related practices in addition to information around workforce planning.

Position request and funding Changes Forms

Hiring managers can now make position management requests through the below forms.

  • Please submit all position management requests via this form.  The HR team will be in touch with the requestor should we have any questions.

Submit a New Position Request

  • For any changes to the funding of a position, please use this form.  The Finance team will be in touch with the requestor should they have any questions.

Request a Funding Change

Compensation Policies

Compensation Policies

  • Salary or Equity Reviews

    HR will conduct annual equity reviews for each employee based upon:

    • Compensation data from similarly situated positions within the business unit of the position
    • Compensation data from similarly situated positions within HLS
    • Compensation data from similarly situated positions within Harvard
    • Compensation data from the external market relevant to the position
    • Years of experience

    In circumstances where changes are warranted, HR will notify the manager and employee prior to the change taking effect.

    Salary or Equity Review Requests:

    Generally, HR will not accept requests for equity reviews as our process is built to review all salaries in a systematic fashion on a rolling annual basis – comparing similarly situated roles at a particular moment in time.  What’s more, it is important to our principles of fairness and equity that we review all salaries objectively based on the data at hand.

  • Business Title Change Review

    HR will review any request to change the business title of a position, based upon:

    • A review of the ‘reason for the request’
    • A review of the titles in use within the business unit, school, and Harvard for similarly situated positions

    Some factors that may limit available titles, for example terms that imply a certain level of responsibility (Chief, Officer, Executive, Manager, etc.) should be used only when appropriate for the scope of position.

    • HR will also consider external market data to ensure our employees do not have difficulty communicating the scope of their roles within HLS when comparing them to the external job market.
  • Promotion Review - Reviewing the grade of an existing position

    HR will conduct a review of the grade of the current position based upon:

    A detailed description of the proposed changes to job responsibilities which demonstrate:

    • Significant and meaningful increase in the complexity of primary tasks within the role, or the addition of tasks which require greater skill or independent decision making
    • A business summary considering what change has occurred how the newly upgraded position would fit within the overall structure of the unit – covered during workforce planning

    If a determination is made that the responsibilities of the position indeed dictate a higher grade-level, HR will conduct a Salary Review, Business Title Change Review, and Exemption Status review (if applicable) of the new position.

    Promotion Review Requests:

    Requests for promotions must be submitted through the Annual Workforce Planning process.  Workforce planning occurs each fall as part of our annual budget planning process.  During Workforce Planning, managers will discuss their current workforce, business priorities and upcoming or recent changes, and future workforce needs.  Requests submitted during workforce planning will be considered based on business need and budget availability and should be supported by a meaningful increase in strategic project work, or responsibilities of the department which dictate a need for a position with a higher degree of skill, knowledge or responsibilities.

    Notes:

    • This process does not include promotions into open roles — if you have an open FTE your HRBP can explain your options
    • A salary and business title change review will only be conducted if there is sufficient business rationale demonstrating the scope and level of the responsibilities of the position have increased appropriately, and the department has demonstrated the need for a higher-level position within its overall structure
  • Additions to headcount - Core Funding

    Requests for new headcount must be submitted through the Annual Workforce Planning process.  Workforce planning occurs each fall as part of our annual budget planning process.  During Workforce Planning, you’ll discuss your current workforce, business priorities and upcoming or recent changes, and future workforce needs.  Requests submitted during workforce planning will be considered based on business need and budget availability and should be supported by a meaningful increase in strategic project work, new responsibilities, or increased volume of work within the department which dictate a need for a new position.

    Notes:

    • HR will generate an estimate of the grade and salary of the requested position to help inform the budget process. If the position is approved within the budget process, HR will work with the business unit to draft a full job description, and will advise the business on the correct grade and target salary.
    • Generally, positions approved through the budget can be filled after July 1st
  • Additions to headcount - Soft Funding

    Positions with soft funding can be requested, through HR, once funding is confirmed and available.  For soft funded positions, term limits will apply based on the duration of secured funding or work, whichever is shorter.  Term positions can be renewed as work and funding continue.

  • Backfills

    When a position which has already received budget approval becomes vacant, departments may request to post for a backfill through HR.   As the vacancy of a role is a perfect opportunity to reflect upon the work, grade and target salary of that position, HR will work with departments to consider if any changes to the position are appropriate, prior to posting, by discussing answers to the following questions:

    1. Why is this role important to the department and the school?
    2. What has changed about the work since the last time this role was filled?
    3. What would happen if you chose not to fill this role, or repurposed it to serve a different strategic priority?

    In some cases, the posting of a backfill of a position may be delayed if an action item was identified during Workforce Planning that relates to that position.  Workforce plans may include things like:

    • Recommendations to conduct a business process analysis to reconsider an existing workflow or process.
    • Adjustments to existing roles – to reduce or increase the grade or target compensation of a position when it becomes vacant again.
    • Recommendations for how to develop targeted skills within your department to fill upcoming needs
    • Plans to develop employees within your department to allow for growth & development and with an eye towards filling future needs
    • Structural adjustments to better balance the proportion of leaders, managers, contributors, and administrative staff to ensure the right work is getting done in the right place
    • Non-monetary strategies to support retention efforts

    Workforce Plans will be shared with department leads as part of the output of the overall budget process, and will be supported by IT and Finance and reviewed and approved by the CHRO and Administrative Dean.

  • Position Reviews

    Per the HUCTW contract, HR will respond to requests to review union positions promptly.  Positions reviews for union roles should be supported by a significant and meaningful increase in the complexity of primary tasks within the role, or the addition of tasks which require greater skill or independent decision making.  Position reviews are not appropriate when the volume of work has increased, but the work remains at the existing grade level.

    Notes:

    • HR will only review positions which have not been reviewed in the last 12 months – relying upon the previous analysis – unless the department indicates there has been a meaningful and significant change in the nature of the work within the 12-month period
    • Managers should continue to consult with HR prior to assuming new work or changing the responsibilities of an employee so that HR may determine if the changes dictate a change in grade level before the work is undertaken.

Workforce Planning

Workforce Planning

  • What is workforce planning?

    Workforce planning is the process of analyzing workforce and financial data, forecasting future workforce needs, identifying gaps between current state and future need, then making a workforce plan that addresses them.  Simply put, it is a proactive, data and need driven approach to planning for workforce needs.

  • How do you plan for workforce needs?

    • By creating development plans for current employees to allow for promotions and internal mobility
    • By identifying critical roles or skills within your department and developing retention or recruitment strategies
    • By evaluating your existing roles, structure, and processes to determine if there’s any opportunity for rethinking the way work gets done
    • By adding additional positions, in the right place, at the right time, that meet targeted skill or volume needs
  • When does workforce planning take place?

    • Workforce Planning will take place during the budget cycle and will be the primary mechanism for requesting:
      • Additional headcounts
      • Promotions
      • Job changes for existing positions with a cost component – such as a reclassification
    • Equity reviews will now be conducted proactively, by HR, for the entire organization
  • How will we use workforce plans?

    After your workforce planning meeting, we will generate a plan for your department – it might include things like:

    • Recommendations to conduct a business process analysis to reconsider an existing workflow or process.
    • Adjustments to existing roles – to reduce or increase the grade or target compensation of a position when it becomes vacant again.
    • Recommendations for how to develop targeted skills within your department to fill upcoming needs
    • Plans to develop employees within your department to allow for growth & development and with an eye towards filling future needs
    • Structural adjustments to better balance the proportion of leaders, managers, contributors, and administrative staff to ensure the right work is getting done in the right place.
    • Identify non-monetary strategies to support retention efforts