Wake Forest University seeks to recruit and retain diverse, well-qualified, and highly-motivated faculty and staff members, while rewarding individual contributions to the institution, its students, and the community.


  • Recruit and retain diverse, well-qualified, and highly motivated faculty and staff members; incent equitably and fairly, based on individual, departmental, and organizational performance.
  • Provide strategic and operational advice to leadership on pay issues, market trends, and performance management.
  • Set policies for managing compensation and career progression that ensure internal equity and consistent application of the program.
  • Regularly monitor the effectiveness and compliance of the Compensation program and practices and its continued competitiveness, while mitigating risk for the University.
  • Communicate the program to ensure understanding within the university community.

Position Descriptions 

  • Can be used to recruit, determine salary, orient new colleagues, set expectations, provide ongoing performance feedback, establish titles and pay grades, and meet legal requirements for compliance and accreditation.
  • Are maintained by the individual’s department, and should be reviewed annually.
  • Enable Human Resources to provide guidance to hiring managers about paying staff competitively for their contributions toward department and University success.

Position Titling

  • Titling Guidelines provide a standard format to help ensure leadership titles are used consistently across the University. Additionally, the guidelines facilitate cross-university comparisons to advance pay equity.
  • Titles should represent the accountabilities and responsibilities of the job, not the individual and create consistency in institutional reporting to federal agencies.
  • Titles should not reward incumbent performance or longevity or replace appropriate pay.
Checklist Icon


The Position Description Checklist is a tool designed to help hiring managers think through a job’s critical components.



The  Position Description Template is a standard format for depicting position information; essential functions; other functions; required/preferred education, knowledge, skills, and abilities; and accountabilities.

Market Data

Human Resources reviews position descriptions and provides departments with market data, broken out by factors such as industry, region, and organization size. Salary information is compared across higher education and other industries to develop the right blend for market pricing. Certain positions are common in the Winston-Salem area, and local wage comparisons suffice. Positions that are less common in the area may rely on state or national market data.

Comparatios (individuals’ salaries, as compared to the market average) are useful for identifying which pay rates fall below the 25th percentile, above the 75th percentile, and within the 50th percentile. Ideally, the majority of pay rates should have room to grow within the market ranges. The target is for staff members to be positioned in their pay range as follows:

  • Staff who are new or developing in their position should be paid in the lower third of the range.
  • The opportunity, over time, is for staff at the fully proficient level to be in the middle third of the range (at or near the midpoint). These individuals are considered good, solid performers. New staff with a few years of relevant experience may also be paid in this range.
  • The opportunity, over time, is for staff who are fully experienced, high performers to be paid in the upper third of the range. These individuals are considered pivotal performers. Staff with numerous years of relevant experience may also be paid in this range.

Market Data Example:

PositionsMarket Salary
25th Percentile50th Percentile75th Percentile
Job #1$28,000$35,000$42,000
Job #2$32,600$41,000$48,400
Job #3$34,200$38,000$48,800
Overall Average$31,600$38,000$46,000

Compa-ratio Example:

Time in RoleCurrent SalaryMarket Salary% of Current Salary Compared to 50th
25th Percentile50th Percentile75th Percentile
5 years$40,000$31,600$38,000$46,400105%

Wake Forest University Human Resources

P.O. Box 7424, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 |  P 336.758.4700 |  F 336.758.6127