What is a Job Architecture?
A job architecture is an enterprise-specific framework for the alignment of employees with specific jobs based on requirements, competencies and responsibilities. It may encompass several structural aspects including career paths, job levels and job titling conventions, as well as variables such as job categories and job families. It may also serve as the foundation for compensation structures and the infrastructure for human capital management practices like career progression, strategic workforce planning and succession management.
Common synonyms are career framework, job structure or job catalogue.
A job architecture, as an umbrella, will typically make good use of the following, well-established practices in Human Resources Management:
- job evaluation to determine the relative value of a position.
- competency management to match an employee’s abilities to a job’s requirements
- compensation structures to allow for fair, transparent and equitable pay practices
The benefits of a job architecture
An enterprise-specific job architecture will be the foundation for globally consistent HR Management policies and practices. It uses a common organisational language to describe and understand jobs across business units and regions.
Core benefits are:
- Efficiency through governance and structures. Recruitment, pay and talent decisions will be accelerated, more consistent and fair.
- Simplification through codes and structures. A job architecture will enable the implementation of HR technology solutions and increase the accuracy and validity of HR analytics endeavours.
- Employee satisfaction through clarity. A clear perspective on role expectations, responsibilities and accountabilities is a key element to onboarding and performance management.
How does gradar help you to design and manage a job architecture?
gradar will be your single reference point for all job-related data and builds the infrastructure for:
- Structured assessment of the actual situation regarding organisational units, job families, jobs, job status and other categories.
- Development of a requirements-based job level hierarchy through analytical job evaluation.
- Harmonisation of job descriptions, titles, career levels, etc.
- Development of pay structures to ensure internal equity and market competitiveness
- Clarification and specification of competencies based on job-families and job levels.
How can you design a job architecture?
A job architecture is brought to life by aligning the needs and interests of employees with the requirements of the organisation. In our experience, following the steps below forms an important part of introducing a new job structure.
Define and describe the roles in your organisation
A role is typically a structural part of a job made up of a whole bundle of globally-defined core tasks and responsibilities. These core tasks can be cross-functional and extend beyond a single job family.
Take a “Trainer” or “Process Manager” as an example...
The job level definition for Process Managers I - III could look as follows:
Process Manager I
- Optimises processes by analysing process times, costs and quality - suggests improvements
- Identifies requirements for and participates in the development of new processes
- Process optimisation is a regular (at least once a year) and important task for the job holder
Process Manager II
- Develops new processes of department-wide significance that impact on entire departments
- Processes typically cover a distinct discipline for which the job holder operates in
- Identifies requirements, designs and is responsible for the new processes
Process Manager III
- Regularly develops new processes that have an impact on an entire division
- The processes typically cover a field that the job holder is strategically responsible for
- Identifies requirements, designs and is responsible for the new processes
Organisation specific roles will ideally become part of job descriptions. It is a strategic goal for gradar to enhance its support for role design and management.
Define and describe the jobs in your organisation
A job is a group of inputs, throughputs and outputs that are either identical or similar enough to justify being covered by a single description and analysis. There may be one person or many people employed in the same job.
The job is the smallest organisational unit. At this level employees are given (partial) tasks and responsibility for work equipment and processes.
Jobs are typically associated with job codes that serve as unique identifiers in HR Management systems and processes.
A job description typically describes the general tasks, core duties, and responsibilities of a job. gradar can play a part in supporting your organization in the design and management of job descriptions.
Cluster the jobs in Job Families and Job Family Groups
Job families are an organisational means to combine similar jobs to job groups. The more heterogeneous the positions in a job family, the more sense it makes to further segment these into sub-families.
Depending on the organisation, job families can also be referred to as occupation families. Same or similar professions can exist in different parts of an organisation, meaning position clusters often cannot be derived from the organisational chart alone.
You may also want to consider assigning customised job categories such as Executive, Middle Manager, Subject Matter Expert, Team Leader, Employee, Manual Worker or something similar - as job categories are often used to align compensation structures or benefits.
Analyse and evaluate the jobs in your organisation
Probably the most important input to a job architecture is the levelling system to support career paths, benchmarks and compensation structures.
A job value is usually determined and assessed according to three aspects:
- Input: The requirements for knowledge and ability acquired through qualification and experience. What the job holder must “bring” to the position.
- Throughput: What the body executes or can influence in relation to procedures and processes.
- Output: Which results will be achieved by the job or what the job is accountable for.
gradar expands this traditional approach to include the aspects of Organisational Knowledge and Communication requirements to create a better fit for jobs in the 21st century.
The process to determine the value of a job is called job evaluation. The value or level categorises a job and allows for an alignment with other attributes from a job architecture, such as a job titling convention.Learn more about job evaluation with gradar
Incorporate market rates to benchmark pay
Compensation benchmarking, also known as market pricing, compares an organisation’s employee pay rates with those of similar jobs in other companies.
Having the jobs’ requirements and levels from a job evaluation exercise at hand makes the transfer into the levelling system of a market benchmark much easier.
The aim is to understand how an organisation’s pay rates compare to market rates in order to set individual salaries at an appropriate level and further structure compensation systems.Learn more about compensation benchmarking with gradar
Setup compensation structures and manage pay
A pay structure is an instrument of an organisation's HR strategy and Compensation & Benefits policies and practices. They define the company's willingness to pay for certain jobs (of equal value) and serve as a decision-making tool for determining the salary levels of individual employees. They help to objectify and legitimise decisions to various stakeholders.Learn more about compensation structuring with gradar
Harmonise Job Titles & Ranks together with Job Categories
Designing a job titling convention is a big step in developing a common language to describe career paths and work levels in an enterprise as they become clear indicators of a job’s overall category, role and responsibility.
A title structure should ideally allow for market-going job titles as well as professional titles like accountant or engineer. These guidelines are often established in order to convert existing titles into a new structure.Learn more about job titles
Job categories group together jobs in similar careers and are sometimes called management levels.
Some examples are:
- Middle Managers
- Subject Matter Experts
- Administrative Roles
- Manual Workers
Within gradar, you can attach a custom job category to a job profile. You can define any job category that fits your organisation, for example, whether specific “Head of” jobs are "Middle Managers" or "Subject Matter Experts". The job category is displayed on the job which facilitates reporting at the job level.Learn more about gradar
Define job specific Competencies
A competency is the set of a person’s observable characteristics (behavioural competencies) and skills (technical competencies) that enable them to perform a job successfully or efficiently.
Competency models can help organisations to align their HR programmes with their overall business strategy to better recruit, select, train and develop employees.
gradar supports these processes through the integration of 53 TMA Competencies. We translate results into a grade and a job-family-specific selection of up to seven TMA competencies. And the competency editor allows for company specific models based on almost any variable available in the system.
Each competency comes with behavioural indicators. The default behavioural indicators are divided into four levels: general, operational, tactical and strategic.
The competencies help define the specific successful behaviours and clear results that are expected in your organisation.Learn more about competency management with gradar
Design and manage Career Paths
A career path clarifies the requirements needed for promotion (vertical move), transfer (horizontal move) and long-term career growth. It is usually designed with follow-on jobs on consecutive job levels. It can also be called a career track, career lattice or career ladder.
Career paths are often made transparent in HR Management systems or on dedicated Intranet pages - something with which gradar can offer continued support for your business.
Assign a mandated Job Status
Job status or employment classification is often categorised through the application of governmental labour standards, public bargaining or labour agreements. But there is a differentiation between Exempt and Non-Exempt labour.
- Exempt employees are typically not eligible for overtime and must record exceptions to work (sick leave, holidays, jury duty, military exercise etc.).
- Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime and must record all hours worked in addition to absence.
- Non-exempt employees must be paid for all hours worked.
The actual job duties outlined in the job description, as well as the grade / level or assignment of a salary / pay structure are good indicators for the classification. With gradar, you can customise your own job status variable in multiple languages.
These are some international examples for employment classifications / job status:
- Não estatutário
- Assimilé Cadre
- Cadre Dirigeants
- Cadre Supérieur
- Tarifliche Mitarbeiter (non-exempt employees, covered by labour agreement)
- Außertarifliche Mitarbeiter (exempt employees)
- Leitende Angestellte (executive employees)
- Operai (manual workers)
- Impiegati (white collar employees)
- Quadri (supervisors)
- Dirigente (executives)