Why the need for a dynamic and agile Job Architecture and Job Catalog has been catapulted to the epicentre of strategic workforce management.
The practice of managing job architectures and job catalogs has, until recently, taken a bit of a back seat in the world of talent management, acting primarily as a tool for compensation teams to manage and govern pay and grading.
However, a combination of significant shifts in future of work strategies are leading to organisational shifts, including:
A shift to skills-based organisations
A move towards employee-centric self-serve model
The digitisation of HR and increased equality legislation
This has catapulted the need for a simple, dynamic, skills-based job architecture and job catalog management into the epicentre of strategic workforce management.
What is a simple, dynamic skills-based job architecture and job catalog?
A job architecture forms the building blocks of an organisation, it sits at the heart of how you operationalise people strategies and powers your end-to-end talent management processes and systems.
Your job architecture provides a framework for mapping and cataloging the jobs into groups of job families that exist across your organisation and how these are organised around levels of seniority and pay grades.
Underneath this job architecture sits your job catalog, a dynamic library of, what some organisations call job profiles, that describe the work outcomes and skills required to deliver the organisational, business area and team objectives.
The challenge with current job architectures
In the past, organisations have put a lot of effort into creating and launching job architectures and job catalogs. But more often than not, this is a list of titles that sit in an HR system or on a spreadsheet with content describing roles that quickly go out-of-date.
Updating and governing the job catalog is a cumbersome, manual process that slips to the bottom of the to-do list.
The result: organisations with traditional job architectures and job catalog content that is rigid and out-of-date and risk liability in today’s ever-changing, agile and increasingly compliance driven business environment.
Without good governance and dynamic management, old-fashioned job architectures can result in a chaotic proliferation of different job titles, many just slight variations of others.
Why is a simple, dynamic job architecture and job catalog essential for the new world of work?
Surface your skills - shift to a skills-based organisation
The need to balance talent shortages with rapidly evolving skills requirements, means that identifying and building critical skills and competencies is at the top of the list of priorities for HR Leaders.
There is an increasing focus on skills - re-skilling, upskilling, talent mobility and skills-based hiring.
Map career paths and enable internal mobility
A simple job architecture and job catalog enables employees to have clear visibility of roles and skills across the organisation for possible roles in different teams and departments rather than simply focussing on movement within their current team.
If you are investing in internal mobility or talent marketplace technologies, it's the job catalog content that feeds these technologies and powers the skills matching and career path mapping.
Speed up recruitment, save on attrition
In most Human Capital Management (HCM) platforms, the job architecture powers the recruitment workflow. Job catalog content flows through to recruitment and provides the basis for shaping the external job posting.
Without an accurate, up-to-date job catalog, HR, Hiring Managers and Recruiters can waste a significant amount of time updating job descriptions, or even worse post old, out-of-date job content that does not accurately reflect the role.
Manage pay equity and transparency
Pay transparency legislation is being introduced around the world, requiring organisations to be open about the compensation they provide for current and prospective employees. Chaotic and inconsistent job architectures can make complying with this legislation difficult.
The challenge for most organisations is not only how to keep up with these changes to the legislation, but how to put in mechanisms and processes to ensure compliance globally, such as:
Managing increasing changes and nuances around regional variations
Having an up-to-date picture of the reality to reach fair pay
Maximising HR technology investment
Cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) systems require that a job architecture and job catalog are in place before implementation. The mistake many companies make is simply loading in their existing job architecture and catalog which, as we've explained, are likely to be out-dated, rigid, and not fit for purpose.
Savvy organisations leverage the business change process with an HCM implementation to drive through job architecture and catalog updates. This will not only support the digitisation of the organisation, but will have all the wider benefits that we outline in this article.
Put governance in place for new role creation
What we often see in organisations is inconsistency between different parts of the organisation – some with good job structures in place, others with nothing.
An up-to-date, accurate and dynamic job architectures and job catalog content allows organisations to apply consistency and governance to their job creation process.
Managers can use the job catalog to build their new roles within the agreed parameters of the process, helping to manage job scope creep and pay disparities. And, ultimately ensuring you are not going back to the chaos and are dynamically building your jobs in a structured and consistent way.