Talent Management | Job Families for Enhancing Pay Structures, Transparency & Equity

Job Families for Enhancing Pay Structures, Transparency & Equity

At a time when clarity across pay structures is more important than ever, we look at how Job Families play a key part in supporting pay transparency and pay equity.

Chaotic job structures can act as a barrier to pay and reward, making it difficult to establish clear criteria for compensation, which, in turn, leads to inconsistencies, inequities, and confusion among employees.

This is a time when pay transparency is increasingly becoming a legislative or mandatory requirement, both in Europe and the US: 10 states and counting have now made it law. In the UK, we’re seeing the public sector being hit by pay equity fines, which are largely due to a lack of visibility of job structures.

The challenge is that for many organisations job data and job content is chaotic, inconsistent and unstructured with little to no governance or overall management. Many organisations are simply managing a long list of job titles that have been added to organically as the organisation has grown, changed, merged, or gone through acquisition.

It is therefore unsurprising that so many organisations, both public and private are struggling to get their house in order and make job and pay structures more transparent and visible across the enterprise.

Regain control with Job Families

One way to reduce this chaos is to organise your jobs into a job family framework. This is where jobs in an organisation, sharing similar skillsets, nature of work and career paths, are grouped in job families.

The essential nature of the activities and the basic skills used will be similar for all roles within a job family. However, the level of responsibility, the skills required to do the work and the scope of the role may be different.

Simplified Pay Structures

Job families help simplify pay structures by creating a more organised and streamlined approach to pay and reward. A job family framework will reduce the number of distinct reward structures, making it easier to manage and communicate pay information.

They also simplify the process of determining appropriate pay ranges for different roles, as organisations can use market data and industry benchmarks specific to each job family.

With job families, high-level roles within each category are evaluated, which minimises the need to evaluate individual jobs across locations or teams. Categorising tasks broadens flexibility; as roles evolve, new tasks typically align within existing categories, avoiding frequent job evaluations.

Standardising job titles within job families also aids market benchmarking. Salary comparisons occur at the job family level, rather than assessing each unique role individually. This approach enables organisations to maintain competitive pay while simplifying structures and adhering to governance standards.

Pay Transparency

A job family structure enhances communication and transparency around pay and reward and aligns with global movements towards pay transparency.

Increasingly favoured by employees and job seekers - 60% of US and 57% of UK employees would be more willing to switch to organisations with greater pay transparency - job families provide individuals with a clearer understanding of how their role fits within the organisational framework.

Well-defined job families also enable data-driven compensation decisions, including setting salary ranges and adapting to market trends. Moreover, such structures promote accountability in pay decisions, facilitating explanations and justifications to candidates and employees.

Pay Equity

Finally, simplifying pay structures through job families can help with evaluations of pay equity. A job family structure makes it easier to look across job families, particularly if these are linked by a common grading / levelling structure, to understand any pay equity issues between different roles.

Where roles are grouped into job families based on skills and responsibilities, overlaps and inefficiencies are avoided and therefore it is much easier to see if employees are being paid differently, even though their experience and skills are the same.

We go into greater depth around job family frameworks and outline all potential benefits in our Guide to Job Families.

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We provide actionable intelligence, creating, shaping and enriching an organisation’s culture and driving long-term business success.