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The rise and rise of Job Families

RoleMapper Team
February 26, 2024
Job Families

Job families and job functions can help organisations establish a robust framework, ensuring transparent career paths or a more effective shift to a skills-based approach. They can be particularly useful when there is a lot of variation in job titles between different functions.

Essentially, a job family is a group of related jobs within an organisation that share similar skill sets and nature of work. Although the level of responsibility, the skills required to do the work and the scope of the role may differ, the essential nature of the activities and the basic skills used will be similar for all roles within a job family.

They are not to be confused with ‘Job family groups’ or ‘job functions’ which are higher-level categories that include multiple job families; Finance or General Administration are good examples of a job function.

Why implement Job Families

We talk to a lot of organisations that are really struggling with their job data and job content that is chaotic, inconsistent and unstructured with no governance or overall management.

As a result of this lack of structure, many organisations exist as a long list of job titles that have been added organically as the organisation has grown, changed, merged or acquired. If an organisation does have a job structure in place, it is often the case that a streamlined structure was implemented but, over time, has been difficult to govern and manage.

In both scenarios, there is often a resulting state of chaos:

  • Hundreds of job titles, many just slight variations of others
  • The same job being given different titles in different teams or locations
  • The same title for jobs that are fundamentally different
  • Different formats being used for job descriptions
  • Job levels all over the place
  • Inconsistencies in salary ranges across roles, business areas and regions

Introducing a job family structure can help consolidate, review, cleanse and streamline your job data and job content

Once a job family framework is in place, it provides a solid foundation for many key organisational processes, such as:

  • Simplified Pay Structures - Introducing job families helps simplify pay structures by creating a more organised and streamlined approach to compensation. By grouping roles together in job families, the number of distinct reward structures will be reduced, making it easier to manage and communicate pay information.  Job families 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.
  • Clearer Career Paths - Having a job family framework in place makes mapping out potential career paths for employees easier. Once you have mapped job titles and skills into a job family framework it is much easier to look laterally and develop cross-functional career paths. Given that 49% of employees are currently looking for a new role, career paths help employees understand what steps there are for progression within the organisation, helping you to retain key talent
  • Pay Equity - Simplifying pay structures through job families can contribute to greater perceived fairness among employees. When employees understand how their roles are grouped and how compensation decisions are made within their family, it can lead to higher levels of trust and satisfaction. A job family structure also 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.

How to create a Job Family

There are a range of ways an organisation can create a job family, which includes:

  • By function
  • By occupation
  • By business unit
  • By skill or capability

To get a better idea of the job families and structures, we've created a range of examples around key functions.

Our latest guide goes into more detail on creating job families, as well as outlining why it’s a critical element when making that shift to becoming a skills-based organisation.

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