Preparing for an HCM implementation

Aligning job architecture for a better talent experience

Talent is the foundation of organizational value. That’s why it’s crucial to architect talent activities with care and foresight. Designing a consistent job architecture is an important component of the talent experience. Beyond that, it’s essential for improving the human experience at work.

Enhancing the talent experience

At its most basic level, job architecture is the infrastructure of jobs within an organization—a framework that helps identify the level and type of work performed. Typical elements of job architecture include job functions, families, job levels with associated criteria, and job titling conventions.

Job architecture is an integral phase of large human capital management (HCM) implementations. It also serves as the foundation of integrated talent management systems, helping organizations realize the full value of their technology investments and increase capabilities to support more robust talent programs.

Organizations are increasingly interested in furthering their talent programs, such as competencies, career pathing, and succession management, as part of the HCM implementation; many aspects of these can most efficiently be developed based on the job framework..

Effective job architecture provides the rigor needed to systematically realign and harmonize jobs, while at the same time addressing system requirements, talent management needs, financial controls, and employee strengths, desires, and abilities.

What are characteristics of good job architecture?

Job architecture unlocks the functionality of talent processes as the foundation of all talent-related and transformative activities. Three groups benefit most from the job architecture—employees, human resources (HR), and managers. The benefits impact employees and management across the organization, who can use the organized, clean data to inform strategic decisions..

  • Employees follow an interest-driven path: Imagine being able to use self-service career tools to search for answers to inquiries such as “find career opportunities,” “compare me to jobs,” or “navigate my career.” Imagine taking a guided career journey, matched to your interests, and being provided a transparent career path, allowing for skill development and mobility within and across career tracks. A well-documented job catalog can improve talent mobility by connecting employees to defined competencies and proficiency levels within a job architecture. Career pathing is also improved by having consistent and standardized job titles.
  • HR processes and structures are streamlined: Imagine having a consistent job structure and fewer job titles to choose from when performing HR transactions, such as updating pay ranges, new hires, or job postings. Imagine having analytic capabilities that deliver insights on global workforce planning. Imagine having a job structure so well-defined that pay programs are designed to reflect the external and internal value of jobs, creating an opportunity to recalibrate pay practices.
  • Managers gain a holistic view of talent components: Imagine being able to see real and live information on your team and their work, improving productivity by identifying redundancies, functional duplications, and accountability overlap. Imagine being able to align employees to critical talent components (such as performance indicators and compensation) and then being able to identify opportunities for development. Having fewer positions and a more robust job structure allows for the identification of critical employees, better role clarity, and stronger analytics—all of which result from a strategic job architecture.
  • Enterprises gain efficiency and insight from single source of data: Imagine having foundational and uniform talent data that can be utilized and consumed across the enterprise to make better strategic, financial, and business decisions.

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Three approaches to job architecture implementation

There are three approaches for rolling out a job architecture project in conjunction with a human capital management implementation:

Job architecture project timing

There are four different options to consider when deciding the best time to conduct a job architecture project with an HCM implementation on the horizon:

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