Job Architectures for SuccessFactors

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What is a Job Architecture, and Why is it Important for SuccessFactors?

If you are an HR professional, you probably understand the significance of having a clear and consistent grasp of the different roles within your organization. Knowing how these roles contribute to the overall business strategy, their alignment with the hierarchy, function, and discipline, and the required skills and capabilities is crucial. Colourful Lego pieces unordered and in order This is where the concept of job architecture comes into play. It serves as an organizational framework for defining and managing jobs, essentially encapsulating the job architecture definition and framework.

A job architecture is not merely a nice-to-have feature but a pivotal element of any successful HR strategy. Implementing well-designed and consistent job architecture best practices will benefit organizations in numerous ways.


Benefits of a Job Architecture in SuccessFactors

Improving role clarity: A job architecture enables you to clearly identify and communicate each role’s key responsibilities, expectations, and outcomes. This clarity helps to minimize confusion, ambiguity, and conflict among employees and managers, thereby increasing accountability and performance. It essentially acts as a job description manager, outlining position requirements effectively.

Identifying talent gaps: It plays a critical role in identifying gaps or surpluses in your talent pool, allowing for strategic workforce planning. This is foundational for assessing the current and future skills and capabilities needed, aiding you to manage your workforce more effectively.

Strengthening compensation strategies: A job architecture supports establishing a fair and transparent pay structure that reflects the value and complexity of each role. As a compensation manager, you can better attract, retain, and motivate your employees and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Enhancing employee experience: It also aids in creating meaningful career paths and opportunities for your employees, fostering engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. This contributes to reducing turnover and absenteeism, aligning with the principles of career architecture and its framework.

Improving HR functions: Additionally, a job architecture supports the streamlining and standardizing your HR processes and systems. This enhancement in data architecture helps improve the efficiency, accuracy, and quality of your HR services while reducing costs and risks.

Having a robust job architecture is even more crucial for those utilizing SuccessFactors as their human capital management software. SuccessFactors, a cloud-based solution, offers a suite of modules and features designed to manage the talent lifecycle comprehensively. However, a solid foundation in global job architecture is essential to leverage these features fully, ensuring every role is clear, consistent, and complementary.


The Structure of a Job Architecture in SuccessFactors

Maintaining a job architecture in SuccessFactors is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that demands regular monitoring and updating. It’s vital to ensure that your job architecture reflects the dynamic nature of your organization’s structure, workforce composition, and market conditions, maintaining consistency across SuccessFactors’ different modules and features.

Job Profile Builder: SuccessFactors includes a feature that allows you to create and manage job profiles, encompassing all job elements, such as competencies, skills, education, and experience. The SuccessFactors job profile builder facilitates these profiles, which are invaluable for sharing job-related information with employees, managers, and candidates, highlighting the importance of competencies in the process.

Families & Roles: They allow you to group jobs into families (based on function) and roles (based on level), a concept central to job family architecture. Utilizing these job roles, you can define career paths, succession plans, compensation ranges, and more, streamlining organizational structure and clarity.

Job Classification: This feature, grounded in the MDF Job Classification object, is a boon for those with Employee Central implemented in their instance. It enables the creation of SAP job roles intricately linked to job profiles, families & roles, positions, pay grades, etc., enhancing the SuccessFactors experience.

Job Code: For instances without Employee Central, this job code type, based on the legacy Job Code object, offers a solution. It allows for creating job codes linked solely to job profiles, simplifying the process while still leveraging SuccessFactors’ capabilities.

Position Management: SuccessFactors position management is a critical feature for those utilizing Employee Central. It allows for creating and managing positions linked to job codes or classifications. It facilitates tracking each position’s headcount, budget, reporting relationships, etc., ensuring organizational efficiency.

A job architecture in SuccessFactors is a dynamic topic that intertwines with various dimensions, requiring a well-thought-out architectural strategy. Its design, often challenging and time-consuming, involves navigating common problems that regularly emerge, necessitating careful planning.


The Challenges of Building Job Architectures for SuccessFactors

You know how challenging it can be if you have ever tried to build or update your job architecture for SuccessFactors – or any other human capital management software. You may have encountered some of these situations:

Lack of clarity and alignment on the business needs and objectives: Defining and communicating the organizational structure and how it supports your vision can be challenging. With potentially conflicting or unclear expectations from various stakeholders or departments, gaps or misalignments between your business strategy and your job architecture can emerge, impacting performance and competitiveness.

Complexity and diversity of the job elements and their relationships: Capturing and managing the competencies, skills, education, experience, and other dimensions of a job can be complex. The challenge lies in dealing with too many or too few job elements, ensuring relevance and consistency, and maintaining the relationships between different job elements.

Time-consuming and costly manual processes and tools: Creating or updating a job architecture should be streamlined, yet it becomes cumbersome with outdated tools. A well-structured job architecture project plan is essential for efficiently collecting, analyzing, validating, and reporting data and information related to your job architecture.

Inconsistency and duplication of data and information: Ensuring your job architecture is accurate and up-to-date across SuccessFactors’ modules and features is crucial. The challenge of integration arises with multiple sources and versions of data that are not synchronized, along with redundant or conflicting information, leading to confusion and inefficiency.

Compliance and governance issues: Sometimes, it is hard to ensure that your job architecture meets the legal and regulatory requirements in the different regions in which your organization is operating. You must comply with various rules and standards related to pay equity, diversity and inclusion, labor laws, tax laws, etc. You also must follow specific policies and procedures related to data security, privacy, quality, and auditability.

These issues pose a challenge to building a job architecture that is responsive and flexible enough to meet the needs of your dynamic workforce and market. A job architecture should never be too rigid. Even more critical for the topic at hand is that they will affect the quality and speed of your SuccessFactors implementation process and the effectiveness of the software’s future usage. The quality of the HR decisions and processes based on SuccessFactors will not surpass the quality of the foundation it builds upon.


How a Job Architecture Software Solves These Challenges

SuccessFactors is undoubtedly one of the top options. However, with every upside comes a downside: All HCM software focuses on individual records to allow individual decisions. Therefore, they don’t allow for zooming out to take a bird’s eye view and observe the structural elements such as consistencies and interdependencies among many roles.

Creating, managing, and optimizing your job architectures for SuccessFactors should be done ideally before the implementation and with a tool that solves the above-mentioned challenges.

Fast and easy creation of job catalogs, profiles, classifications, mappings, etc.: Your tool should allow you to create and update all your job elements quickly and easily. This will be achieved through an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to define and edit job elements, such as competencies, skills, education, experience, etc. It should offer standard industry job catalogs with templates in line with market requirements. Ideally, it will offer AI-based wizards to help you write individual content. And it should significantly accelerate the mapping process because this is where time and costs can accumulate and jeopardize the go-live date and the budget.

Intelligent analysis and optimization of job architectures: You need expertise and experience with best practices and benchmarks to build a high-quality job architecture. But even the most experienced specialists will rely at least partially on workforce analytics. Any tool to build job architectures should offer at least essential functions to assess the quality and effectiveness of your job architecture. For example, it could display the distribution of different job levels across regions or compare before/after mapping to ensure that your compensation strategy remains fair, consistent, and efficient.

Seamless integration with SuccessFactors and other HCM systems: In this article, we chose the example of SuccessFactors to show the typical issues with building a job architecture for implementing HCM or HRIS software. However, the same is true for all other vendors. A software tool that helps you to build a job architecture should, therefore, integrate seamlessly with any vendor. Also, a valuable tool will not only serve to design your job architecture once but will simultaneously serve as a data repository for future updates and solve the issue of data silos. Colourful lego bricks in the form of a seamless wall

High quality and accuracy of data and information: A good job architecture software allows you to ensure the high quality and accuracy of your data and information related to your job architecture. You can detect and correct any errors or inconsistencies in your data and information. Data security and privacy features should also be included to protect your employee data and information from unauthorized access or misuse.

Cost-effective and scalable solution: Designing a job architecture is often neglected when defining the time frame for the HCM implementation and the respective budget. But it quickly comes to the foreground when a manual design is being discussed. It can take large teams many months or more than a year. It is, therefore, important to choose a tool that adapts to your demands and requirements to keep the investment low.


How to Learn More?

Please read our white paper, “Building a Job Architecture for SAP SuccessFactors—A Guide for Project Managers,” which you can download for free on our website.

To learn how the COLMEIA cloud software supports your individual plans and processes and see its details,  schedule a demo with one of our experts.

But don’t just take our word for it. KION Group, one of our customers, confirms: “We were looking for an easy and globally applicable leveling structure for our jobs. And for a service that would help us map over 35 K people in a short time frame.”