The Most Important Benefits of a Job Architecture

In a recent article we pointed to the people you should have on board when embarking on the design of a job architecture for your organization. In this follow-up, we compile the most important arguments you should mention to your colleagues.

In general, an enterprise job architecture provides the foundation for globally consistent HR management practices and standards. It defines a common corporate language to describe and understand jobs across all business units and regions. Hence, there are benefits all across your organization.

The benefits arise out of the practical usability of a job architecture, its balance between individualization of job details and standardization. This means you can be specific enough to deduce actions for purposes such as training, talent deployment, or recruitment but not so specific that each person has a unique job and title and poses an obstacle for planning or analytics.

All pay, recruiting, and talent strategy decisions will become more consistent, faster, and fairer. But we need to get a bit more into detail to create an understanding for where this comes from.

Performance Management—Structuring jobs provides a cohesive view of all positions across your organization. It will become easier to identify high potentials and define the criteria for promoting them within the company, including progressive responsibilities at each level. On the flip side, employees will better understand what is expected of them.

It also illuminates gaps and future talent needs that should (or must) be addressed.

People Development—By determining future career paths, talent needs, and workforce structure, it is becoming easier to provide employees with the necessary training and development opportunities to, e.g., follow a certain path or foster specific skills that are needed for them to thrive in the future. This increases the employees’ understanding of their roles as much as it enhances their perception of opportunities for growth and advancement.

Managers can use the same understanding to develop their people and structure their teams through flexibility and agility.

Career Planning  – HR will be put in the position to define and clearly communicate existing career opportunities across the entire organization. They can present employees with precise expectations and a clear definition of their required performance. Employees can choose their individual goals within a career path and work towards them. This is not only beneficial for the employee but also for the organization because it improves workforce planning.

Recruiting – Having a better understanding of own practices and those of others in the market enables the recruiting team to better synchronize the recruiting process with the business strategy as a whole because they precisely know which skills are needed for which jobs – today and in the future.

Compensation – The structure built with a job architecture provides the basis for consistent remuneration of jobs through comparison. It will be possible to monitor and ensure equitable distribution of salaries and compare one’s own practices with the wider market in various locations of the globe. It will also be possible to assess personnel costs easily and accurately for budgeting, accruals, workforce analysis, and bonus planning.

Analytics – A job architecture improves the accuracy and meaningfulness of HR analytics and enables adequate implementation of HR IT systems.


Of course, these are all rather general benefits. There will always be additional individual benefits that arise within each individual organization. The important points here are that employers and employees will benefit alike and that all departments can use a job architecture to improve their own activities.