Create new jobs and career paths

ESTIMATED READING TIME – 4:00

Learning goals for this activity

– Understand how creating new jobs and career paths impacts talent optimization.
– Be able to list and describe the three steps associated with creating new jobs and career paths.
– Explain the role of the department head in aligning strategy and execution.
– Describe some best practices for creating career paths.
– Identify the important attributes of successful career pathing.

Why creating new jobs and career paths is important to talent optimization

As your organization grows and matures, you’ll need to create new jobs to execute your strategy. You’ll also need to create career paths and modify job roles for your current employees. Creating career paths for your employees has a direct impact on your business results. When you can demonstrate a clear career path for employees, you can hire better—and more committed—candidates. Anticipating future needs as driven by your strategy gives you time to groom and nurture talent.

Creating new jobs and career paths involves the following three steps:

  1. Identify new roles needed as your organization grows.
  2. Create compelling career paths and refresh job roles.
  3. Communicate advancement opportunities.

1. Identify new roles needed as your organization grows.

The same way you need to assess job requirements whenever you’re trying to attract new hires, you need to map out all of your positions, current and future, as your organization grows and matures. With that, you have the framework for all your career pathing.

To identify future roles, refer to your business strategy. Every department head should develop a forecast of the number and type of positions that will be required to successfully execute the strategy. For example, a sales department may need to add more account executives as the business grows. That department may also need to add a new sales operations role to coordinate and support the team’s work.

2. Create compelling career paths and refresh job roles.

Many companies view jobs and people as static and their evolution as a series of one-time events: a position needs to be filled, a candidate is hired, employee advancement is a once-a-year event. In many ways, companies manage jobs and people like budgets: they do it once, and then they increase it a little bit every year. But this is a limited view.

A talent optimization approach to career pathing is quite different. You constantly reassess your needs based on changes to your overarching business strategy. In this way, career pathing is forward-looking and future-driven.

If you fully enable a talent optimization model in your organization, you should follow these best practices when creating career paths and refreshing job roles:

  • Be proactive and plan into the future. Think about the organization’s future needs today so you can prepare.
  • People don’t always want to move up the ladder; many times they just want to try something new. Because of this, you’ll want to think ahead about lateral moves. Most employees should have an understanding of two job descriptions—one for the work they’re currently doing and one for the work they may be doing in the future.
  • Treat future jobs the same way you treat active jobs. Always capture the behavioral and cognitive profiles needed for success in the role.
  • When job responsibilities have changed over time, redefine the role. Is the person doing the work still a good fit? Would that person be happier in a different role?
  • Make it easy for employees to join a new team where their personality and behavior directly aligns with the requirements of the strategy you’re pursuing.

3. Communicate advancement opportunities. 

It’s important to be transparent regarding advancement opportunities. High-performing employees crave growth and professional challenges. Demonstrate a commitment to your business strategy and to your employees by publicizing opportunities for advancement.

For successful career pathing, you must make sure that:

  • Current and future positions are publicly available for anyone to view.
  • Promotable employees and employees looking for new opportunities are known across the organization.
  • Continuous job changes are seen as a way of life rather than one-time events.
  • Employees accept and seek out regular and frequent changes of position—as long as these are consistent with their natural abilities.
  • You honor your commitment to follow through on the career paths you’ve communicated to your people.

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