What is the Purpose of Job Leveling?
Career ladders help companies make sure that they’re taking a consistent approach to the way they evaluate and pay their team members. They also help team members understand how to progress between titles in a specific department.
- Titles and Promotions
Ben describes why job leveling is almost always necessary, the inherent risks with it (including the law of crappy people), and how to manage those risks with a strong promotion process.
Guides On How to Set Up Job Levels
The first step in a career ladder process is to set up job levels. This process usually entails building consensus around competencies used at each level. The second step is to equip managers to figure out how to identify the level each of their team members is at, and how to that conversation initially and again on an ongoing basis. The final step is how to track progression in a person’s skills relative to their level.
- Designing a Career Ladder for Product Design
Helena walks through her process for building a career ladder at for the design team at DoorDash. She identified the audiences, performed a competitive landscape audit, established design principles, designed a solution, and then tested and iterated with the audiences. She wraps up with 4 key learnings.
- Job Title Leveling That Worked For Us
Jason walks through the story of launching leveling to FloSports' engineering team. Interestingly, during the launch they asked engineers to rank themselves according to the new framework, and the self-rankings aligned 100% with where managers placed them. This produced a high degree of team buy-in.
How to Use Job Levels
- How to Use Your Career Ladder
Caitlin explains how to roll out a newly-developed career ladder by anticipating the questions that your team members might have (with examples). She also covers how to have growth-focused conversations, how to align team responsibilities, how to manage up before promotion time, how to announce promotions, and how to use career ladders in hiring.
Progression for Senior ICs
- How Individuals Advance at Buffer, Without Becoming Managers
Buffer developed an internal job leveling framework that lets you grow over time into a manager and/or lets you grow your skills horizontally as a maker.
For someone who is looking to get into management or is new to management, it can be hard to decipher the meaning behind titles like “manager”, “director”, and “VP”. Are they really different from one another? What do these people do differently in their roles? It turns out there are meaningful differences. Managers are new to people management and typically manage individual contributors. They usually have the experience of the individual contributors they manage, and can take responsibility for team outcomes, but are still learning people management skills and will have questions and will need support. They usually do not yet develop departmental strategy, but instead decide and manage the tactics to execute on for strategies that have already been created. Directors usually manage managers, and possibly some individual contributors. They are paid to drive results with little or no supervision and can easily judge whether right tactics are being used for a project. They usually are very good at working cross-functionally with other departments across the organization, and are either driving strategy or a strong contributor to it. VPs are paid to set the strategy of their department, and they are accountable to the outcomes of that strategy. They understand the business they work in regardless of what department they are in, they set strategy, build consensus around it, and drive their department to have the right team, processes, and technologies in place to succeed with that strategy.
- Career Development: What It Really Means to be a Manager, Director, or VP
While Dave is not a fan of many leveling approaches, he is a fan of defining the use of Manager, Director, and VP in job titles: Managers are paid to drive results with some support Directors are paid to drive results with little or no supervision VPs are paid to make the plan