What is a Job Architecture and Why Does My Organization Need It?

At PeopleResults we work with many client organizations that have grown larger over time through acquisitions and/or mergers. The result of this growth strategy is often a patchwork, not only of disparate systems and data but also of HR opportunities.

A cohesive job architecture addresses many of these underlying HR challenges to create a comprehensive career framework.


A job architecture combines general requirements for job levels with family- and position-specific requirements for the individual position, according to Gradar.com. This analysis is conducted uniquely for each organization. Other terms used to describe a job architecture include job structure, job catalog or job leveling.


While the terms sound dry, at PeopleResults, our client organizations need this kind of structure to provide their talent with an overall career framework. This means employers provide employees with a roadmap to understand:

  • Where I fit in the organization currently
  • The options on where I can move in the organization – laterally, as well as vertically
  • How and where my title in my function compares to other functions (ex: the title Manager means the same thing in every department and business unit)

For business leaders in these client organizations, the job architecture and career framework enables much smarter decision making on critical topics such as:

  • Compensation (raises and bonuses)
  • Promotions
  • Sharing and identifying high potential talent
  • Reorganizations (ex: moving to cross-functional Sales teams representing multiple lines of business)

All of these decisions are facilitated by knowing exactly who is a peer to whom across functions and business units. It also enables regulatory compliance, such as ensuring equal pay for equal work and avoiding adverse impacts.

According to Mercer, having this type of career framework improves both attraction of talent, as well as employee retention.

Betsy Winkler is a Partner at PeopleResults. She can be reached on Twitter @BetsyWinkler1