Making the grade: what is job levelling?

At TwentySix, one of our core services is job levelling. Our specialised suite of tools has been developed and informed by clients and managers. The result is a set of techniques that are clear and ideally designed to support a range of grading structures, as well as being powerful ways of looking at organisation design, resourcing, and career mapping.
Here, we’ll tell you what job levelling is!

What is job levelling?

Job levelling is a process that involves grouping jobs based on their level of complexity, responsibility, and contribution to the organisation. It also sometimes known as job grading or job classification.

If job evaluation is the dissection of a single job, then job levelling is the categorisation of multiple jobs. It is the subsequent process, where jobs that have been evaluated can then be grouped together based on their relative size and value. These levels can bring clarity, equity, and structure to pay and people management practices.

For instance, job levelling provides a framework for establishing fair and consistent compensation structures; by categorising jobs into different levels or grades we can determine appropriate salary ranges and ensure fair pay.

How does job levelling work?

At TwentySix, we’re often asked by clients to complete job levelling exercises – as one of our core offerings it’s a service that we have many years of successful experience delivering. There are a few ways in which you can go about job levelling, but one of the most common approaches is to create a framework into which an organisation’s existing roles can be placed.

This involves creating several grades – from the most junior roles right up to the senior management team – based on the key composite descriptors which help to define any given role. We might think here about skill or expertise, the level and depth of decision-making, the context or leadership element of a role, and the way in which a job communicates and establishes relationships.

Once jobs have been individually evaluated, robustly benchmarked, then collectively grouped together, they can finally be placed into clearly demarcated job levels.

Defining roles and grouping them together cogently means that organisations can design and structure their workforce efficiently. Job levelling therefore facilitates the ability to identify gaps, redundancies, or inconsistencies so that we can give clients the information they need to make decisions related to job design, resource allocation, or restructuring.

What are some of the key elements and benefits of job levelling?

Job levelling allows us to group roles with similar levels of complexity and responsibility together and facilitate easy comparisons and alignments of pay across different departments and functions.
What is Job Levelling?

Job levelling helps to ensure equal pay for equal work. Internal equity can be established when there are clear relationships between jobs and their relative worth within the organisation.

Having well-defined job levels can also improve recruitment and retention. Transparent job levelling systems, career progression paths, and opportunities for growth will attract more prospective employees.

Equally, current staff might be more likely to stay if there are clear levels and a structured progression process that details the skills and experience that may be needed to move from one job level to the next. Job levelling and succession planning can dovetail and synthesise effective roadmaps for an organisation.

Like job evaluation, job levelling encourages transparency and objectivity in decision-making processes. Having lucid and precise job levels means that the criteria and expectations are understandable for all employees, which can reduce subjective biases (particularly in relation to decisions about promotions, pay rises, performance, and career progression).

In turn, this transparency and fairness means that employee satisfaction and engagement might also be enhanced. Job levelling provides a logical consistency with respect to pay, reward, and contribution, which can help to promote a positive work environment by boosting the morale of staff.