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Tips for Identifying Job Families

Are you looking for a way to organize your jobs? What about a way to arrange your career streams and career paths? Or how about a way to make competency profiling (i.e., identifying the key behaviours in your jobs) easier? Then look no further than job families.

Job families describe a collection or group of jobs that share a similar function (e.g., HR job family, Sales job family, Administrative job family) and form a logical career path. Job families are not necessarily the same as departments. For example, there could be an Administrative Support job family that includes administrative jobs across all departments. The main criteria for a job family is that the jobs should share similar duties/responsibilities and form a logical career progression (e.g., IT Analyst, IT Senior Analyst, IT Engineer, IT Senior Engineer).

Below we outline some tips that you can use to identify job families.

Tip 1. Review data and information that your organization may have already collected

You can explore your organization’s job descriptions to see which jobs share similar duties or responsibilities. Another good resource is an organizational chart as this often will show you possible career streams and how jobs relate to one another.

Tip 2. Consider Industry Frameworks

Many industries have developed frameworks or models that describe the different types of jobs available regardless of the organization. For example, if you were looking to identify job families within the cybersecurity industry, you would want to refer to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) workforce framework as it describes how jobs can be grouped based on the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for successful performance.

Tip 3. Talk to the experts

Go to the source and speak with someone in your organization, a subject matter expert if you will, who has a deep understanding of the area and the jobs you are trying to describe. This person can help you to understand which jobs share similar knowledge, skills, and abilities and serve a common function.