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Career Path: Why It’s Important and How to Implement It with Factorial

5 min read

678,100 jobs in the UK. According to Statista, by 2025, there will be 678,100 jobs in the United Kingdom’s digital sector. London will be the region with the highest amount of employment, with over 261 thousand workplaces, while Scotland is forecast to record 34.3 thousand jobs. Reason enough for managers to make their company attractive to applicants. One method: introduce career paths in the company.

What are the advantages of career paths in the company? How can these be implemented?

In this blog article, we will show you ways to set up career paths based on objective key figures and introduce you to Factorial’s career path function.

What is a Career Path?

Organisations that want to retain employees in the long term must focus more on the professional development of employees. To this end, more and more companies are developing so-called career paths. These career paths are closely related to career planning.

Incidentally, the word “career” comes from French and means something like curriculum vitae, career or racetrack. Until a few decades ago, this was understood to mean the rapid rise in hierarchical levels. Nowadays, companies offer different career levels that can be reached after a certain period of time and the increasing assumption of responsibilities.

Through the career path, employees can see what development opportunities there are in the company, what tasks are associated with them and what steps employees have to take to achieve them.

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What are the Advantages of Career Paths?

When companies offer career paths, there are a number of benefits:

  • Score points in the recruiting process: Organisations that offer career paths already provide applicants with a wide range of opportunities for further development. This is becoming more and more relevant in view of the shortage of skilled workers. This makes it easy for the company to convince positions that are particularly sought after.
  • Intensify employee loyalty: Organisations benefit from more intensive employee loyalty to the company, since they know transparently what opportunities for advancement and further training they have in the coming years.
  • Establishment of appraisal interviews: Regular appraisal interviews and feedback form the basis for career paths. This is the only way to determine which skills can still be developed and in which direction the employee would like to develop further.

How to Develop a Career Path and How to Proceed Correctly

1. Identify goals

Before you start developing each team’s internal career paths, you should determine the motivation and goals behind them. Go through the following questions:

  • Would you like to increase the motivation of your employees?
  • Do you want to be better able to attract and retain top talent?
  • Would you like to advertise the career paths externally, e.g. as part of employer branding?
  • Would you like to intensify your succession planning?
  • Do you want to make promotions more transparent?

Also, think about the problems that currently exist in your teams. For example:

  • Do you have problems retaining talented people in the company in the long term?
  • Or do responsibilities overlap in certain departments?
  • Have you noticed, in surveys, that your employees are not very motivated?

Write down the problems and the goals and think about how the career paths need to be created and implemented step by step in order to achieve the goals. Develop guidelines. Determine whether the career paths should be developed for all employees in the company or only for individual departments or specific roles.

2. Cooperation with HR Development Team

It is important to work closely with the people team to find out what the development plans should look like.

HR development employees should be able to access a large number of internal and external training opportunities in order to be able to guarantee the individual development of each employee.

A good internal agreement between the managers of individual areas and the HR development team is crucial for this. Determine who will be responsible for developing each path. You can also set up a project group to include the individual areas.

It is important that the HR department provides data-based support to the managers of the various departments. To do this, HR managers can use company surveys (e.g. a 360-degree feedback questionnaire) or the performance reviews of employees.

3. Success Measurement

Before you start drafting, you should consider which criteria you can use to determine whether these career paths are well received in the company. Find the answers to these questions:

  • Does the compensation seem fair at the same levels?
  • Are responsibilities similar at the same level?
  • How are the responsible people involved in strategic decisions?

Career Path Example: HR

HR career paths aren’t always straightforward. Some professionals advance from assistants to managers. However, others choose to move from a generalist to a more specialised role. Of course, there are also alternative career models.

The availability of suitable positions, personal strengths of employees and further training opportunities within the company all play a role in career development.

Within a company, size and organisation determine the respective needs. Larger companies may need an extensive HR team and offer different career levels. However, smaller companies may only need one or two employees to run HR processes.

In short, career paths in HR fall into two categories:

  • HR Generalists: These positions are responsible for various HR-related tasks. The HR career path of generalists traditionally leads from an HR assistant to a middle management position. With time and experience, professionals can advance to an executive director role.
  • Specialists: These are experts in a specific field.

HR Generalists: Career Path

The career path of HR generalists can look like this:

  • HR Assistant: HR assistants are above all the right hand of the HR manager. They handle various tasks from recruiting to payroll. While not always the case, responsibilities are often administrative in nature and data entry is a critical part of the job.
  • HR Manager: HR management positions are typically filled by professionals with 3+ years of experience. Essentially, HR managers act as a bridge between the goals of the employees and those of the company. In general, they are responsible for overseeing all HR tasks. In addition, their responsibilities include recruitment, training, payroll, performance management, employer branding, employee relations and much more.
  • HR leader: Generally, these are leaders with far-reaching influence on the direction of the organisation. These are management positions for professionals with at least 15 years of experience. The tasks include the development of strategies and the coordination and organisation of the HR team. HR managers ensure that HR is aligned with the company’s quarterly and annual goals.

How does Factorial Career Path Creation Work?

Factorial offers companies the opportunity to integrate certain required competencies for the individual hierarchical levels. Employees can then be objectively assessed based on their competencies.

There is also the option of listing the competencies of all employees in a 9-box grid model. In the model, managers can have the top performers and low performers of the respective department clearly displayed.

Advantages are:

  • High transparency for employees and managers
  • Visualisation according to objective criteria
  • Objective career planning

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Content and Outreach Marketing Specialist with experience in the Marketing industry since 2015.

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