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  • Writer's pictureNua Team

Nua LinkedIn Live Speaker Spotlight: Evan Salisbury (Ancestry)

Evan Salisbury Job Architecture

Working on an organization's Job Architecture comes with its set of challenges.

For Ancestry, the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world with over 1,400 employees across 9 offices globally, one of the primary challenges has been adapting a framework that has grown and evolved over three decades.

During our LinkedIn Live “Mastering Job Architecture and Leveling” taking place on September 29, Evan Salisbury, Head of Total Rewards at Ancestry, will share his insights about his experience in Job Architecture at Ancestry and other companies he worked at, and talk about common pitfalls and strategies to navigate them.

In advance of the live event, we spoke with Evan about his fascination with Job Architecture, asked him to debunk the most common Job Architecture myth, and got him to share one piece of advice for those who are struggling to redesign their Job Architecture.

In your experience, what is the biggest challenge of working on an organization's Job Architecture?

It varies. Every organization I’ve worked at has presented unique challenges. For instance, at Allbirds, we faced the task of building an Architecture from scratch, essentially using a blank canvas. At Ancestry, it was a different story altogether. We have an existing Job Architecture framework that has evolved over 30 years. Trying to introduce changes to such an entrenched architecture is challenging, especially when it's deeply ingrained in the minds of employees and reflected in the very setup of our systems and tools.

What's one aspect of Job Architecture and Leveling that particularly piques your interest or gets you thinking?

What fascinates me is the realization that there is no single "correct" approach. Each decision in the process needs to be aligned with organizational goals. Deciding on the segmentation of job families or functions and determining the number of levels are critical choices. It's a balance, and the right path is often dependent on the organization's unique context.

There are various perceptions about Job Architecture and Leveling. Are there any myths about this field you'd like to debunk?

Absolutely! One common misconception I'd like to address is the notion that it's "easy." If anyone ever believes this, they're mistaken. Properly implementing a job architecture requires considerable time, cross-functional collaboration, and strong leadership buy-in. And that's just the building phase. The rollout demands a substantial investment in training, education, and communication.

In your career, have you ever experienced a 'Eureka' moment while working on a Job Architecture project?

Yes, I have. The key takeaway for me was understanding the importance of simplicity. When building an architecture, any complexity introduced should be intentional and well-thought-out. For us, this translated to creating leveling that was straightforward and directly aligned with our benchmarking survey. This approach ensured that we could consistently and objectively level roles using Job Leveling guides.

As we wrap up, do you have a golden piece of advice for those venturing into the world of Job Architecture?

Without a doubt, my recommendation would be to collaborate with a consultant as a thought partner. While I'm not endorsing any specific firm (and no, Nua didn't sponsor this comment!), consultants bring a wealth of experience. They've seen a spectrum of scenarios - the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Their insights can prevent many potential pitfalls along the journey.

Join Evan and other Job Architecture leaders including Zack Wells (Electronic Arts (EA)), Justin Hampton, CCP (CompTool), and Chelsea Grace Penaloza and James Seechurn from Nua Group Live on LinkedIn - confirm your attendance here.

🗓️ Date: September 29th, 2023

🕘 Time: 9 am PDT / 12 pm ET

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