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  • Writer's pictureJoe Farris

Streamlining Complexity: A Tactical Guide to Job Architecture and Leveling for HR Leaders

job architecture challenges

At Nua Group, we see Job Architecture as the cornerstone of organizational stability and effectiveness, much like a foundation is to a house. It's essential for building a functional workplace underpinned by clarity for employees, fairness, and internal equity. However, embarking on a Job Architecture project can often seem overwhelming, akin to envisioning a complete overhaul of your house's foundation. It's common for clients to be daunted by the magnitude of the task, unsure of where to begin or how to manage the complexity. We hear repeatedly from clients that they don’t know where to start and fear the stakeholder and change management that could be required.

But the truth is, Job Architecture and Leveling issues don't always require a drastic, all-encompassing approach. Just like how precise and focused structural interventions can significantly strengthen a building, job architecture problems very often call for targeted, technical precision. These more tactical interventions can help avoid the need for full-scale overhauls and complex stakeholder management, often allowing for specific and impactful adjustments without upending the entire system.

The Four Common Job Architecture Challenges

In our work with clients, we've identified four common Job Architecture challenges. They are distinct yet interconnected, and they can effectively be addressed through a strategy of technical precision. 

1. Unnecessary Levels

Do you have Associate Directors, Directors, Senior Directors, and Executive Directors? Can anyone explain the difference? This plagues many organizations, creating a hierarchy so convoluted that the distinctions between roles blur. The solution lies in clarity and consolidation. Simplify the levels by ensuring that each has a distinct purpose and set of responsibilities that justify its existence. This clarity will enhance role understanding across the organization.

2. Titling Conundrums

Customized job titles may attract talent, but they often lead to a proliferation of essentially identical roles. Titles are sensitive and change can be painful. But there is usually a difference between what is on the business card and the behind-the-scenes system title. But where people doing the same role are attached to a variety of system titles this can create a variety of issues. To combat this, HR can conduct a title audit, merging redundant roles and establishing clear titles that reflect the work being done. This not only streamlines HR systems but also fosters a more transparent work environment. And this can be done without disruption for employees.

3. Pay Structure Dilemmas

When pay structures are misaligned due to bespoke title creation, it can lead to discrepancies in compensation and unintended inequities. Rationalize pay by aligning it with the broader job architecture and market data. This ensures fairness and competitiveness in remuneration practices.

4. Operational Process-Related Challenges

Operationalizing job architecture requires that the HR system reflects the true nature of the organization. Remove workarounds and ensure your HR system accurately captures the intended architecture. This improves data integrity and provides leaders with a trustworthy foundation for decision-making.


The path to a streamlined Job Architecture is not always lined with insurmountable obstacles. Sometimes the lift is large, but often by addressing these four common issues, HR leaders can create a more efficient and coherent organizational structure. This not only supports current operational needs but also paves the way for future scalability.

Are you navigating the complex terrain of job architecture and leveling? You don’t have to do it on your own. Our expertise can transform this daunting task into a strategic advantage for your organization. Get in touch with us today - we’d love to help you build a job architecture that supports your vision and drives your success.

P. S. Did you know we hosted a LinkedIn Live event focusing on Job architecture and leveling? Catch the replay here.

You can also read about our approach to Job Architecture in this case study.


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