OA Job Family Framework Fundamentals

What purpose does a job family framework serve for the university?

A job family framework provides an infrastructure for jobs within an organization and establishes a consistent language to describe work, roles, and responsibilities at varying levels across the organization.

An effective job family framework should provide:

  • A logical and understandable system for evaluating and differentiating positions within the organization.
  • A consistent methodology for assigning job levels and positions based on an established criteria, which promotes consistency and confidence in job assignments organization-wide.
  • A common language for human resources, management, supervisors, and employees to use in career development and workforce planning discussions.

Utilizing a job family framework serves the university and its employees by:

  • Clarifying how positions across the university relate to each other and improving an employee’s ability to evaluate job opportunities.
  • Enhancing transparency, consistency, and efficiency by developing a structure and tools for University HR and units to use when creating and evaluating new and revised position descriptions.
  • Enhancing the university’s ability to continue to meet regulatory and compliance requirements.

What is a job family framework?

A job family framework is a structure that groups jobs by the nature of the work, rather than by the job title or organizational hierarchy. The structure is a combination of job families, job functions, and job levels within which positions are placed.

Key components include:

  • Job families: a high level grouping of positions that conduct work of a similar nature. Families align positions based on common roles and responsibilities.
  • Job functions: A more defined grouping of jobs with similar skills and responsibilities, providing additional specificity within a job family.
  • Job levels: reflects the organizational responsibility, accountability, competencies, and skills required by a job.

Job Families

Job families enable the university to identify roles that perform similar work across campus. They ease the process of comparing and differentiating positions at a high level and provide additional clarity for employees when they are considering career advancement opportunities.

Key characteristics of job families:

  • Number – institutions generally employ 15-20 job families, depending upon the purpose of job families and the variety of roles at the institution.
  • Career progression – job families allow employees to more easily identify related positions across the organization, which enhances an employee’s ability to move across job functions within a job family.
  • Clear differentiation – ensures each job family is unique and is able to encompass multiple job functions.

Examples of job families:

The following are examples of job families commonly found in job family frameworks. They may not be reflected in this way in the final UO framework.

Job Family:

Human Resources

Involves activities related to human resource functions and services for the university, such as labor relations, compensation and benefits, retirement, training and development, etc.

Job Family:

Financial and Business Operations

Involves activities related to planning, budgeting, and managing the university finances and financial operations. Involves administrative management of campus functions and services.

Job functions provide additional specificity within a job family by grouping positions with similar responsibilities and skills.

Job levels provide a means to compare and differentiate similar positions. They reflect the organizational responsibility, accountability, educational background, and experience required at each job level.

Collectively, the job family, functions, and levels clarify how similar OA positions relate to one another. They also provide information for employees to evaluate career opportunities.

Examples of functions and levels within a job family:

The following examples illustrate the relationship between the components of a job framework. They may not be reflected in this way in the final UO framework.

Finance and Business Operations

Job Functions:
Accounting, Budget, Accounts Receivable/Payable

Job Levels:
A1, A2, A3—Administrative positions
P1, P2, P3—Professionals with no direct reports
M1, M2, M3—Managers who supervise others

Within each job function, there are categories of positions that comprise the job levels, such as administrative, professional contributor, manager, and executive. Each category may have multiple levels.

For example, in the Financial and Business Operations job family, there is a job function for accounting that could have an administrative assistant position as an A1 job level, a professional accountant as a P1 job level, and a manager as an M1 job level.

How are job families, job functions, and job levels created?

Position descriptions (PDs) serve as primary resource when identifying and creating the job families and their respective functions and job levels. PDs contain important comparable information about each position such as essential functions, scope of decision making, budget authority, supervisory responsibilities, and education and experience requirements.

The content of a PD is evaluated to identify a position’s appropriate family, and it is then further analyzed to group it into a functional area and assign a job level.

What does a job family framework look like?

While the components of a framework – families, functions, levels – remain fundamental features, job family frameworks can look different from employer to employer as they are customized based on the workforce and the culture of the organization. Examples of job family frameworks in use at other universities within our region are provided below.

Portland State University

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are samples from other Institutions. They do not indicate what the University of Oregon’s Job Family Framework will look like.

Additional general information about job family frameworks will be added as this project continues.