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Job Leveling Template

  • 📝 Job leveling framework template Excel & Google Sheets format
  • 🪜 8 leveling criteria & 4 promotion criteria + step-by-step instructions
  • 🏢 Department-based leveling framework examples for extra inspiration

Navigating the complexities of career progression and role differentiation within an organization can be daunting for HR specialists and managers alike. Balancing expectations from upper management while addressing the concerns of your staff requires a clear, fair, and transparent framework. That's where our job leveling framework template comes in.

Designed with the challenges of HR professionals in mind, our template offers a comprehensive guide to effectively map out career paths and leveling criteria within your organization. 

Whether you're struggling to differentiate between employee levels and roles or seeking a transparent method to establish career frameworks, our template provides the clarity and customization your organization needs.

Don't let ambiguity hold your team back. Download our job leveling framework template today and lay the foundation for a motivated, clearly directed workforce poised for growth and success.

🔝 How Zavvy's job leveling template stands out

  • Comprehensive instructions for leveling: Get detailed guidance on defining each career level within your organization, ensuring no detail is overlooked.
  • Customizable criteria: From experience and expertise to leadership and management, our template allows you to set specific leveling criteria tailored to your organization's unique needs.
  • Clear scope of influence and competencies: Define what's expected at each career stage, including key responsibilities, scope of influence, and required competencies.
  • Actionable performance benchmarks: Use our performance benchmarks with instructions and best practices to make employee assessments and promotions clear and actionable.
  • Transparent promotion criteria: Our template offers managers general guidelines and step-by-step instructions, making leveling and promotion decisions fair and understandable for everyone involved.
  • Access to complimentary resources: By downloading this template, you'll also gain access to complimentary resources, including a competency database and competency mapping resource, to refine your leveling framework further. 
  • Concrete examples of job-based leveling: Explore four examples of leveled career tracks, offering a practical look at how the criteria apply to real-world scenarios.

📖 How to use Zavvy's job leveling matrix template

1. Start by identifying the career tracks/paths in your organization

This step involves understanding the various roles and how they contribute to the organization's goals.

Starting with career tracks/paths establishes the broad framework within which specific roles and progressions are defined. It helps in visualizing the overall career development opportunities available within the organization.

💡 Tip: Career paths could be defined by function (e.g., marketing, engineering), specialization (e.g., digital marketing, software development), or leadership versus individual contributor roles.

2. Define career levels using this template

Leveling adds structure to the career tracks by defining the stages of progression.

Leveling helps in categorizing roles based on experience, responsibility, and complexity. It provides a clear hierarchy or progression, making it easier for employees to understand potential career advancement opportunities.

Zavvy job leveling template: 8 Leveling criteria
Zavvy job leveling template: 8 Leveling criteria

Levels might be defined as junior, mid-level, senior, lead, manager, and so on. 

💡 Tip: Check out the sheet with "Department-based leveling framework examples" to see how this would look in real life.

3. Define the structure of your career framework

 Some examples of structures are: competency-based, value-based, etc.. 

💡Check our database to see how others are doing this.

4. Select key competencies for your organization or each department

Some department-agnostic competencies are: communication, teamwork, giving and receiving feedback. 

Core competencies from Zavvy's competency framework template
💡 Tip: You can choose from our database. We included 100+ competencies for the core departments in any organization. 

5. Map competencies to specific roles

Competency mapping fills in the details by specifying what is required to move through the levels within each track.

Competency mapping ensures employees have clear guidelines on what they need to develop to advance their careers.

💡 Tip: Consider corefunctionaltechnical, and leadership competencies. (E.g., HRIS systems for HR, copywriting for marketing).
The elements of a competency framework - different competency types
The elements of a competency framework: Different competency types
You can use our template for this.

This sequential approach ensures that the career framework is well-organized and aligned with the organization's goals and values. 

It makes career paths clear and actionable for employees, enhancing motivation and engagement by providing transparent criteria for development and advancement.

Career pathing software Zavvy


What is a job leveling framework?

A job leveling framework is a structured system that categorizes all job positions within an organization into a clearly defined hierarchy or levels. It outlines the criteria and qualifications needed for each level, such as education, experience, skills, and responsibilities. This framework aids in organizing job roles, standardizing compensation, and managing career progression paths.

What is the job leveling matrix in career progression?

The job leveling matrix in career progression is a framework that outlines the progression of job levels within an organization, detailing the criteria, skills, experiences, and competencies required to move from one level to the next. It guides employees to understand their career development opportunities, what is expected at each level, and how they can achieve their career goals within the organization. 

This matrix aids in transparent communication of career paths and facilitates effective talent management and planning.

What is job level hierarchy?

Job level hierarchy refers to the structured layering of job positions within an organization from entry-level to senior-level roles. This hierarchy is based on factors such as job complexity, decision-making authority, scope of influence, and required qualifications. It provides a clear framework for career progression, delineating the path from junior positions to management and executive roles.

What is the job leveling strategy?

A job leveling strategy is an approach organizations use to create a standardized structure for job roles and levels within the company. It involves defining the criteria for each job level, such as responsibilities, skills, and experience needed, and aligning these levels with the organization's career pathways, compensation structure, and development opportunities. This strategy helps in managing promotions, transfers, and salary increments systematically.

What is the job leveling method?

The job leveling method is a systematic process for establishing a hierarchy of job positions within an organization. It involves evaluating and grouping jobs based on factors such as complexity, required skills, responsibilities, and reporting relationships. This method helps create a structured career path for employees and ensures fair and consistent compensation practices.

What is leveling in compensation?

Leveling in compensation is the process of assigning job roles to specific compensation grades or bands based on their level within the organizational hierarchy, job complexity, and the qualifications required. This ensures that similar job roles receive equitable pay and benefits, promoting fairness and consistency in the organization's compensation practices.

What is an example of job leveling?

An example of job leveling is categorizing software engineering positions into levels such as Junior Software Engineer, Software Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, Lead Software Engineer, and Principal Software Engineer. Each level has defined responsibilities, required experience, and competencies that distinguish it from the others.