Unlocking the Potential of Job Architecture

Published on Oct 18, 2023

Written by Elaine Pierson

girl using a laptop

When beginning the construction of a home, it’s not advisable to start with the installation of the roof. And to build out plumbing, electrical, and central air, you also need the framing to operate within. 

Company roles are exactly the same principle. If you don’t have the framework, you can’t build an organization that is complete and operational. Similar to a home, you also need to keep the structure in good condition, ensuring that it is maintained and up-to-date.

This is where job architecture comes into play. It includes all the moving parts in an organization—the different business units, functions, job titles and associated skills—and serves as a blueprint, offering a clear view of how all of them operate and interact. 

Why is job architecture important? 

The visibility job architecture provides can help pinpoint areas requiring attention, inform future human resource initiatives, and support adaptability in a changing landscape. With workforce trends evolving and skills emerging like never before, organizations need to be able to plan for and manage these shifts proactively. 

bersin job architecture

So, what is job architecture defined in a more formal context? 

Job architecture offers a framework to organize job structure and clearly define the roles within a company. When building out or refining a job architecture framework, teams should consider job titles and how their job descriptions align with the type of work and the skills their roles actually require. The structure also outlines job levels and creates a clear hierarchy of roles within a company. 

This framework is essential for Human Resources, and when done right, provides key benefits, such as:

  • Empowering employees for growth and internal mobility

  • Facilitating organizational agility 

  • Informing workforce planning decisions 

  • Attracting candidates with the right skills and experience

  • Building a market-driven compensation strategy

These are just some of the positive outcomes that are tied to an informed, organized, and maintained job structure. The key question is, how do you create one?

steps to building a job architecture

Your team needs the clearest lens for real-time role analysis. 

To create an effective and adaptable job architecture, you must bridge the gap between your organization’s internal job descriptions and the language of the broader job market. Normalized job titles allow your team to compare your roles, and more specifically skills, against any competitor, region, or industry.

On top of that, market-aligned job titles and job descriptions facilitate talent attraction. Job seekers with the right qualifications will be more likely to seek out your job postings and in turn, you’ll tap into a wider pool of potential candidates. 

Access Talent Transform to achieve visibility into the skills of your workforce.

Normalizing your job titles enables access to real-time, market-driven skill recommendations. 

Skills—they are at the top of everyone’s minds these days. Not only are organizations deciding to move towards a skills-based organization model, employees are also seeking out opportunities that offer career development. According to Gallup’s American Upskilling Study, 57% of employees want to update their skills and 45% of employees would switch to a new employer for an upskilling opportunity. 

Skill profiles let you know exactly what someone needs to be able to do a job. This visibility into critical skills allows you to develop a career path and associated growth opportunities for any given role. And when compared to traditional job descriptions, skill profiles are more accurate and concise, easy to update, comparable, and measurable. 

Are you ready to become a skills-based organization? Learn more.

Talent intelligence provides a dynamic and data-driven approach to your job architecture. 

Companies need to incorporate external data on the supply, demand, and emergence of skills across the labor market to stay agile. Enter talent intelligence. Talent intelligence combines real-time data on the labor market with internal information in a strategic way to provide context and inform talent decisions. When applied to job architecture, this means keeping tabs on your competitors, considering supply and demand of skills across the labor market, and ensuring your skills taxonomy is dynamic.

What skills and roles are your competitors hiring for? Can you understand where their strategy is headed based on the type of talent they are pursuing? A framework that is synced with the labor market enables organizations to anticipate upcoming competitive opportunities and challenges in their workforces and make plans to address them. And with skills and titles constantly changing, your organization needs to be able to keep up. 

How does Lightcast differentiate when it comes to skills and how we inform job architecture? 

Lightcast skill differentiation

Expert Curation

Our rich skills taxonomy is curated through years of consulting work and engagement with emerging trends, uncovering in-demand skills in the labor market. Our dedicated skills taxonomy team vets each and every skill, ones not only brought to them by our in-house applied research team, but also skills introduced through customer feedback. 

Dynamic Taxonomy

As skills change in the labor market, your skills taxonomy needs to follow suit. Lightcast open skills taxonomy is updating every two weeks to ensure we provide the most up-to-date and complete picture of skills available. New skills are tracked for their historical demand and supply, providing even more context to inform talent decisions. 


With labor forces becoming increasingly global, you need access to skills data in multiple languages. Our skills taxonomy currently is available in several languages, with additional support on the horizon. 


Unlike a “flat” skills library, our taxonomy consists of three levels: Categories, Subcategories, and Skills. This comprehensive and organized approach gives order and additional meaning to skills, ensuring that you can easily navigate and pinpoint the specific skills you need. 

A dynamic job architecture creates efficiency and adaptability in a changing job market. 

Remember, you wouldn’t start the construction of a home with the roof—you need a foundation and framework to support all the moving parts. We offer the tools and guidance you need to support skills-based approaches, attract top talent, and drive the growth of your organization. 

Start building a robust job architecture with Lightcast Open Skills. Get free access today