What is a Job Leveling Matrix?


Pete Randall


min read


11 Jun 2024

What is a job leveling matrix?
What is a job leveling matrix?

1. Understanding Job Leveling Matrix

1.1 What is a leveling matrix?

A job leveling matrix is a structured framework that outlines the progression of roles within an organisation. It helps define and differentiate the responsibilities, skills, and competencies required at each level.

This matrix is commonly used in larger companies where clarity in role expectations is crucial for career growth and organisational efficiency.

By using a job leveling matrix, you can address confusion around role expectations and eliminate disparities in job titles. The matrix typically details levels such as Associate and Senior all the way up to Director or C-level.

Each level corresponds to specific qualifications, responsibilities, and performance metrics, ensuring transparency in career development plans.

1.2 Why is it important?

A job leveling matrix is important because it gives the business a tool to use at lots of points during the employee journey.

  • Business needs: It helps frame thinking around who you need in your business, what skills and competencies they’ll have and how they’ll move your business forward.

  • Hiring: It gives you a clear framework to assess against during the interviewing process and allows you to understand what salary and position in the team someone will fit.

  • Performance & training: You’ll have a living tool which allows you to understand an employees performance on the job and see where they need more training.

  • Compensation: Salary ranges are linked to levels on the matrix, so it makes salary reviews easier as you can clearly see where an employee sits on the scale and what they need to achieve to reach the next level.

A job leveling matrix is important because it establishes internal equity and fair compensation structures. By clearly defining roles and expectations, employees can see a transparent path for career progression. This reduces ambiguity and provides a clear framework for performance evaluations and promotions.

Furthermore, it can help managers identify gaps in skills and competencies, allowing for targeted development and training programs.

Pro-tip: Regularly review and update job leveling matrices to keep them aligned with evolving business needs and industry standards.

2. Applying a Job Leveling Matrix in Your Organisation

2.1 Creating a leveling matrix

It starts with a process of definition, for each role you have in the company (e.g Sales Rep, Engineer) you’ll map out the different levels of experience and the skills / competencies expected at each stage.

Depending on the size of your business, you might choose to define two tracks per job role, one for individual contributors and one for management.

Individual Contributor (IC) Track:

  1. Focus: Deep technical expertise.

  2. Roles: Hands-on technical work (e.g., coding, design).

  3. Progression: Senior, Lead, Principal Engineer.

  4. Impact: Deep but narrow, specific projects.

  5. Skills: Technical skills, problem-solving.

Management Track:

  1. Focus: People and project management.

  2. Roles: Coordinating teams, setting goals.

  3. Progression: Manager, Director, VP.

  4. Impact: Broad, across teams or departments.

  5. Skills: Leadership, communication, organisational.

In essence, ICs dive deep into technical work, while managers oversee people and processes to achieve organisational goals.

Levels for IC & management

Once you’ve chosen your role e.g Engineer, you’ll then create a matrix of job titles for each level:

  • Level 1 - Associate Engineer

  • Level 2 - Engineer

  • Level 3 - Senior Engineer | Engineering Manager

  • Level 4 - Staff Engineer | Senior Engineering Manager

  • Level 5 - Principal Engineer | Director of Engineering

  • Level 6 - VP of Engineering

Note: Job titles, don’t always have to match the name in the matrix, for example you might just use “Engineer” instead of “Intermediate Engineer” for a Level 2 IC role.

You can start to add in competencies and skills for each role level, these will vary depending on level, here’s some examples of common ones:

  • Technical Expertise

  • Communication Skills

  • Leadership and Management

  • Problem-Solving and Analytical Skills

  • Customer Focus

  • Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Adaptability and Flexibility

  • Initiative and Innovation

  • Project Management

  • Emotional Intelligence

To create the job leveling matrix, you combine these two items to create a table which cross references each other. This will allow you to specify the expected ability at a given level, for example an Level 2 (L2) Engineer might need to match the criteria for level 1 “Customer Focused” but level 2 for “Problem Solving”.

Leveling matrix for Engineer

These levels are defined per competency and allow you to create a comprehensive matrix of abilities for each role.

Pro-tip: To streamline creating and managing your job leveling matrix, consider using HR software that allows easy updates and clear communication of role expectations across your organisation.

2.2 What sort of matrix do you need for your business?

For companies of less than a few hundred employees it is better to keep things simple. You can have a single track rather than splitting it into individual contributor and management tracks. You can also vary the levels within each role, so instead of 6 or 7 seniority levels, you just use 5.

One thing to remember is your growth plans, for example if you’ve recently raised investment in the business and are looking to grow the team, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a leveling matrix in place that supports this growth. Creating the matrix can be a time consuming process, so it’s best to make sure it caters for your needs for the next year or two of business growth.

3. How Evidenced helps you interview for your framework?

One of the key uses of a leveling framework is assessing candidates during the interviewing process. Evidenced is an award-winning video interview and assessment tool.

We allow you to create interview templates for each level and stage of the interviewing process. For example you could create templates for your L2 - Engineer role, with each interview stage covering a few of the competencies that make up the role.

You can also create Scorecards (or sync them from your ATS) and score the competencies during the interview. Allowing you to rank and compare candidates to make sure you’re hiring the person who best fits with the gap in your team.

4. Other Resources

Here’s a few handy tools for building out and managing your leveling matrix:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the employee level matrix?

An employee level matrix outlines various job levels within an organisation, defining the progression from entry-level to senior roles, along with the competencies and responsibilities expected at each stage.

What is job leveling structure?

Job leveling structure is a framework that categorises roles based on their complexity, required skills, and responsibilities, ensuring equitable pay and career progression opportunities.

What are job leveling models?

Job leveling models are structured frameworks used by organisations to classify jobs into different levels based on specified criteria such as skills, responsibilities, and experience.

What is the job classification matrix?

A job classification matrix is a tool that categorises job roles within an organization into different levels or classes, each with specific requirements and job duties, to ensure clear career paths and equity in compensation.