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Collaborate to Build a Career Ladder/Lattice

Developing a Career Ladder/Lattice: Collaboration and Cooperation

Building an accurate and comprehensive career ladder/lattice can be a challenging task for one individual. It requires knowledge of the industry and of jobs within that industry, as well as an understanding of the similarity and differences between jobs and how jobs relate to one another. To efficiently combine these diverse pieces of information into a career ladder/lattice, you should reach out to industry and other knowledgeable experts to gather information about the industry and jobs within the target career.

Why Should I Collaborate?

Collaboration with industry experts when creating career ladders/lattices results in more accurate representation of movement between jobs in an industry. It allows people who know about the industry to weigh in with their content expertise during the development process and encourages the validation of career ladders/lattices to ensure that:

  • the appropriate jobs are present on the career ladder/lattice,
  • job progression within the career is accurate, and
  • job description information is current.

At a minimum, you should have industry experts review and edit the career ladders/lattices prior to distributing or publishing them.

With Whom Do I Collaborate?

When you identify individuals to participate on a career ladder/lattice development team, it will be most helpful to partner with others who:

  • understand the issues facing an industry,
  • have significant background and expertise in an industry,
  • are knowledgeable about jobs and occupations within an industry, or
  • are knowledgeable about education and training needed for the jobs and occupations.

There are many potential partners available. Some possibilities include:

  • Businesses
  • Job incumbents
  • Labor-management relations teams or committees
  • State and regional industry groups or associations
  • Training providers (public and private)
  • Employee representatives (e.g., human resource representatives, etc.)
  • Educational institutions (e.g., community colleges, universities, etc.)
  • Professional and trade associations

How do I Collaborate?

You should work closely with your team members either individually or in a group setting to gather the information you need. Encourage your career ladder/lattice development team to discuss important industry issues, identify critical careers within the industry, and how jobs within an industry relate to one another. When you meet with your development team, some topics for discussion include:

  • Big picture industry issues (e.g., economic, social, and political challenges, workforce development issues within an industry, etc.)
  • Jobs to include in the career ladder/lattice
  • Important characteristics of each job in a career ladder/lattice (see Appendix A in the Career Ladder/Lattice General Instructions for more details about job definition elements)
    • Job descriptions
    • Job level
    • Educational requirements
    • Workforce preparation requirements
    • Work experience requirements
    • Licensure and certification requirements
    • Salary/wage standards within the industry
    • Employment outlook
  • Relationships between jobs
  • Movement between jobs in the career ladder/lattice

Results of Collaboration

Successful collaboration results in a career ladder/lattice that is an accurate and comprehensive representation of the jobs that comprise a career and how employees move throughout a career in an industry. Career ladders/lattices are excellent resources for employees and human resource professionals when their creation is guided and informed by industry experts.