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Developing your Developers: Constructing Career Paths for your Technologists - Hive Conference 2019


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How you construct development paths in your company can support and deepen your company values. Doing it well means heightening employee engagement and improving retention. This talk gives technology and people team leaders a place to start their conversations.

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Developing your Developers: Constructing Career Paths for your Technologists - Hive Conference 2019

  1. 1. Kevin Goldsmith
 Chief Technology Officer Developing your Developers: Constructing Career Paths for your Technologists
  2. 2. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Why do we need career pathing?
  3. 3. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 In a 2015 study by global staffing firm Randstad, 26 percent of employees who have left their jobs in the past 12 months cite lack of career growth opportunities as the primary reason for leaving a company
  4. 4. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 A 2012 Deloitte survey, Talent 2020, found that when employees were asked to indicate the top factors that would cause them to look for new employment over the next 12 months, lack of career progress topped the list, whereas lack of challenge in the job came in at No. 5, suggesting the need for career development plans.
  5. 5. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 ● Employee retention ● Consistency in performance management ● Consistency in compensation ● Consistency in hiring ● Reinforce/Support company values ● Employer Branding Why do we need career pathing?
  6. 6. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 What makes a good career pathing framework?
  7. 7. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 A framework isn't a GPS that tells people exactly what they need to do to progress. But it's a compass that they can use to guide them through their career - Monzo Career Framework
  8. 8. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 ● Aligned to company values ● Inclusive ● Realistic What makes for a good framework?
  9. 9. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 When do you create your framework?
  10. 10. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 A bit after moving from building a business to operating a business.
  11. 11. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Building a career pathing framework
  12. 12. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 I’m not going to tell you how to build it. You need to do something that makes sense for your company.
  13. 13. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 But, I am going to tell you some of the things you need to consider which may not be obvious at first.
  14. 14. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Study other companies’ frameworks, don’t copy them.
  15. 15. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 ● A wonderful opportunity for the people team and technology leadership team to work together ● An excellent leadership development opportunity for a growing leader ● Should be an inclusive process Building the career path
  16. 16. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Objective vs Subjective • Objectivity is the ultimate goal • A truly objective framework is nearly impossible • Need to find the balance between reducing bias in the process and supporting the needs of the people and roles in the organization • Focus more on making the process fair
  17. 17. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 A fair promotion process • Add reviews of decisions and consistency checks into the framework, some options: • A promotions board • Review promotions across each level of the organization • Promotions to the higher levels require sign off from senior leadership
  18. 18. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 A fair promotion process • Add an option for employees to appeal the decisions. The appeals group should include different people that the promotions-approval group and at least one person from outside the organization
  19. 19. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Floor or Average? Should you promote when you have most of the skills/behaviors for the next level or when you have them all?
  20. 20. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 The Peter Principle People in a hierarchy tend to rise to their level of incompetence.
  21. 21. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 The Peter Principle Consequence Others perceive the requirements of a career level by looking at the amalgam of the worst examples for each of the requirements.
  22. 22. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Building an inclusive framework • Manager versus individual contributor • Introvert versus extrovert • Generalist versus specialist
  23. 23. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 How many levels to have? • A career path should be able to support a lifetime of growth • People want to feel the sense of achievement of reaching a new milestone
  24. 24. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Levels are milestones not destinations Personal growth is a continuum, not a series of discrete jumps. A level-change should be a milestone glimpsed from the rearview mirror. It lets you know how far you’ve come, but it is not the destination.
  25. 25. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 The numbers vs title conundrum
  26. 26. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Complexity • The more complex the pathing system is the more likely it is to be misunderstood. • Complex frameworks lead to lack of fairness or perceived lack of fairness • Make it consistent
  27. 27. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Ties to compensation Poor compensation considerations can undermine the entire framework. • Do the salary bands overlap? • Do the levels map to external salary benchmarking data?
  28. 28. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Test it out before you roll it out
  29. 29. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 What is the correct distribution for your company?
  30. 30. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 What is the correct distribution for your company?
  31. 31. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 What is the correct distribution for your company?
  32. 32. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Do a simulation to test the distribution
  33. 33. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Iterate
  34. 34. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Track Metrics ● How many promotions/year? distributed as expected? ● What levels are people being hired at? ● Employee satisfaction (eNPS)
  35. 35. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Resist the temptation to make too many big changes unless things are really broken. Once people are on the path, you don’t want to mess with their progress.
  36. 36. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Make it fair
  37. 37. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Make it inclusive
  38. 38. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Make it simple
  39. 39. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Include the compensation mapping
  40. 40. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Test with a simulation
  41. 41. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Be gentle with changes
  42. 42. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 Dankeschön!
  43. 43. @KevinGoldsmith #developingdevs#HiveConf19 resources ● ● Research-63caaa58edcb41c0ba28a0cf929f24db