Career Roadmap FAQs - Human Resources at Ohio State

Frequently Asked Questions

Career Roadmap

For questions about Career Roadmap and position mapping, check the FAQs below. If you don’t see your question here, contact your manager, unit HR professional or senior HR professional. This page will be updated through launch, scheduled for summer 2021.

What is Career Roadmap?

Career Roadmap is a comprehensive job family model and pay structure that will provide visibility to career paths for managers and staff to foster equitable, consistent compensation practices across the university and medical center. With an expected summer 2021 launch, Career Roadmap will enable Ohio State to recruit, retain and inspire the talent needed to fulfill our mission.

Why is Ohio State implementing Career Roadmap?

Career Roadmap is a recruitment and retention initiative to attract and keep talent at Ohio State. Inconsistent job classifications, pay practices and use of titles contribute to unclear career paths for current staff and potential applicants.

Is Career Roadmap proprietary to Ohio State or is it a system purchased from a vendor?

Career Roadmap was developed in-house  by an experienced team of Ohio State HR Compensation experts based on best practices in higher education and other business sectors.

Does Career Roadmap address pay equity?

Career Roadmap on its own does not address pay equity. Career Roadmap will provide the university with a job classification system and salary structure that will make it easier to analyze pay practices across the institution.

Will Career Roadmap cause some positions to be eliminated?

Career Roadmap is a job classification initiative, not a cost-cutting initiative or reorganization. It is important to note that colleges and business units routinely make organizational decisions based on business need outside of Career Roadmap.

How do we define “HR Partners,” “managers” and “employees” as Career Roadmap stakeholders?

“HR partners” and “HR professionals” are Human Resources employees within each college or unit. “Managers” refers to employees (managers, directors, supervisors, vice presidents, etc.) who have people reporting to them. “Employees” refers to any person employed by Ohio State, including individual contributors with no supervisory duties.

What should we share with our direct reports during this process?

It’s important to be transparent, engage your team as needed and provide updates when available. If you choose to share current mapping status with your direct reports, let them know that mapping of specific positions may change over time. Staff who are covered by Career Roadmap will have the opportunity to review and provide input in spring 2021. An information sheet for supervisors can help guide your conversations with direct reports.

What is my role in the Career Roadmap project?

HR Professionals: HR’s role in Career Roadmap is to help build a comprehensive job catalog including functions and subfunctions for all in-scope jobs. HR professionals may be called upon to give input on the development and descriptions of job functions and further engage other organizational resources. In addition, they will help gather existing position descriptions, organization charts and other material to assist in developing job functions. HR Professionals will work with HR Compensation to review drafts of the job functions and suggest changes.

Managers: Managers help ensure the Career Roadmap job catalog provides relevant job profiles for their in-scope employees. Additionally, managers will be asked to help verify their positions and how they are mapped in the job catalog. Finally, managers will need to understand Career Roadmap and explain the changes to the in-scope employees.

Employees: Career Roadmap will help employees visualize and plan their future at Ohio State. Employees may be called upon by their managers to assist with clarifying some of the details of their position. In spring 2021, employees will be asked to review how their positions are mapped and recommend changes if needed.

What impact will Career Roadmap have on me?

Career Roadmap will provide more clarity about where staff positions fit in the broader organization and what qualifications are needed for the next career step. A new job function, subfunction, career band and career level will be associated with each position. In addition, titles will change for most staff. Not changing due to Career Roadmap: your job duties, your pay, your direct reports and your supervisor.

Will my duties change due to Career Roadmap?

Day-to-day job duties will not change as a result of Career Roadmap. Managers are encouraged to review current position descriptions and update if needed. This exercise will assist with accurate mapping of the current position.

Will Career Roadmap impact the status of positions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

In-scope jobs for Career Roadmap will be designated as non-exempt or exempt. As positions are mapped to the new framework, there may be a change in that position’s FLSA status. If a status change happens, we will work to lessen the impact on those employees. More information about FLSA changes will be available in spring 2021.

If Career Roadmap provides more visibility to career paths, how do I move to the next level, and who is responsible for that?

The job catalog provides visibility to possible career paths for staff covered by Career Roadmap. Staff can advance within the career framework based on their skills, experience, performance and the business need. This information empowers staff to chart their own career path.

The career framework allows for career paths as an individual contributor or a people leader. Having this dual career path allows for personal preference and available opportunities. An individual does not need to progress through all Specialized levels before holding a Managerial role.

Note, promotion is not a guarantee, and units manage their workforce based on business need and availability of work.

Will this affect my sports ticket eligibility?

No, Career Roadmap will not affect sports ticket eligibility.

How do we know if we are mapping consistently with other units?

The six-week window for supervisor mapping in fall 2019 focused on mapping your own direct reports to the best of your ability. During the first quarter of 2020, function stakeholders from across the institution joined HR partners and HR Compensation to check results for consistency. The position mapping process is 24 months long (with pauses for the COVID-19 state of emergency and Workday implementation) and incorporates active dialogue in every phase. This extended process will help ensure consistency in applying current positions to the new framework.

How will Career Roadmap balance equity and consistency with allowing units to address their unique needs?

The job catalog provides an overarching framework for how to classify jobs. Each job can still have a position description that identifies needs specific to the business unit.

How do direct reports/total reports factor into determining a supervisor’s band?

Typically, staff in the Managerial Band have a team of three or more total reports. Staff in the Specialized band achieve results primarily as individual contributors and may have direct reports.

Are student employees considered when considering a supervisor’s direct reports?

For purposes of determining the number of total reports, student employees contribute to a supervisor’s total reports on a ratio of 4:1. This means supervising four students is the equivalent of one total report. This estimate is based on consultations with the Office of Student Life and guidance that suggests most student employees work 10-12 hours per week.

If you have two direct reports and a third is added, do you automatically move to the managerial band?

The decision to reclassify a supervisor to the Managerial Band is made at the unit level. Considerations in addition to the number of direct reports could include leadership dimensions such as complexity, impact and interactions. These are part of business decisions and conversations that are informed by the framework.

Are dotted-line reports factored into managerial band decisions?

“Dotted-line” reports have some accountability to another person but are not considered direct reports.

Will we continue to have unique position descriptions?

Yes. Each job could have both a Career Roadmap description and a more detailed position description with needs specific to the business unit.

How do we know who our HR partner is?

Email to find out the name of your HR partner.

Is the job profile replacing the University Classification Specification, or the individually assigned description or both?

The intent is for job profiles to replace the University Classification Specification. Because job profiles will be linked to the Career Framework, they will more closely align with external survey data. However, the need for a “desk-level” description of each position will continue and will be documented within Workday.

While Career Roadmap is in development, how do we handle reclassifications, equity increases and promotions?

Please discuss position reclassifications, equity increases and promotions with your local HR representative, who can help guide you through the process.

When are we going to see salary ranges?

Pay ranges will be available to unit HR partners and supervisors in mid-2020. Pay range information will also be available during the employee review period in spring 2021.

Why can’t we see the pay bands for the positions being mapped?

Throughout fall 2019, HR researched salary surveys in academia, health care and shared services. This research will inform creation of pay bands associated with the career framework.

What are the future pay impacts to employees whose salary may be above or below the new pay range for their position?

Throughout first six months of 2020, President’s Cabinet will review results of mapping and salary research. The cabinet’s decisions will include the university’s approach to pay that falls outside the new ranges.

Could positions in the individual contributor series pay more than positions in the people leader series?

Yes. The career framework allows for dual career paths – one primarily as a supervisor and people leader and one path primarily as an individual contributor. Having this dual career path allows for personal preference and available opportunities. Staff in the Managerial band achieve results primarily through directing others. Those in the Specialized band are typically individual contributors. Starting at S3, those in the Specialized band could be equivalent to the Managerial band in pay, career level and experience. An individual does not need to progress through all Specialized levels before holding a Managerial role.

What primary market data sources will be used to establish pay ranges?

Ohio State maintains a large survey library from top HR consulting organizations and relevant industry associations. The HR Compensation team will price jobs based on recognized best practices using survey sources relevant to the market. Shared services functions (IT, Finance, HR, etc.) will be benchmarked against general industry sources. Functions unique to higher education will be benchmarked against  academic or education sources. Similarly, health system functions will be benchmarked against health care sources. Our objective is to reference the job markets most closely related to those in which Ohio State competes for talent.

Will my base salary be cut due to this project?

There will be no reduction in base pay as part of Career Roadmap.

What happens if you are mapped to a position that requires an academic degree that you don’t have?

Equivalent experience will continue to be accepted in place of academic degree for most jobs. Exceptions include certain jobs with licensure/certification requirements and some jobs in the managerial band.

Are non-tenure track faculty, adjunct faculty, lecturers, postdoctoral researchers/assistants, graduate associates, intermittent employees included in Career Roadmap?

No. Career Roadmap does not include faculty, physicians, student employees, athletic coaches, executives and employees in bargaining units. Some of those groups are covered by other initiatives or contracts. The “Mapping and Me” selection tool on the position mapping web page can help you understand those roles.

Does Career Roadmap include research positions?

Career Roadmap will cover staff positions that aren’t part of the physician, faculty, union or student populations. Career Roadmap may include research positions if they meet that criteria.

For areas undergoing reorganization (examples: HR Service Delivery, Enterprise Project, Business and Finance, etc.), how should we map those positions?

Map those positions to the current state. In some instances, mapping results will need to be updated as reorganizations are implemented.

How does the size of a unit impact how positions are mapped? Will positions in smaller units be mapped to lower career levels due to more limited institutional impact and the likelihood of fewer direct reports?

The mapping of positions in smaller units will be based on the same criteria as larger units. Regardless of unit size, the position will be evaluated based on the Career Level Guide on the position mapping web page and the dimensions outlined in that document.

Will Wexner Medical Center staff positions only be in clinical band?

Positions that require clinical licensure to perform the job are the only ones that are in the clinical band. Staff who are not licensed medical professionals won’t be in the clinical band.

Is academic advisor implementation done or included as part of Career Roadmap?

Career Roadmap for academic advisors was implemented in March 2019. These positions are included in position mapping, and supervisors should still complete a review.

Will we still be able to use working titles? Will titles like “consultant” and “analyst” be a final part of Career Roadmap?

An advisory group is examining title nomenclature and the approach for working titles. Recommendations are expected in mid-2020. The titling advisory group is comprised of representatives from across the institution, including academic, business unit and stakeholder groups.

Will my job title change?

As part of Career Roadmap, new titles will be assigned to all in-scope jobs. The majority of employees will have a new job title. Career Roadmap job titles were created to provide internal consistency, clear ties to the career framework and a common language to describe jobs. When necessary, working titles will remain an option to provide a more relevant or specific title, describe work more accurately, facilitate external relations or reflect industry/professional norms.

Position Mapping

Below are responses to FAQs about position mapping. If you still have questions or need clarifications, please reach out to your designated partner. For Senior Human Resources Professionals (SHRPs) and Wexner Medical Center Business Unit Directors (BUDs), follow up with HR Compensation. For managers and unit leaders, reach out to your unit’s HR partner. For employees, contact your manager or supervisor.

Map the individual to the function and subfunction of closest fit considering principles such as which skill set is most predominant, carries the highest market premium or is most difficult to recruit or to train. While Career Roadmap can incorporate hybrid roles based on function and subfunction, it is unlikely to include hybrid positions that are in different career bands.

The position mapping phase, July 2019 to spring 2021, has been designed to include feedback loops, stakeholder reviews and other opportunities to provide input. The intention is to produce results that work for the Ohio State community and are relevant to the external environment. In spring 2021, staff whose positions are covered by Career Roadmap will have the opportunity to review and suggest changes, if needed. Any misalignment in mapping that still exists at that time will be resolved in a consultative process to be determined.

Position mapping is the process of matching existing Ohio State positions to the new framework. The focus is on job content. When mapping positions that report to you, it’s helpful to consider the position as it would be advertised if you had to backfill it.

This does not diminish the value and expertise of current staff. Position mapping is a job classification exercise. More detailed position descriptions can identify higher education experience as a desired qualification. Units will continue to have discretion to add desired qualifications in position descriptions that are above and beyond the minimum job classification description. The university will continue to recognize and reward performance through existing annual performance review processes.

The Position Mapping Process connects existing positions in the university and Wexner Medical Center to the new Career Roadmap framework (function, subfunction, band and level).

Approximately 22,000 administrative & professional and classified civil service staff across the university and medical center are covered by Career Roadmap.

Not included are physicians, student employees, faculty, athletic coaches, executives and employees in bargaining units (unions) are not included. Some of those groups are covered by other initiatives or contracts. However, these roles may have direct reports who are in-scope for Career Roadmap. For this reason, during the mapping process, these groups will be asked to review and confirm mapping for their in-scope direct reports.

The mapping process will begin in July 2019 and conclude in late spring 2021 after an employee review period. Each stakeholder (managers, HR representatives, unit leaders, employees, etc.) will have a primary role in different phases of this process.

The mapping process includes the HR Compensation Team, strategic HR business partners, current managers with direct reports and employees. Unit leaders and senior leaders are also included. Each stakeholder will have a role in this process to correctly map positions.

Managers are the primary reviewers of the pre-populated data for their direct reports. They will collaborate with employees and communicate ongoing process updates and final mapping results. HR will be the primary facilitators in this process, ensuring managers are aware of the process and guiding unit leaders. Unit leaders will be responsible for alignment in their college or unit in collaboration with HR. At the end of this process, each stakeholder will be a participant of this institution-wide effort in mapping associates to the Career Roadmap framework.

In spring 2021, staff will have a review period to confirm or suggest changes to how their positions are mapped. This review period follows supervisors and unit HR partners who are reviewing and making suggested changes at specific phases throughout the process.

The Position Assessment Form is an optional aid to help managers identify core responsibilities, minimum requirements and work dimensions that align with the Career Roadmap framework. This form can also help facilitate conversations between managers and employees in determining the correct mapping.

The first step is to reference the Mapping Hints section of the Mapping Guidelines document. If after review, an appropriate job is not identified within the framework, managers can select “unable to map” in the Position Mapping tool.

In this case, individuals would be mapped to the function and subfunction of closest fit considering which skill set is most predominant, carries the highest market premium or is most difficult to recruit or to train. Also, within a function, there could be a multi-discipline subfunction to capture those who have multiple responsibilities. This can be considered, if applicable.

One reason may be that some higher levels within a subfunction are not referenced in the external labor market. Including levels where there is not market relevance may create risk. Another reason could be internal business need. If specific levels don’t currently exist, the job catalog does not account for it. If you are unable to map a position based on a missing level, please contact your unit HR partner or BUD.

Calibration is when senior HR partners and senior leaders across Ohio State will look at mapping in overview with the following goals:

  • Ensure mapping to function and subfunction is consistent.
  • Confirm mapping complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and CCS regulations.
  • Capture higher level managerial and specialized positions correctly.
  • Communicate results to employees and act on feedback as needed.

There will be multiple calibration points throughout the process. The purpose is to align methodologies and create consistency within the job catalog.


During the 24 months of position mapping, there may be changes to the initial validation based on input by various stakeholders. The extended time frame will engage as many stakeholders as possible in active dialogue and reviews. The input from each stakeholder group is important and builds upon the input from previous reviewers. New learning will emerge at each phase, and results will be calibrated for consistency across the university and medical center.

If a position changes during the mapping process, there may be a misalignment in the mapping tool. Throughout the process, the unit HR Partner will review new jobs and ensure consistency.

CCS staff will continue to have the same classification and will be aligned within the Career Roadmap framework.

Employees will learn final results of position mapping in spring 2021, during the employee review period.

For any questions or feedback regarding the mapping process, please reach out to your unit HR partner.