shutterstock_111058529By: Paul Rose, Product Center of Excellence Manager, Employee Central     

“Position management essentially separates the “people structure” of the organization from the job roles, job definitions and specific individuals in these positions” (Bersin by Deloitte, 2015)

The complexity involved in a global enterprise shifting to one master HR technology platform often requires organizations to streamline their job and position structures. Position management defines what the organization hierarchy should look like, classifies how jobs are identified, as well as highlighting the optimum position count across the business. A position is described by Boston University is “amore detailed summary of the duties specific to the individual employee”.  ( A position object in HR software terminology will outline various attributes that can associated with the employee and the overall organizational structure. This article will highlight five critical recommendations for corporations to consider before embarking on a core HCM implementation with position management enabled.

Recommendation 1: Job and Organization Structures

A comprehensive global job catalogue should be established in order will provide the building blocks for an efficient position management process. A precise job configuration will mean that between 50- 60% of your job attributes will flow onto the position object.  Examples of these attributes would be job level, pay grade and supervisor level.  It is recommended that for a successful position management deployment the above criteria is fulfilled.

Positions must fit into the overall organizational structure of the company. Position characteristics will include organizational attributes like department, division and function.

Recommendation 2: Recruitment Function

Position management must work in conjunction with the recruitment function. Core HR positions need to be integrated with recruitment requisitions. The slicker HCM technologies will have this inherent functionality.  The HR function can enforce position control per department, function, division to control spiraling recruitment costs and require managers to become more quantifiable in their pursuit of extra resources.  Line managers should only be interviewing open positions when the recruitment requisition has been approved by the appropriate HR business partner.

Recommendation 3: Data Reliability

Effective position management serves as a platform to secure more accurate, consistent data across any HCM suite. Position data will flow to employee record automatically once the user is hired or changes position during his organizational tenure. This reduces the amount of data maintenance that managers or local HR admins action on each employee record. Innovative mass change features mean that wholesale position alterations can automate to the employee record.

Recommendation 4: Reporting

Concise headcount reporting will be attainable with position management.  C-Level executives will be able to complete rigorous analysis on staffing shortages or overflows in particular areas of the business.  A basic example of staffing misalignment might be having more doctors than nurses assigned in a particular hospital department.  If the optimal resource levels or position count were not defined, this would not a simple reporting function.

Recommendation 5: Relationship to person/employee level

For the optimum position structure, it is good practice to assign one person per position. This will facilitate analysis between reporting and position hierarchy as well as streamlined headcount reports. Realistically there may be exceptions with job share arrangements and concurrent employment where employees can hold two positions.  Often, limited employee fields can sync back to position if it is not possible to define attributes at position level.


Position Management with the necessary HCM structures can improve data precision and provide powerful insights into an organization’s resource efficiency across the globe. It should only be leveraged at the time when a business has a solid HRIS infrastructure already established and key resources understand the required supporting conditions.

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