LinkedIn job levels are a way for companies to consistently define and classify roles. They provide a standardized framework to evaluate jobs and determine appropriate compensation bands across the organization. LinkedIn job levels aim to bring more transparency into career progression and help employees understand what is required to get promoted.
What are the different LinkedIn job levels?
LinkedIn has defined 10 standard job levels that span entry-level to executive roles. Here is an overview of the different LinkedIn job levels and types of roles that fall under each:
|LinkedIn Job Level
|Individual Contributor Level 1
|Intern, Associate, Analyst
|Individual Contributor Level 2
|Analyst, Associate, Specialist
|Individual Contributor Level 3
|Specialist, Consultant, Senior Analyst
|Manager Level 1
|Manager Level 2
|Senior Manager, Group Manager
|Director Level 1
|Director Level 2
|Senior Director, Executive Director
|Senior Vice President
|Senior Vice President
|CEO, CFO, CMO, CTO
The job levels are segmented into three main categories:
- Individual Contributor (IC) roles – Positions that mainly focus on individual contribution and have no direct reports. There are 3 levels under this segment.
- Manager roles – Positions with responsibility for managing teams. There are 2 levels defined for managers based on scope of responsibility.
- Executive roles – The most senior leadership positions like Directors, VPs, and C-Suite executives that manage large teams or broader company functions.
Within each segment, the levels follow a progressive order. For example, an IC-2 is more advanced than IC-1 and will have higher expectations or impact. Similarly, a Manager-2 will oversee larger teams and responsibilities than a Manager-1.
How do companies use LinkedIn job levels?
LinkedIn job levels provide a standardized talent framework that companies can adopt and customize to their needs. Here are some of the key ways companies utilize LinkedIn job levels:
- Job architecture – Companies map their existing roles to the closest LinkedIn job level, creating a consistent job architecture.
- Career paths – The job levels create clearly defined career progressions within a function or across the organization.
- Benchmarks – Salary and equity compensation benchmarks can be developed for each level based on market data.
- Talent assessment – Performance and potential of employees can be assessed relative to expectations for their level.
- Talent acquisition – Open requisitions are aligned to standardized levels, making recruiting easier.
Essentially, LinkedIn job levels become a reference point for making any talent management decision including hiring, promotion, development, compensation, and workforce planning. Some companies may adapt the titles or link specialty job tracks but maintain the leveling structure for consistency.
What changes between each LinkedIn job level?
When progressing from one LinkedIn job level to the next, there are some common differences to expect in terms of scope, impact, and capabilities:
- Scope – Breadth of responsibility increases, seen through larger teams, bigger budgets, or increased authority.
- Impact – Impact expands from being more tactical to strategic in nature.
- Leadership – Greater emphasis on leading larger groups of employees, partners, or stakeholders.
- Autonomy – Less supervision and more freedom to take decisions independently.
- Skills – Advancing technical or managerial skills and proficiency in role.
- Knowledge – Deeper business and industry knowledge breadth required.
- Innovation – Higher expectations around creativity, problem-solving, and driving improvements.
The exact requirements will differ based on the specificLinkedIn job level and company’s needs. But in general, moving up requires demonstrating readiness across these common dimensions. Some companies may provide detailed leveling guides that lay out the specific competencies required for each role type and seniority level to support employee development.
How should employees use LinkedIn job levels?
For individual employees, being aware of LinkedIn job levels can help in a few ways:
- Understand career paths – Employees can see what’s next and plan their career trajectory at the company.
- Benchmark skills – Identify strengths and gaps relative to the requirements for current and next level.
- Seeking development – Guide conversations with managers about getting stretch assignments, training, and skills to develop.
- Compare job offers – Evaluate role levels and compensation being offered by other companies.
- Market value – Assess own market value based on mapping to LinkedIn job levels that are widely used.
While the job levels are defined by the company, employees should also understand them and take ownership of their careers. This means identifying goals, gaps, and actions to reach the next level based on the expectations set by the levels framework.
What are some best practices for LinkedIn job levels?
Here are some best practices companies can follow to maximize the value of LinkedIn job levels:
- Customize the job levels and add any missing specialty roles rather than doing a pure out-of-the-box implementation.
- Create clear, written definitions of each level with details on scope, skills, and expectations.
- Align job requisitions, offer letters, and promotions to standard levels.
- Establish compensation bands for each job level based on external market data.
- Review the framework regularly and update as the organization evolves.
- Train managers on using job levels for talent decisions and employee development.
- Communicate job levels to employees and explain their purpose and use.
- Leverage job levels consistently across HR systems and processes like performance management, learning, recruiting, and workforce planning.
LinkedIn job levels bring greater structure, transparency, and consistency to talent management. While they require effort to maintain, the payoff can be significant in terms of employer brand, career development, alignment across the organization, and more data-driven decision making. Companies can realize the full benefits by customizing the levels to their needs, clearly defining expectations for each level, and integrating levels into talent processes and systems.