Identifying an Organization’s Most Critical Positions – Template | Brian Heger

Talent Management

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While there has been a much-needed shift in broadening our view of work beyond traditional jobs and roles to focus on skills and tasks, critical roles still play an important part in informing an organization’s workforce planning and talent management practices.

However, a challenge in identifying critical roles arises when assessors use less valid criteria, such as

  • job level (e.g., where only executive roles are considered critical, even though role criticality is level-agnostic);
  • basing it on how challenging it is to recruit and hire for a role (a challenging-to-fill role may not be critical);
  • assessing the role based on the incumbent rather than the role’s impact on organizational value.
  • Assessors must also be reminded that a role deemed critical may lose its criticality over time as business strategies evolve.

Against this backdrop, here is a one-page editable template to help organizations gain insights into their critical roles.

  • The first column allows you to list the roles for evaluation, and the following columns provide sample indicators of role criticality.
  • You can add additional criteria in the fourth column or modify the existing criteria by simply overwriting the text.
  • If an indicator accurately reflects the role you’re evaluating, click the box, and it will automatically insert a checkmark.
  • Upon completion, the visual representation will reveal which roles are the most critical. (i.e., more checks indicate greater criticality).

While this template is not sophisticated, it can spark the right conversations that help identify and plan for critical roles.

As a bonus, once you identify your critical roles, you can use my other template to assess risks in your critical roles and use the insights to inform talent planning.