XpertHR Salary surveys job levels

XpertHR Salary surveys uses a set of common job level definitions to define the seniority of any given role, regardless of job title or the functional area in which the incumbent works. The level definitions are set out below.

Chief executive (level 10)

Job titles often found here

  • CEO
  • Chief executive

Strategic scope

  • Reports to the board. This role has primary responsibility for the organisation as its chief executive officer.

Business skills

  • Has significant business and management experience.
  • Develops long-term strategic relationships with customers and industry leaders.

Complexity

  • Responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation.
  • Accountable for the financial performance of the organisation.
  • Applies the highest level of leadership and management skills.

Senior director (level 11)

Job titles often found here

  • Managing director
  • Deputy chief executive

Strategic scope

  • Responsibility for staff across the organisation at a strategic, rather than operational, level.

Business skills

  • Broad experience of running a significant operation at a strategic level.
  • Experience operating at board level, often taking responsibility in the chief executive's absence.

Complexity

  • Applies the highest level of leadership and management skills.
  • Major strategic input into financial matters across the company.

Director (level 12)

Job titles often found here

  • Director of HR
  • Finance director
  • Sales director
  • Chief information officer

Strategic scope

  • Leads on formulation and application of strategy.
  • Has extensive experience of delivering strategy for an entire function and operating at senior managerial level.
  • Makes decisions critical to the organisation's success.
  • Normally on the board of the company.

Business skills

  • Develops long-term strategic relationships with customers and industry leaders.
  • Has a full range of management and business skills.
  • Can present complex technical ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences at all levels in a persuasive and convincing manner.

Complexity

  • Applies the highest level of leadership and management skills.
  • Has a thorough understanding of their industry, including the implications of any emerging technologies, legislation or business practice on their organisation.
  • Responsible and accountable for ensuring that their organisation responds to any legislative changes that affect the company.

Senior function head (level 13)

Job titles often found here

  • Group financial controller
  • Company secretary
  • Procurement director
  • Head of IS operations

Strategic scope

  • Leads on formulation and application of strategy.
  • Has extensive experience of delivering strategy for an entire function and operating at a senior managerial level (but below board level) in an organisation.
  • Leads the function in following the organisation's strategic plan.
  • Makes decisions critical to the organisation's success.

Business skills

  • Heads a major function within the organisation.
  • Accountable for financial performance in several specified areas.
  • Has a broad and deep knowledge of their technical or professional specialty and is able to apply that knowledge and its implications to the wider business.

Complexity

  • Represents the company and/or their industry at high levels (ie nationally or internationally).
  • Understands, explains and presents complex technical ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences at all levels in a persuasive and convincing manner.

Function head (level 14)

Job titles often found here

  • Financial controller
  • Head of HR
  • Head of sales
  • Head of operations
  • Head of business systems

Strategic scope

  • Contributes to the direction of the business through formulating the strategic plan and budget setting for the whole function.
  • Has a full range of management and leadership skills.
  • Has the freedom to make decisions affecting the organisation as a whole within the overall business strategy and to set medium-term objectives.

Business skills

  • Heads a function within the organisation, often made up of several smaller departments.
  • Responsible for predicting and planning future resources.

Complexity

  • Responsible for negotiating major contracts with customers or clients and/or suppliers or contractors.
  • Has a broad and deep knowledge of their technical specialty or professional area and an understanding of its importance to the wider business, customers and other organisations.

Department manager (level 15)

Job titles often found here

  • Finance manager
  • Project manager
  • Senior business partner
  • Solicitor
  • Technical services manager

May be found here

  • Financial controller
  • Head of HR
  • Head of sales

Strategic scope

  • Works at a strategic level, having input into business strategy and budgets for their department and business area.
  • Contributes to the direction of the business through input into the strategic plan and budget setting for their immediate area of responsibility.
  • Has a full range of management and leadership skills.

Business skills

  • Responsible for the management of a department, which is of significant importance to the business.
  • Takes the initiative to keep own and subordinates skills and knowledge of their technical or professional specialty up to date. 

Complexity

  • Makes decisions that impact the organisation's achievement of organisational objectives and financial performance.
  • Demonstrates clear leadership and the ability to influence and persuade.
  • Performs a challenging range and variety of complex technical, professional or financial activities.

Autonomy

  • Establishes organisational objectives and delegates responsibilities.
  • Accountable for actions and decisions made not only by themselves, but by subordinates.

Technical roles (computer staff only)

  • May have no supervisory or management responsibility, but likely to be a key technical adviser.
  • May supervise a technical consultancy.
  • Is a subject-matter expert within their own discipline and has a broad understanding of all aspects of IT.
  • Understands the implications of new technologies in their area of specialty.
  • Maintains awareness of developments in the industry.

Section manager (level 16)

Job titles often found here

  • Area sales manager
  • Finance manager
  • Senior finance manager
  • Compliance manager
  • Systems development manager

May be found here

  • HR manager
  • Project manager
  • Finance manager
  • Audit manager

Strategic scope

  • Has the freedom to make decisions within the medium-term objectives for a single department (eg set individual targets and define sales areas).
  • Has a range of management and leadership skills, but may have limited management experience.

Business skills

  • Responsible for the day-to-day management of a small department, section, project or activity.
  • Involved in the operational or transactional part of the business, but also has some influence on strategy and budgets for their business area.
  • Keeps up to date with changes and new developments in their area of expertise. 

Complexity

  • Creatively applies a wide range of technical and/or management principles.
  • Demonstrates clear leadership and the ability to influence and persuade.
  • Performs a range and variety of technical, professional and financial activities.

Autonomy

  • Establishes objectives for their work area and delegates responsibility.
  • Accountable for actions and decisions made not only by themselves, but by subordinates.

Specialist/technical roles

  • May have no supervisory or management responsibility.
  • Is a subject-matter expert within their own discipline and has broad understanding of all aspects of their field.
  • Advises on their wider area of expertise.
  • Understands the implications of new technologies and developments in their area of specialty and maintains awareness of industry developments.

Professional level 4 (level 20)

Job titles often found here

  • HR manager
  • HR business partner
  • Senior accountant
  • Manager

May be found here

  • Finance manager
  • Area sales manager

Strategic scope

  • Operates at a senior level, but has limited management responsibility.
  • May be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of a team.
  • Freedom to make operational decisions about the deployment of resources to achieve business targets.
  • Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for operational improvement.
  • Demonstrates creativity in applying solutions.

Business skills

  • Keeps up to date with changes and new developments in their area of expertise.
  • Responsible for their own personal development.
  • Provides advice on their area of expertise.
  • Communicates soundly with colleagues and customers.
  • Demonstrates leadership and mentors junior colleagues.

Complexity

  • Work is often self-initiated.
  • Performs complex technical, professional or financial activities.
  • Undertakes work which requires the application of principles in a wide range of contexts.
  • Rapidly absorbs new technical information and applies it effectively.
  • Is an expert in their technical or professional area and applies this knowledge to the activities of their employer or client.

Autonomy

  • Works under broad direction.
  • Accountable for own technical, project or supervisory responsibilities.
  • Receives tasks in the form of objectives.
  • Establishes own milestones, deadlines and team objectives, and delegates responsibilities.
  • Has responsibility for the work of others and the allocation of resources.

Specialist/technical roles

  • May have no supervisory or management responsibility.
  • Is a subject-matter expert within their own discipline. Advises on their narrow area of expertise.
  • Keeps skills and knowledge of their area of specialty up to date.
  • Understands the implications of new technologies on their area of specialty.

Professional level 3 (level 21)

Job titles often found here

  • Business development manager
  • Accountant
  • Contract manager
  • Senior developer

May be found here

  • HR adviser
  • HR business partner
  • Key account manager
  • Team leader

Business skills

  • Selects the appropriate methods, tools and applications.
  • Communicates fluently and is able to present complex technical information to a non-technical audience.
  • Plans, schedules and monitors work to meet deadlines and other requirements (financial, legislative etc).
  • Keeps up to date with developments in their technical or professional area of expertise.
  • Responsible and takes initiative for their own personal development.

Complexity

  • Performs a wide variety of complex technical or professional work activities in a variety of contexts.
  • Has defined areas of responsibility.
  • Due to experience gained, may provide guidance to, and resolve issues raised by, less experienced staff.
  • Produces non-standard letters or reports.
  • May be responsible for a defined part of a project.
  • Has a thorough understanding of their professional area and how it fits within their business.
  • May lead a small project or team.
  • May supervise work of others on a day-to-day basis.

Autonomy

  • Operates as a competent professional with minimum supervision.
  • This role has some limited autonomy and incumbents are able to make some decisions within the scope of their role.
  • Plans own work to meet given objectives.

Professional level 2 (level 22)

Job titles often found here

  • Marketing executive
  • Customer service manager
  • Team manager
  • HR adviser
  • Field sales executive
  • Developer

May be found here

  • Assistant accountant
  • Secretary
  • Sales manager

Business skills

  • Demonstrates an analytical and methodical approach to problem solving.
  • Takes initiative in identifying and negotiating appropriate personal development opportunities.
  • Absorbs and applies technical information.
  • Has a thorough understanding of their role and how it relates to other roles and to the business of the employer.

Complexity

  • Has defined areas of responsibility.
  • Due to experience gained may provide guidance to more junior or less experienced staff.
  • May produce non-standard letters or reports.
  • May be responsible for a defined part of a project, small internal business project or a new process.
  • Uses discretion in identifying and resolving complex problems.
  • Performs a broad range of work, sometimes complex and non-routine, in a variety of environments.

Autonomy

  • Accountable for delivering assigned tasks within broader projects.
  • Operate as a competent professional with minimum supervision.
  • Has limited decision-making scope on how tasks are to be fulfilled.
  • Can easily determine when work should be escalated to a higher level.

Professional level 1 (level 23)

Job titles often found here

  • Finance assistant
  • Collections adviser
  • Sales executive
  • Junior developer
  • Graduate trainee
  • Secretary

May be found here

  • Payroll administrator
  • Claims handler

Business skills

  • Demonstrates a rational and organised approach to work.
  • Understands and uses appropriate methods (ie systems, processes).
  • Learns new skills and can apply them.
  • Able to effectively communicate with colleagues and/or customers.
  • Absorbs and applies technical information.
  • Contributes to identifying personal development opportunities.

Complexity

  • Able to plan, schedule and monitor own work within agreed deadlines.
  • Responsible for checking the quality and accuracy of own work.
  • Produces routine letters, reports and other documents from standard templates.
  • Performs a range of activities in a variety of structured environments.

Autonomy

  • Operates within a defined role, but may have some limited autonomy in how tasks are delivered.
  • Can easily determine when work should be escalated to a higher level.

Entry level (level 24)

Job titles often found here

  • Administration assistant
  • Customer services adviser
  • HR administrator
  • Trainee

Business skills

  • Can use basic systems and processes.
  • Learns new skills and applies newly acquired knowledge.
  • Has basic communication skills.

Complexity

  • Follows established processes and procedures.
  • Works to clearly defined priorities and deadlines.
  • Performs routine activities in a structured environment.

Autonomy

  • No autonomy or decision making required. Works within clearly defined processes under direct supervision.
  • Requires assistance when dealing with unexpected problems.