VCU University and Academic Professionals have the opportunity to grow professionally through a number of career opportunities that are job specific and/or career related to enhance their skills and grow within their current position and at the university. This growth and movement is an example of "career pathing." Career paths are visible and flexible career plans that provide opportunities for employees to advance through their careers by moving horizontally in their jobs through stages – from emerging to proficient to accomplished and all the way up to expert – as well as advancing up in job title as they gain competencies and experience.
Employees can log into InsideHR.vcu.edu to read the full Career Development guidelines.
The foundation of the VCU HR plan is a universitywide job structure that groups jobs by function using a standard set of job titles. Most titles have three levels (e.g., Accountant I, Accountant II, Accountant III). Each job title has a unique market range. Career paths provide opportunities for employees to advance through their careers by moving across the market ranges through proposed stages of emerging, proficient, accomplished and expert, as well as advancing up through the job title series as they gain competencies and experience. Career advancement in the same job is called promotion in place. There will also continue to be opportunities to receive promotions across the university. Different career tracks are designed for individual contributors with deep subject matter expertise distinct from those who aspire to a supervisory, management or leadership role.
VCU's HR plan supports career and personal development by moving employees along career paths. Salary ranges stack to create career paths. Employees can move across and up through the market ranges as they gain competencies and skills documented in their career development plan. Movement across the salary range is accomplished in four stages, defined as emerging, proficient, accomplished and expert. Career paths provide opportunities for employees to advance through their careers by moving across the four stages and up the job levels as they gain competencies and experience. See the career pathing infographic.
At VCU, the expectation is for employees to engage in and managers to support the career development process. The university's performance management process provides the infrastructure to implement this new expectation for both employees and managers. Working together, employees and managers create a career development plan to document agreed upon development opportunities in which the employee will participate. The HR policy specifies that managers are expected to support employees in pursuit of their career interests, to adopt practices that promote career development throughout their area and to allow employees participation in appropriate developmental opportunities. Managers are evaluated on these expectations in their own performance review. It is important for the employee to be clear on what their career development interests are and work collaboratively with their supervisor to determine their interests and identify ways to reach their career goals.
VCU's HR plan is designed around a series of flexible career paths in the various job families around the university. An exciting feature that is part of that design is the ability to receive "promotions in place" as employees engage in career development, become more proficient in their current role, or learn new skills and grow their role. In the past, promotions required employees to wait for jobs to open and then apply for and compete for the promotion as an applicant through the employment process. Often, this means that employees must leave one job for another to advance in their career. At VCU, we want to retain our valuable employees by offering them promotions within their career path without having to change positions. That's not to say that there won't still be times when the right "next move" for an employee would be applying for a different position. Promotions in place are formulated through the career development plan that is part of the performance management process.