Career Paths: 101

The 'Career Paths' tab in 15Five's Career Hub feature gives employees visibility into possible directions of career growth within your organization. This section of Career Hub is intended to be completed after employees get clear on their role, responsibilities, strengths, and career goals in the 'Role Clarity', 'Strengths', and 'Career Vision' tabs. After utilizing 'Career Paths' to become aware of role opportunities within your organization, employees can use 'Growth Plan' to take tangible steps towards their future.

In this article you will learn...



Only account administrators can see, upload, and manage Career paths/skills. By default, Career Paths are only shown to account admins. For the 'Career Paths' tab of Career Hub to appear in employee accounts, you must turn it on in Career Hub settings (please see the 'Turn Career Paths on/off' section of this article for steps on how to do so).

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Context and terminology

Background and context

Career Hub is a main feature within 15Five that enables managers and employees to have productive career growth conversations through exercises in role clarity, strengths discovery, and career visioning.

'Career Paths' is a section within our Career Hub feature that allows account admins to upload their organization’s career ladders to 15Five. Once Career Paths are uploaded, employees can see departmental career ladders and associated role competencies for all role in the company in the 'Career Paths' section of their Career Hub. This allows employees to explore career paths and associated expectations easily all within 15Five, promoting transparency, growth, and development within your organization.

After your team has Career Paths uploaded, members of your organization can work with their managers to utilize the 'Growth Plan' tab, in which they co-create career development goals and plans that align with their unique strengths and professional goals. Check out our "Growth Plan: 101" article for more information about Growth Plans.

Before we get started, there are some key terms you should be familiar with.


Career Paths promote professional development and growth by communicating what strong performance looks like at different levels, roles, and departments. Career Paths are visible in 15Five’s Career Hub feature.

Competencies are demonstrable and measurable clusters of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that an employee needs to perform their work functions successfully. Competencies are visible in feature settings, Best-Self Reviews®, and Career Hub. For more information about competencies, please refer to our “Upload and manage competencies” Help Center article.

Skills are abilities that are required for a specific job, and should be based on key behaviors. For example: “Strategic fluency”, "Javascript programming", or "Concise writing". In-app, skills are accessible in the Career Paths download (see the “Export Career Paths” section of this article for more information) and in the 'Skills' tab of Career Hub.

Key behaviors are expectations at the role level. For example: “You are learning how to research, identify market trends, and analyze data and information so that they all can play roles in your development of a product strategy.” In-app, key behaviors are accessible in the Career Paths download (see the “Export Career Paths” section of this article for more information) and in Career Hub. 

How does it work?

Account admins can upload department-specific CSVs containing the Career Paths within that department, as well as the competencies, skills, and key behavior associated with those roles. Once CSVs are uploaded for each department, employees will have visibility into all possible Career Paths within your organization. The fields available in Career Path CSVs are ‘Path’ (required), ‘Job title’ (required), ‘Competency’ (optional), ‘Skill’ (optional), and ‘Key behavior’ (required).

One competency can group multiple skills and key behaviors. Additionally, Career Paths can have different structures based on your organization’s unique needs. For example:

  • job title > competency > skill > key behaviors
  • job title > competency > key behaviors
  • job title > skill > key behaviors
  • job title > key behaviors



Now…let's get started!

Best practices and use cases

Best practices

  • If your company wants to use competencies in Career Paths, we recommend uploading your competencies to 15Five prior to uploading your Career Paths CSV, so you can connect competencies to skills and key behaviors in the Career Paths CSV file. Please refer to our "Upload and manage competencies" Help Center article for more information about how to do so.
  • We recommend using one CSV file for each of your organization's Career Paths to reduce mistakes and keep things simple.
  • We recommend taking a look at the Competencies and Paths CSVs templates to understand the structure and format of the upload prior to starting work on Career Paths to avoid extra work for admins. Check out the 'Upload Career Paths' section of this article for steps on how to download that CSV template.
  • To get the most value from Career Paths, we recommend using the exact same job titles that are shown in 15Five for all your employees— this way we’ll be able to provide a better experience connecting the dots between 15Five features. Check out our "Upload and manage job information" Help Center article for steps on how to check and upload job titles.

Use cases

Career Hub offers two ways to share Career Paths info with the employees:

  • Upload career paths in 15Five and turn on the 'Career Paths' tab for employees (refer to the 'Turn Career Paths on/off' of this article for steps on how to turn Career Paths on for your organization).
  • Link to an external document that contains your company's  which will be shown in the Career Vision section “Career Paths” (refer to the 'Link out to career paths or resources' of this article for steps on how to link to an external document in Career Hub).

Providing these options allows your organization to start using Career Hub and implementing growth and development initiatives in your company faster, choosing the best option based on your current time and priorities.

Turn Career Paths on/off



By default, the 'Career Paths' section is only visible to account admins. As an alternative if you'd prefer not to utilize Career Paths, you can link out to an external document that includes roles and career ladders for your organization. To do so, please refer to the next section of this article('Link out to career paths or resources').

1. Click on the settings gear in the top, right-hand corner of 15Five.
2. Select ‘Features’ from the dropdown menu.
3. Click to open the ‘Competencies and Paths’ section.
4. Click ‘Settings’ in the top navigation bar.
5. Scroll down to the ‘Paths and Skills’ section and click the arrow to its right.
6. Check or uncheck the box next to “Show paths and skills in “Career Paths” tab in Career Hub to employees”.

Link out to career paths or resources

If you'd prefer not to utilize Career Paths for any reason and your company has an existing document that lays out roles and career paths for your organization, you can link out to that external document by following the steps below. Employees will be able to access that link in the 'Career vision' tab of their Career Hub.

1. Click on the settings gear in the top, right-hand corner of 15Five.

2. Select ‘Features’ from the dropdown menu.

3. Click to open the ‘Competencies and Paths’ section.

4. Click ‘Settings’ in the top navigation bar.

5. Scroll down to the 'Link out to career paths or resources' section and click the arrow to its right. Here, you can enter the URL that leads to your company's external documentation.

How will this look in Career Hub?

If you link out to an external resource, employees will be able to click into that link in the "Company Ladders" section of their 'Career vision' tab in Career Hub by clicking View your company's roles.

For more information about the 'Career Vision' tab of Career Hub, please refer to the "Explore your Career Vision" section of our "Career Hub for employees" Help Center article.

Upload Career Paths



If you’ve already uploaded Career Paths to 15Five and want to make edits, please continue to the 'Manage Career Paths' section of this article.



For ease of use, we suggest creating one Career Path CSV for each department in your organization and uploading them separately.

1. Click on the settings gear in the top right corner of 15Five.

2. Select ‘Features’ from the dropdown menu.

3. Scroll down to the 'Competencies and Paths' section and click to open.

4. You will land on the 'Import' tab for competencies and paths. In this tab you will see three sections: 1) Competencies upload, 2) Paths and Skills upload, and 3) Import history. Scroll down to the ‘Paths and Skills’ box. If you don’t already have a template prepared, click Download Paths and Skills CSV Template to download a fillable CSV.

5. Create your CSV. Upon download, the Paths and Skills CSV will see a section that says [DELETE THIS ROW BEFORE IMPORT]. Delete this row, then continue to fill out your CSV. Columns included on the Paths and Skills CSV are: ‘Path’ (required), ‘Job title’ (required), ‘Competency’ (optional), ‘Skill’ (optional), and ‘Key behavior’ (required). Fill out the CSV and save it as a UTF-8 file.



Adding things in the ‘Competency’ section of this upload will not create competencies— it will only connect existing competencies to paths. If you try to add a competency that doesn’t already exist in this section, you will see an error when you try to upload your CSV. To create a competency, please refer to the instructions in the previous section of this article (‘Upload, edit, and export competencies’).

Some things to keep in mind as you create your CSV:

  • For best results, we recommend limiting one department per CSV import.
  • We recommend adding roles in the order you want them to appear in your path.
  • Limit one Key behavior per skill. If one skill is duplicated with different key behaviors for one ladder, the upload will take the first key behavior.
  • If you've previously added competencies, items listed here will be connected to those previously added.
  • If you haven't previously added competencies and want to use them in Career Paths, you need to add them using Competencies CSV upload or add manually before uploading Career Paths file.

6. Once your CSV is prepared for upload, click Upload paths and skills.

7. You’ll be led to a page that outlines what should be included in the CSV you just created. Then, click Continue to upload.

8. Upload the CSV you created by clicking Create new import and selecting the file from your computer.

9. If your file isn’t successful due to errors, you will see the option to download the help file, which is a CSV that outlines what errors occurred in your initial download. Make desired changes, then re-upload your CSV.

10. Once your CSV is uploaded successfully, you will see a confirmation page. This page includes the number of items that were uploaded, the job titles that were impacted by the items in your import, and a full list of all titles your company currently has uploaded to 15Five and the number of people with that title. Review all information, then click Publish to complete your upload.

11. You’ll be directed to a page that says “Congrats! Your paths have been published”. Click either Start new upload to upload another CSV, or Done to return to the 'Import' tab.

Manage Career Paths

Export Career Paths

To export your team's current Career Paths, go to the 'Import' page for Competencies and Paths and look for the 'Paths and Skills' section. From here, click on Download latest paths content


Edit a Career Path

1. Click on Career Hub in the main, left-hand navigation bar.

2. Open the 'Career Paths' tab in the top navigation bar.

3. Select the path you want to edit by clicking Browse paths.

4. Click Edit, and make all desired changes.

5. When you're done making edits, click Publish.


  • Q: Can I see how the paths are connected or the different ways the paths can branch at a certain level?
    A: Right now, the system doesn’t provide a way to connect or branch paths. But a way to still show both the starting path and the potential branch is by uploading the IC and Manager paths separately. For example, create an Engineering (Individual Contributor) Path and an Engineering (Management) Path.
  • Q: What if we don’t use competencies, skills and/or key behaviors as a way to measure success in a role?
    A: The terms competencies, skills and key behaviors helps determine the hierarchy of the content, but they will not be labeled competencies, skills and key behaviors in app. You also don’t have to have all three for any paths.
    Your Sales path could have the overarching goal or competency of Relational Mastery with specific areas of growth and opportunity within the roles of Sales. While your Customer Support path may have skills that work better to connect the growth opportunities within that path.
  • Q: Can I add a path manually?
    A: Right now, paths can only be added through the CSV import, but you can manually edit existing paths content, such as which competencies are tied to a role, the content of the key behaviors, or even the path name itself by following the steps in the 'Manage Career Paths' section of this article. You can always download the latest path content as well if you’ve made a few manual updates or done several imports.


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