Create a career path

This article walks through how to create career paths in 15Five. Career paths represent the different teams in your company and the roles contained within those teams. Customers can leverage career paths to define role-based competencies in 15five.

In this article, you will learn...

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to Feature settings.
👥 This article is relevant to Account admins.
📦 This feature is available in the Perform and Total Platform pricing packages.

What's a career path?

Career Paths represent the different teams in your company. Each career path contains roles/job titles, which can then contain role-based competencies, skills, and key behaviors required for success in the role.

  • Job titles are the titles of roles within your organization. Roles are contained within a career path. For example— the "Sales" career path would include all job titles contained within the Sales department (e.g. "Sales Development Representative," "Account Executive," and "Senior Account Executive").
  • Competencies are demonstrable and measurable clusters of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that an employee needs to perform their work functions successfully. For example, "Developing Business Acumen," "Setting Goals," or "Giving and Receiving Feedback." For inspiration, check out our competency library on pages 9-11 of 15Five's Competency Creation Playbook.
  • Skills are proficiencies, facilities, or dexterities that are acquired or developed through training or experience. For example, skills for a competency titled "Problem-solving and creative thinking" may include "Problem definition and issue identification," "Structuring hypotheses; analytical skills & approach," and "Developing recommendations."


    We get asked pretty often to explain the difference between competencies and skills. Think of it this way: A set of competencies is ultimately the umbrella over all the skills (and characteristics and knowledge) a person needs to do their job well. One competency could be made up of a number of different skills. In short, a skill is typically applied to a specific task or activity, while a competency is a combination of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors that are required to perform a person's job or task effectively and are developed over time. Skills can also be measured more easily and objectively than competencies, which are more subjective and require a more holistic approach to evaluation.

  • 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.”

How to structure career paths for your organization

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

Access and view career paths



Before you create a career path, you should upload all competencies that will be included in that career path and ensure that people's job titles are accurate in their profiles.

  1. Click on the Settings gear in the top, right-hand corner of 15Five.
  2. Select 'Features' from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click into the 'Competencies and Paths' section.
  4. You're now on the settings page for Competencies and Paths. From here, click into the 'Career paths & roles' tab in the top navigation bar.
  5. You're now on the "Career paths and roles" page. Here, you will define career paths and which Roles are included in each career path.
  6. Click on the name of any career path to view path details.
  7. From here, you can expand a role to see the role-based competencies assigned to it.

Upload career paths

Via bulk import One-off
  1. From the "Career paths and roles" page, click the download arrow on the Add a career path button in the top, right-hand corner of the page and select 'Import from CSV' from the dropdown menu.
  2. You'll be taken to the 'Import' tab. From here, click Download template to download a CSV template for career paths.
  3. The CSV contains five columns: Path, Job title, Competency, Skill, and Key behavior. Fill out the CSV, then save it as a UTF-8 file. Some tips to keep in mind as you create your CSV:
    • For best results, we recommend limiting one path/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 before uploading the Career Paths file.
  4. When you're ready to upload your file, click Continue to upload.
  5. You're now on the import screen. From here, click Create new import and select your CSV file.
  6. You'll be taken to a screen that lists what new competencies will be created as a result of your import, along with other helpful information. Read through this page, then click Publish.
  7. Congratulations! Your file is now published, and you can see new and/or edited career paths on the "Career paths and roles" page.

Add or edit role-based competencies, skills, and key behaviors

Once you've uploaded competencies and added a role to 15Five, you can add or edit the competencies, key behaviors, and skills associated with the role by following the steps below.

  1. From the "Career paths and roles" page, click the name of the career path that contains the role you want to edit.
  2. Expand a role to see what role-based competencies are currently applied to it.
  3. Click ... to the right of the role you want to manage competencies for and select 'Edit' from the dropdown menu.
  4. On the edit screen, you'll see a full list of all competencies, skills, and key behaviors associated with the role. You can edit any field by clicking into it and making desired changes.

  5. To add a new competency, skill, or key behavior, click + Add key behavior at the bottom of the edit screen.
    A new field will appear in the bottom of the edit screen that allows you to add additional competencies, skill names, or key behaviors. You can only add competencies that have already been uploaded to 15Five.

Was this article helpful?
9 out of 15 found this helpful