People are critical to the function of an organization. Job descriptions give hiring managers a powerful tool to help ensure that individuals with the right background and skill set are matched to the appropriate role within the organizational hierarchy and aligned to the organization’s needs and goals.
Job descriptions provide compensation professionals the necessary framework for benchmarking the organization’s jobs against the external market, and they also create a set of baseline expectations that can guide performance reviews. In addition, job descriptions give prospective candidates a role description that enables them to identify their interest and their ability to perform the expected responsibilities.
There’s no time for this. Or is there?
Many business owners feel writing a job description is a waste of their time. They don’t understand the value it adds to the bottom line.
A job description takes on its full meaning when it’s linked to the talent management process. This process encompasses: Performance Management, Career Management, Learning and Development, Succession Planning and Workforce Planning. As such, having a good job description will not only help you with the hiring and interviewing; but also with developing your employees and therefore increasing morale and retention. Do you see the value now?
What a job description is about:
- Analysis not a list.
- Jobs not people.
- Facts not judgements.
- The job as it is now.
Common job description mistakes and how to avoid them
Key components are inevitably missed when job descriptions are written by individuals unfamiliar with the job. While HR may control the process of job description creation, including the heavy lifting of writing and updating job descriptions, it’s essential that the job description is shared withsomeone who has first-hand knowledge of the job’s inner workings. Incumbents or managers can be brought in early in the process through interviews and questionnaires, and/or late in the process to review the final description. Your internal legal department should also review the description.
It’s never done
Job descriptions should be kept current, as job requirements may change. Aim to have job
descriptions that are never more than three years out-of-date. They need to be reviewed regularly to ensure they are current, and in most cases few, if any, changes need to be made.
Having job descriptions allows you to ensure you are having the right things done in your organization. It allows you to avoid overlap and align competencies and skills to the right job. It’s a breakthrough to ensure productivity is being met.