Flip the Script on Job Descriptions

September 12, 2017 job descriptions 1

“It’s time to update job descriptions!”

Oh, the eye-rolls. The resistance. The procrastination.

Operations managers are busy. Who has time to write job descriptions? Who really reads them anyway? Another “compliance” box to check-off when we have a business to run, customers to handle, and employees to manage?

Guilty. I’m guilty of putting Job Descriptions on the back-burner. Yes, even a Human Resources Professional with 25 years’ experience has dreaded the “annual” Job Description Audit and revision process.

Until now.

Sometimes a change in perspective and attitude make a world of difference. The job description is a living and breathing document and, if embraced, can be the lifeblood of your business!

A well-written job description is a versatile management tool. For starters, a job description is a written outline which identifies a job by title, essential functions and requirements, and includes knowledge, ability and skills required to perform a job successfully. These components are extremely helpful to set job expectations, evaluate employee performance, identify training needs and career development objectives. Let’s break down the benefits of good job descriptions a bit further. Job descriptions can:

Identify the Right Candidates for the Job:
When used during the interview process, the job description helps to identify mutual fit; is the candidate the best choice for the position within your Company, and is the job and Company the best fit for an applicant? At a minimum, we only want to consider applicants who can meet the expectations of the job description. Turnover costs are high. We also owe it to the applicants to understand the job expectations before they decide to join the team.

Manage Performance: A comprehensive job description provides the baseline for evaluating job performance and addressing performance concerns. If an employee is missing the mark, review the job description with them and work together to develop a plan for improvement. It is a great building block to develop goals for employee growth and career development.

Build Compensation Programs and FLSA Compliance: Job descriptions provide information needed to set competitive salary ranges to support your compensation program. Not sure is a position is exempt under the FLSA? A comprehensive job description is your first tool in evaluating if you are compliant with wage and hour law.

Support Compliance: Written job descriptions have become increasingly important as the first line of defense in employment-related litigation. A well-written job description can provide details on the “essential functions” and the physical/environmental requirements of a job. This is helpful when an employee requests a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, and/or determining return-to-work and modified duty transitions.

Most importantly, Improve Employee and Management Engagement: Open two-way communication is the foundation for successful businesses and loyal employees. Employees and managers should work together to build the job description. This process engages employees, provides accuracy in the description, highlights the importance of their job to the Company, and builds morale.

Need help crafting solid job descriptions which do all of the above and truly help your business? Contact Propel HR Solutions today!


One Response

  1. Thank you for this article. You are right…Reviewing job descriptions is a project that is frequently pushed on to another day. I love how you present the job description as a tool that is used for throughout the life cycle of an employee, not just selection.

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