Job descriptions serve a dual purpose: First, they offer candidates a clear idea of an open position, what the responsibilities entail, how the job contributes to the organization and so on. Secondly, they serve the same purpose for existing employees, while also helping others in the organization understand the boundaries of that person’s responsibilities.
Some experts, however, question the value of job descriptions. They point toward these negative aspects:
Job descriptions date quickly. In the fast-paced business world, it’s easy for a posted job description to quickly become obsolete. Objectives and processes change, frequently requiring changes in what the employee is expected to do.
If they’re not updated, they can sabotage the hiring process. HR managers are hampered in their search for the right candidate, if the job description they’re using doesn’t accurately reflect the position’s roles and responsibilities.
Vague, poorly written job descriptions can spell legal trouble. If an employee is let go due to poor work performance, and this is related to the original job description, the situation can result in a wrongful termination lawsuit.
To avoid these job description pitfalls, experts advise the following:
Make sure the job description clearly communicates: (1) working conditions, tools, equipment to be used, knowledge and skills needed and (2) where the position fits into the company’s “big picture”.
Use job descriptions to clarify what you expect from employees. This is the starting-point for any dispute regarding what the job involves at a later point.
A well-written job description (including, for example, a clear description of a job’s physical requirements) helps you cover your legal bases.
Write the job description so that others within the company who must work with that employee clearly understand what that person’s responsibilities are.
To safeguard against outdated or inaccurate job descriptions, it’s best to review what’s written against changing goals and priorities. Experts advise regular quarterly – if not monthly – reviews.
High Profile Staffing can help you get the best employees for your open positions and provide expertise in crafting just the right job description for your company.