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You did not go into business to be a human resource professional. Fortunately for you, we did!

Do I really need a Job Description?

July 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Is this really a question?!  YES! Every position should have a job description.  And it shouldn’t be the same one from the last time the position was open 10 years ago.

Believe me; I understand the urge to skip over creating or updating the job description.  You have an open position that you want to fill as soon as possible – – you can write a few sentences online and explain the job to the candidates when you interview them.  That’s a great plan…

Except two years from now you will have 30 positions with no job description and an employment lawyer knocking on your door.  You’ll be kicking yourself for not just taking an hour when you recruited for the position in the first place and spending money on an aspiring young HR grad that will spend days upon days updating your job descriptions in the corner.

How do I know all of this?  Three years ago I was that aspiring young HR grad typing up job descriptions in the corner – – for 6 months!  Which not only sunk in for me the importance of keeping job descriptions updated, but I learned a thing or two about what goes into a great job description.

  1. Make sure your job description is accurate.  Make sure you aren’t describing an administrative assistant who can make reports in Excel and type 60 words a minute, if what you really want is someone to answer the phone and greet customers.  First, you won’t find the right person for the job, and second, when you don’t hire the person who meets your description, you have a potential law suit on your hands.  Believe it or not, applicants who don’t even get an interview can still sue the company.
  2. Focus on the big picture, not the small details.  You don’t want to be too descriptive by explaining what an employee will be doing each and every hour of the day for the next year.  Instead you want to explain broadly what the employee will focus on.  This will ensure some flexibility in the position, which you want since things are always changing, and this will make it much easier to update the job description (at least every two years).

Your job descriptions are the foundation of your staffing efforts!  A job description will help you;

  • Recruit the right person for the job,
  • Give guidelines to employees,
  • Evaluate employees,
  • Document performance issues,
  • Develop a fair compensation system,
  • Accommodate employees with disabilities, and
  • Protect your business.

This is one step you do NOT want to skip.

Categories: Human Resource Consulting.

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