When is a Job Description more than a Job Description?

When is a Job Description more than a Job Description?

Job descriptions can prove extremely useful outside of their obvious uses – Louise Tupman at Totally-HR discusses;

A well-written job description is important when hiring but it can also be used as a versatile management tool. Once a business is legally compliant; with contracts of employment and the employee handbook in place, the next crucial step is to create detailed job descriptions for each role within the business.

A well-crafted job description can also be used for:

Recruitment and selection – to create advertisements and for supplying job candidates with specific information.

Employee orientation – to ensure new employees have a full understanding of role expectations.

Performance management – to set measurable performance goals based on duties in the job description, and then coach employees to meet these goals as needed.

Compensation – to develop a standardised compensation program with minimums and maximums for each position.

Recognition and rewards – as a baseline for performance, and as a tool to encourage employee performance “above and beyond” the job description in order to receive recognition and rewards.

Discipline – to illustrate that an employee isn’t adequately performing job functions.

Return-to-work programs – to prepare for light or modified duty options to allow for a smoother transition from a workers’ compensation injury or leave.

To write an effective job description, you need sufficient information about the job. The most effective way to do this is through interviews with the current job incumbents – and their managers – about the job and the work performed.

It is important that the job description is accurate, based on information from reliable sources, and is subject to a regular review process. The recommendation would be that they are written as part of a key strategic HR project by an HR professional with experience in developing job descriptions and should be reviewed by a manager with extensive knowledge of the business.

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