Adaptiva HR
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Adaptiva HR

The Importance of Job Descriptions

At AdaptivaHR, we have seen it all when it comes to job descriptions: we’ve seen job descriptions that are 8 pages long and have met long-time employees that haven’t ever had a job description in their current company. We believe that every employee is entitled to a thorough job description. A clear job descriptions can be used for many purposes, including for recruiting, performance reviews, and for compensation review. Read on to discover more about the importance of job descriptions:

Recruiting

While it is best practice to create an accurate job description for each employee, do not use the description for the job posting. The job posting should be engaging and used as a marketing tool to attract candidates. It is fine to provide a link to the job description, but do create a separate job notice. All applicants should be able to view the job description during the application process. As Better Team explains, a job ad sells the job and summarizes the exciting components of the job in a way that will attract applicants. Job descriptions are an internal document that concisely lists the responsibilities of the job.

We like to think of job postings as the menu items that diners will see as they sit at a table, whereas the job description actually shares what ingredients create each dish. All candidates should be encouraged to read the full job description prior to accepting the role. Many companies now opt to have new employees sign a form acknowledging, understanding and accepting their responsibilities as stated in the job description.

Performance Reviews

Performance reviews don’t have to be scary for the employee. By focusing on the details of the job description, both the manager and the employee can use the description as a checklist during the conversation. Performance reviews are a great opportunity to have a discussion about what duties need to be added or taken away from the job description. It is also a good idea for the manager and the employee to rank the importance of each duty for transparency.

Protection

Job descriptions offer legal protection for the company and can be used as the standard and objective reference if an employee believes she or he has received an unfair review or might file a wrongful termination lawsuit. Job descriptions are also helpful for employers to have on file for any legal compliance needs. Job descriptions are also used by healthcare professionals to confirm if any employees need medical leave/disability and ADA accommodations.

Employee Goals & Development

We all need goals to give us focus, direction, and motivation. A good job description helps employees understand their role more clearly. Whenever possible, it’s best to empower employees and to let them have the opportunity to feel a greater sense of responsibility for their work. We suggest that you encourage your employees to edit their own job descriptions every year with the hopes that they will include goals for their own career development.

Simplify!

It’s easy to get carried away when writing job descriptions, but remember that sticking to the basics is best. Use a direct voice and also don’t forget to be human. Your employees are real people, not machines. A one-page document with bullet points is fine. Remember to include the proper title, any physical requirements and reporting structures.

Follow this link to learn more about exactly what needs to be included in a job description:

As your company grows and changes, it’s a good idea to revisit all the job descriptions of your employees for accuracy and relevance. If you are needing any support around creating job descriptions for any current or future employees, we’re here to help.

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