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Why are Job Descriptions so Important?

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There is no specific law that requires you to create job descriptions or any law that dictates what job descriptions should contain. However, it’s highly recommended that every organization create and maintain a job description for every position within the company. Effective job descriptions provide your executives, managers, supervisors and employees with a clear understanding of how each job fits into your organization’s structure and how each job contributes to the achievement of the organization’s mission – finalizing how each piece of the puzzle fits in the puzzle. 

You may be asking, “how do job descriptions clearly set forth job duties and expectations for positions?”  They do so by the following –  

  • Taking the uncertainty out of differentiating between the expectations and requirements of various jobs.
  • Clarifying the job’s role and the expectations for the person performing the job – they clearly identify the essential responsibilities of the job.
  • Guiding initial training and helping management and employees agree on the expected outcomes of that training.
  • Supporting the disciplinary action process by showing the employee that they aren’t meeting the expectations of the job that are set forth in the job description.
  • Supporting the performance evaluation process.
  • Supporting the proper classification of the employee as exempt or nonexempt.

By using the job description, the hiring manager and candidates possess a clear understanding of the job during the interview. This practice allows candidates to determine if the job is right for them and helps them understand where personal deficiencies may limit their employability, potentially saving the organization valuable time, resources and exposure to litigation.  A clearly defined job description will encourage a more qualified candidate to apply. 

Job descriptions form the basis for performance reviews. Where an employee’s performance fails to meet the expectations of the position, the job description provides direction for discussion of expectations and further training needed. Job descriptions provide a focus for identifying organizational weaknesses where performance deficiencies are observed. Job descriptions also help when determining compensation plans, ranges, systems and levels. They are the starting point for analyzing each job’s essential responsibilities and functions and determining the relative value of the job within the organization and the job market.  

Well-written job descriptions provide an organization with solid legal backing about any decisions made about jobs and people, including compensation systems, exempt/nonexempt classification and salary levels. They can be used as supporting documentation for disciplinary decisions based on failure to meet job expectations. They can also guide decisions when dealing with reorganizations or reductions in force. 

So where do you begin writing these job descriptions?  Bizhaven, who represents the finest HR outsourcing solution can manage this process for you.  Contact us today at [email protected] / 916-409-7677 

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