Writing job descriptions may seem to be an onerous task, but if done well, there can be many benefits for your organization. Unfortunately, not all hiring managers and companies value a well-developed job description. However, it’s important to understand the rewards, as well as the legal implications, of an effective job description.
Here are 4 key benefits to effective job descriptions:
- Better Recruitment
Well-written job descriptions serve as communication tools that allow both employees and candidates to clearly understand the expectations of the role, its’ essential duties, and the required competencies, educational credentials, and experience for the role. By doing this well, it can improve both internal and external recruitment, and can retain and motivate the best talent by ensuring that employee expectations are aligned with business expectations of what the role entails.
- Better Compensation Data
While the direct compensation probably shouldn’t be on the job description, the job description should allow you to do research to determine the market value of that role. It should also allow HR to assess the internal value by seeing how it fits within your compensation structure as compared to other jobs. If done well, the job description will help HR assess where the job falls within any existing pay structures so that you don’t create inequity issues when filling the role.
- Legal Compliance
While maintaining job descriptions is not required by law, doing so can help your organization stay in compliance with many existing employment laws. Here are some examples:
Your job description can help to ensure proper classification of roles as exempt vs. nonexempt, which will then affect the overtime eligibility of the person filling the role.
This law is aimed at abolishing disparity based on gender. Obviously, your job description should not indicate that there are gender pay differences or bias.
This prohibits unlawful discrimination against any individual with respect to hiring, compensation or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. By matching up the best candidates based on factors that are relevant, as noted in the job description, you’ll be able to better prove that employment decisions were taken based on the ability to perform the job, not based on illegal factors.
By describing the working conditions in your job description, you also set out how to safely perform the job. This is also an opportunity to note whether the employee will need to be able to perform hazardous activities.
Be sure your job description allows you to conduct a fair interviewing and hiring process without leaving out any groups of potential candidates.
Job descriptions should not discriminate on the basis of age unless there is a valid reason for doing so.
The job description can be an essential component in determining the essential functions of the job when working out reasonable accommodations for disabled individuals. The job description should directly specify the essential and nonessential job functions, and should be periodically reviewed for accuracy on this point.
- People Planning
People planning is critical to the company’s business plan. In order to execute and measure success of the goals and objectives for the organization the following people components are vital:
- Headcount – both current and gaps.
A full list of job descriptions across the organization shows all of the roles for the organization, and thus can show what roles are not filled and help with future planning.
- Succession planning.
Job descriptions can note the role of the position within the organization and the future career path so that recruitment is forward-looking to future roles. Hiring managers can then consider candidate fit for not just the current vacancy, but also consider the fit of the individual for future advancement.
- Training, development, and performance.
Job descriptions can be matched up with the performance evaluation system to identify areas where additional training is needed.
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