Creating Effective Job Descriptions

Effectively developed job descriptions are communication tools that are significant in the success of an organization. Today it is very important to develop a job description that clearly outlines the expectations and responsibilities of a position in hopes of attracting potential professionals. Employee job descriptions provide an opportunity to clearly communicate your company direction and they tell the employee where he or she fits inside of the big picture. Prospective candidates want to know that they have a future at the company and that the future is interesting and attainable.  It is important to gather input from other personnel connected to the new hire because they may be able to provide valuable insight as they understand the day-to-day workings of the job opening.

An effective job description is also important on a legal standpoint. An accurate job description is necessary to make sure hiring and advancements in the company are done fairly and correctly. This helps decrease the risk of unfair hiring practices. Avoid references to age, gender, race, or disabilities.

When hiring managers begin to review resumes they can use the job description as a point of comparison to make sure each prospect meets at least the most basic requirements summarized, such as educational level. Finally, remember that the job description can be a valuable and objective evaluation tool when measuring a professional’s performance.

Identifying the elements that should be included in a job description will further help hiring managers narrow down which prospective candidates are most desirable to the company. Key responsibilities the individual will be involved in such as, day-to-day task and physical demands, is an important element of an effective job description. This provides a big picture of what will be required of the prospect. Including objectives of the job, both short-term and long-term, will help set the expectations of job performance. Providing a clear overview of the expectations will help set the standards of which candidates will be compared to. It is also very important to include any qualifications needed for the job. Describe the education and experience, skills required, and any certifications needed in order to be considered for the job opening. Finally, it is essential to include compensation details for the position. This includes salary range and any benefits that will be offered if hired such as, health insurance. This helps you to make sound financial decisions and ensure that your current employees are compensated at the market rate, and that you’re hiring new employees at a fair rate. Not knowing where your pay rates are compared to the market can mean you are overpaying your employees, or you’re at risk of losing key employees because you’re paying below market.

By detailing the essential functions that each employee is responsible for completing, job descriptions help to define roles and relationships among employees and departments within a company, clarifying who is responsible for what. This helps eliminate wasted time that can occur if employees don’t understand what their role is. And new hires can transition more smoothly into the company if they understand their designated role.