I always say that job descriptions are the foundation of Compensation – really Human Resources. We use them for so many things: Recruitment, Performance Management, Succession Planning, Career Pathing, and Compensation. Yet there seems to be great confusion on why they are needed and great angst over having to review one, much less write one!
I want to clarify what a job description is NOT. It is not a job posting. A job posting is used to sell the company and the job to potential applicants – marketing. It does describe job duties and requirements, but it only portrays a subset of the job description. I recommend job postings be created from the job description – in other words, the job description should be created first and the posting second. JDXpert (job description software product) by HRTMS has a great tool that allows you to pull certain pieces of data from the job description into the job posting and then edit, as needed, to bring in more of a marketing feel to attract candidates.
I have found that the best way to create a well written job description is to provide managers an initial draft. I use job postings, Google searches, contracts, etc. to gather information on the duties and responsibilities of the position being created. I then ask the manager to review/edit what I have written. Human nature is to wrinkle our faces when presented a blank form and asked to write something, but we take much kinder to editing someone else’s work! The draft gives managers a starting point. Online job description software, like JDXpert, allow this editing to take place online, real time and have multiple editors. Therefore, a couple different managers hiring for a new role can make edits and then Compensation can conduct a final review and produce the end product.
The job description should address the essential functions of the job, education required, experience required, supervisory responsibility, budget/revenue responsibility, skills, certifications required, competencies, physical requirements, and working conditions. Some job descriptions also include the EEO and FLSA classifications, job family, job track, job code, and grade. What an amazing amount of content in one document! One can see how this can then be used in so many different HR functions.
If you don’t take the time to really determine what is entailed in a job, how can you determine the market pay? How can you decide an employee’s performance? How can you recruit employees into the role?
Educate your managers and HR team on the importance of the job description and its uses. Take time up front to create a well thought out and detailed job description. The time spent up-front will save time on the back-end.
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Meet The Comp Chick
The Comp Chick, aka, Jennifer Peacock has more than 25 years of diverse experience in human resources ranging from consulting to corporate HR leadership. She started The Comp Chick blog as a way to show her peers that Compensation doesn't have to be boring or difficult.
The Comp Chick, aka, Jennifer Peacock has more than 25 years of diverse experience in human resources ranging from consulting to corporate HR leadership. She started The Comp Chick blog as a way to show her peers that Compensation doesn't have to be boring or difficult. All information included in this blog is opinion.