Mastering Job Descriptions
- Getting the Role
- Human Resources
- linked in
- Running Your Own Business
- Share your thoughts
- social networking
- Using Crackerjacks
Crafting an accurate job description is not the easiest of tasks, even for a seasoned recruitment professional! We know you’re busy and thought we’d help by dedicating a little print time to highlight the purpose and key functions of one.
Traditionally a job description is drafted by conducting a full analysis of the role and breaking down each task into levels of priority. A job description is the first taste of what an employee is to expect from the role and therefore writing one should be a priority to any organization.
1. Where to start?
It may sound patronizing, but the best way to analyze a position is to have it described by the current employee, first-hand. Take some time out of your day to sit down with your employee(s) and discuss what they do, how they feel about each task, what they find challenging and what they find rewarding. Knowing about the extra bits of their role holds more value than you may think! Getting first-hand information like this is not only beneficial in writing job descriptions, but also as a resource in the case of sudden spikes in employee turnover.
2. How to be accurate?
As mentioned, job descriptions rarely meet the actual job’s demands and instead reflect a basic outline of what the employee should be doing. Most employee’s work longer hours and transfer their skills across more divisions than what was initially described. New Zealand especially, with a market dominated by small businesses, requires employees to be ‘jacks of all trades’.
Despite the need for transferable skills, stating the basics is a crucial part of the job description. Will the employee be answering phones? Compiling reports? Cleaning the kitchen? Completing end of month sale budgets? Analyising stats? The best way to be accurate is to be honest. There is no reward in omitting the ‘less favourable’ tasks in order to bolster the position. False advertising eventually leads to employee dissatisfaction, and reflects poorly on the organisations’ ethics.
3. What is included in a job description?
Arguably, the most important aspect of a job description is whom the employee will report to. Make this clear in your job description; even if it means including a graphic to illustrate how the company operates. The more senior the position, the more important it is to have this understood by the applicant – if an employee is unsure about whom they report into, they will be unsure of their standings within the management umbrella. Other important areas to include are:
- tasks / everyday functions
- key clients / employees / suppliers
- percentage of time dedicated to each main function
- the goals or mission statement of the company
- key skills required
- milestones (if relevant)
- KPI’s / sale targets (if relevant)
4. Is a job description really that important to a business?
In short – yes. Of course, for every one HR Advisor or Recruiter that agrees to this, they will be inevitably challenged by the majority of other departments. Put simply – job descriptions are a lot of time and effort with absolutely no monetary gain. However, dynamic managers and successful organizations will agree that a business is built ‘from the ground up’. Therefore, the effort and time that goes into foundations is invaluable.
As an employer, it’s important to have current documents, so if it’s been more than six months, go through the job descriptions on file and consider whether they are still relevant. You’ll be surprised about how quickly a position can change, and at what extra duties your employees have picked up!
Questions? Suggestions? If you’d like to know more about job descriptions please email our HR Advisor- email@example.com!