How to develop good job descriptions

How to develop good job descriptions

Dozier (2013) characterises a job description as a document which indicates the clear key performance areas (KPAs), core responsibilities, and job obligations. It regularly includes whom the employee reports to, work demands, academic qualifications, and competencies needed by the person applying for the job. A well-compiled job description builds a critical foundation so that the employee can comprehend what to convey to the organisation. Various organisations do not value the countless uses of job descriptions and it is imperative to instantly understand the practical significance of job descriptions.

What is the value of the job descriptions in an organisation?

There are quite a several uses to which the job descriptions can be applied within an organisation. According to Champoux (2016), effective job descriptions support organisations to communicate responsibilities, appoint the most suitable candidates, manage successful performance, and develop employees in their jobs successfully.

The job description acts as the contract of employment between employer and employee. Goel (2012), states that a job description employment contract describes job information to understand the duties and key responsibilities of a particular job to fulfil the organisation’s expectations.

Job descriptions also play an important role in performance management. According to Pulakos, Hanson, Arad and Moye (2015), a management framework incorporates clear job descriptions, performance goals, and successful recruitment processes; directs labour negotiations and measures productivity outcomes of the predefined benchmarks; addresses training needs; outlines payment and reward frameworks; and supports career development and direction.

Recruitment is yet another area of HR in which the job description can be applied. According to Wolfe (2018), job descriptions describe recruitment functions and constitute the foundation to compile job interview questions, detailed job information, prevents employees from being able to refuse to execute tasks because “it is not their job”, and serves as a statutory and useful document.

Training and developmentis yet another area where job descriptions can play a significant role. Alabdelkarim et al (2014) concede that well-written job descriptions highlight training and development needs and therefore, potential employees noticeably increase organisational effectiveness.  Well-designed job descriptions promote organisational development processes to address specific matters, for example, succession planning, workforce development, employee retention, organisation design, and transformation management. Over and above this, job descriptions manage organisational planning, evaluate the organisational structure, job design, and personnel forecasting.

Mader-Clark (2013), sees a job description as an excellent foundation for properly managing an organisation and creating an incentive value for both the employer and responsible employee in the organisation; both sides contribute positively to a mutual understanding. Snell, Morris and Bohlander (2015),   believe job descriptions represent the illustration of where employees fit into an organisation and make sure employees correctly align their official duties to the organisational goals, vision, and mission.

Alabdelkarim et al (2014), the reason that job descriptions assume a key part of any specific occupation as they point out job details and highlight job roles and specific responsibilities. Job descriptions act as a consistent basis for compensation decisions and make it conceivable to instantly discover basic employment components and fundamental prerequisites (Bodnarchuk 2012). According to Cummings and Worley (2014), worthy job descriptions explain the various pay levels, different expertise levels, extensive knowledge, specific responsibilities, and organisational contribution goals in various effective ways.

Training and developmentis yet another area where job descriptions can play a significant role. Alabdelkarim et al (2014) concede that well-written job descriptions highlight training and development needs and therefore, potential employees noticeably increase organisational effectiveness.  Well-designed job descriptions promote organisational development processes to address specific matters, for example, succession planning, workforce development, employee retention, organisation design, and transformation management. Over and above this, job descriptions manage organisational planning, evaluate the organisational structure, job design, and personnel forecasting.

According to Mader-Clark (2013),   job descriptions are significant assets to the employer that should not be taken lightly since it reveals the official duties and responsibilities of potential candidates and jobholders. Leonard & Trusty (2015), strongly argue that job descriptions help supervisors to do a realistic job preview, invent moral standards and lead performance evaluations.

To ensure the design  of good job descriptions, the job description developer must have the right knowledge and skills to design a job description effectively, including knowledge of the job description environment, knowledge of the job description document, research, and communication and training skills

The monitoring of job descriptions involve processes such as checking the job descriptions on an annual basis and providing training to fellow employees.

In the light of the above discussion, for an effective job description process in an organisation, it is important to understand the value of job descriptions and to continually update, regularly evaluate, and monitor these job descriptions.

Newturn Wikirefu is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.

Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +0784 597343 or email: newturn@ipcconsultants.com or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants

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