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How to develop good job descriptions


Editorial Team
07/07/2020 2:04 PM

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 development

is 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 development

is 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


Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC


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