Making the Best Job Descriptions

The job description is a printed report which provides information on all the essential duties and responsibilities assigned to one or more individuals performing a job. Clear, accurate and detailed job descriptions are important to the performance of your organization and the employees in your organization. When a company outsources this, it will rest assured that it will have job descriptions in place and which are regularly updated. This way, if employees know clearly what is expected of them, it is much easier for them to focus their time and energy toward success. Job descriptions enable a company to determine measurable performance criteria by which positions can be evaluated.

Accurate job descriptions provide a basis for wage and salary surveys hence an equitable wage and salary structure. They may describe duties, skills, effort, and responsibilities, environmental and working conditions, and the education and experience required. They may also include information on tools and equipment used and relationships with other jobs.

Most information in the job description is usually obtained from a job analysis. An outsourcing company will be able to carry out a job analysis to identify the job, define it within established parameters, and describe its scope and content. The job analysis should be accurate, concise, and complete. A couple of people may hold the same job and, therefore, use the same job description. It is, therefore, significant to remember that a job description describes the job, not the person or persons who hold that job. A good job description should be kept manageable, specific and have a direct relationship with the performance review form so that performance management can also be measured using one’s job description. However, no job description should be viewed as a perfect reflection of the job. Instead, the purpose of a good job description is to differentiate the job or group of jobs from other jobs and to set outer limits. Job descriptions and the process used to develop them should also conform to all legal requirements of the different states in America.

The components of an effective job description are job or position title, supervisor for this position, department in which this position is located, and direct reports if the position is a supervisory position. It also includes a job summary that should provide a general overview to help someone understand the general expectations in this position and core responsibilities which should provide relevant detail to help the person understand what is expected related to this core responsibility. Behavioral expectations, and for hiring and selection purpose the job description it may also have a section that includes skills, knowledge, talents, minimum requirements, and exempt or non-exempt status, and work environment descriptions. However, this section can also be in a separate document that is included in the job description for hiring purposes. Despite benefits that come with having updated job descriptions, many managers and human resources professionals tend to abandon managing them completely. They end up being there but never referred to as one does one’s job. It takes commitment to maintain a job description program hence, the need to outsource this function which will enable a company has updated and functioning job descriptions.

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