Job descriptions provide greater value to a business than simply being the recruitment poster for a potential candidate. They are a key piece of information that should be regularly updated to reflect the target role, its responsibilities and how it fits into the wider company culture and the immediate team. A job description is a candidate’s first glance into the inner workings of the organization; once they are hired, it forms the structure of their duty in their role. For existing staff, this means they have a useful document that outlines what this individual is tasked with and where their abilities can help other departments within the company.
How can Job Descriptions be used as a management tool?
For managers, job descriptions can be an extremely helpful communication tool that enables them to better balance work within a team and help their staff feel confident in what is expected of them.
They also support quality management by;
Developing individuals within a team
During employment, team members often undertake responsibilities outside of their given job role which can identify an individual’s untapped personal strengths. This experience can provide opportunities for professional development including access to conferences, training courses and classes. Not only does this inspire and motivate the employee to explore additional tasks but encourages loyalty from staff as they can see that the company are willing to invest in them.
Managing team resource
By comparing and reviewing job descriptions of individual team members, managers can better understand how to balance workloads and see where additional hands may be required. Employees who typically have a day jam-packed with tasks to complete can share tasks with employees that are under burdened or would relish an additional challenge in their role. With managerial guidance led by job descriptions, responsibilities can be balanced across the team, ensuring nobody becomes overworked or feels like their day is lacking.
Helping staff understand their value
Job descriptions should show staff how their role fits into the company and how it supports the business goals and targets. Not only does this make understanding responsibilities easier, but it also shows individuals that they play a key part in helping the organisation reach its objectives. A focused job description simplifies the ability for staff to understand the priorities in their role and facilitates individuals to work collaboratively to achieve a bigger goal.
Determining job groups
Many roles within a department will have shared responsibilities or crossover tasks that belong to two distinctly different job titles. Grouping these particular roles together can identify where department managers are required or job loads can be shared to prevent any one individual becoming overburdened. This can lend itself to implementing pay structures such as job families, showing a clear route of progression up the career ladder, which boosts staff member’s confidence in their ability to progress in their role.
Why does a Job Description encourage effective recruitment?
Job descriptions are important in recruitment as they offer potential candidates a look into the culture and expectations of the company and the role they are applying for. A quality job description is likely to attract quality talent that will better serve the business, so it’s important to take your time when creating.
The more information you can provide the more confidence an experienced applicant has in being successful in the job role. Avoid being fluffy or over-descriptive in your job roles. Experienced workers don’t consider themselves ‘superstars’ or ‘ninjas’ in their profession and are unlikely to lean towards roles that use these terms in their hiring ads. Read more on putting together an attractive job description in our article ‘How to write an appealing job description’.
Attract the best fit for the team
By managing and maintaining job descriptions, when it comes to making a hiring decision, it is easier to consider applicants when you have an idea of how they will fit into the team and the company. There is little value in bringing on a team member who has a variety of working skills that are already well established in-house, without bringing anything new to the table and can even lead to conflict internally where existing staff feel their skills aren’t noticed or appreciated.
Get noticed by qualified individuals
A poorly or thinly written job description for a job that requires certain qualifications or certificates can often lead to an influx in unqualified candidates sending through their application. While many won’t anticipate a response, it can still be very time-consuming and therefore costly for a manager or director to have to filter through a large number of applications to find the few relevant ones.
Reduce employee turnover
Replacing new staff is extremely frustrating for all involved and costs the business both time and money. The 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study revealed that 43% of new-hires that left their new role within the first 90 days said that a distinct difference in responsibilities from the advertised job description was the reason. By ensuring your job descriptions cover the main bulk of the role’s tasks and any expectation for change, i.e. you may need to explore different skills or help other colleagues in certain areas, you can drastically reduce your staff turnover.
Understanding why a job description is important in recruitment and how it supports the business will help you create better job descriptions in the future and reduce the time wasted on unqualified candidates and replacing new hires.
How you can use this information
We hope this guide has been useful in outlining the importance of a job description and that the quality of your candidates is directly related to the quality and effort put into your descriptions. If you’d like more information on creating attractive, appealing job descriptions we have further recommended reading below, simply follow the links;
l What is a Job Description and why does it matter?
l Who should write your Job Descriptions?
l What is the purpose of a Job Description?
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