Don’t let yourself off the hook: 5 reasons to write job descriptions

Posted on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 @ 15:04 PM

job descriptionsIf you don’t enjoy writing or updating job descriptions, we’ve got news for you: We’ve yet to meet someone who does.  But just because you don’t like writing them doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook! In fact, we would go so far as to say that we consider job descriptions to be the cornerstone of all managerial actions. Why? They help ensure that you’re hiring effectively; they also protect your businesses by saving it time and money.  If you’ve approached writing job descriptions with tepid enthusiasm, we’ve got a few motivators.

Don’t let yourself off the hook: 5 reasons to write job descriptions

Writing job descriptions saves you time and money
Writing a job description is tedious and time-consuming work—so how do they save you time? Clearly defining a position in writing makes it much easier to weed out candidates that don’t fit your needs; and you’ll avoid making a hiring blunder that’ll cost you both time and money. You’ll also be much less likely to base your hiring decisions on factors that aren’t related to the position: the candidate’s personal beliefs, for example, or your own likes and dislikes.

Writing job descriptions lays the groundwork for a successful interview
Carefully constructed job descriptions also make the interview process simpler. Since the job has already been outlined, all you have to do is build a series of interview questions around it. This keeps the interview focused; it also helps you avoid subjects that have legal ramifications.  

Writing job descriptions help new hires hit the ground running
You may have hired a brilliant and perfectly capable new employee—but if s/he only has a vague sense of what the job entails, expect the productivity and satisfaction of the new employee to suffer. Give them the direction they need right off the bat.

Writing job descriptions helps set the agenda for the next performance review
At least once a year your company should revisit your job description. We suggest aligning these updates with annual performance reviews. Here’s why: During a performance review, you set goals and objectives for employees. Updating that employee’s job description is an easy way to set the agenda for the next performance review.

Writing and updating job descriptions reflects well on your company image
Your company may not have made any drastic changes in the last year. Nonetheless, you’d be surprised at how quickly language (HR buzz phrases included) evolves in a short amount of time.  Outdated job descriptions are painfully obvious to prospective employees and can reflect poorly on the company.  

Writing a job description is only one way to avoid making a hiring blunder. For more tips, check out one of our recent blogs where we cover 5 of the most overlooked recruiting strategies.

Photo credit: Groundswell


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Topics: Human Resource Management, Human Resources Master Programs, Engaging Employees, job descriptions

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