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Why You Should Keep Job Descriptions In Your Human Resources System

January 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Having accurate and relevant job descriptions in your human resource management system can be helpful in a number of ways:


During a job interview, candidates want to know what work they will be expected to do if they are hired for a position. Only listing the skills or qualifications required for a job may leave candidates wondering exactly what they are signing up for. A well written job description should include how the individual would assist with daily operations. This gives them a reasonable idea of what their assigned duties will be and lets them gauge whether the pay level you are offering is on target. When you have detailed descriptions for each position uploaded in your human resources system, you can more readily delegate interviewing to your HR administrator or general manager as needed.


Although you may have a standard training and orientation spiel for new hires, there will always be some customization needed based on their specific job. An accurate job description gives you a starting point for skills testing and remedial training to make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed. This is especially helpful for positions where candidates with all the desired qualifications are hard to find. You can make up some of the deficit in knowledge or skills early on and end up with a well qualified employee.


Sometimes, managers have difficulty evaluating worker performance because the guidelines they are using are fuzzy. Taking job descriptions as a starting point (kind of a “minimum expected” level of performance) can be helpful in these situations. Looking at each activity and finding ways to improve on productivity or cut down on errors is one way to evaluate performance consistently with a focus on concrete results.

Ideally, it should be easy to logically link a job description to the ways in which it assists your company in achieving long term goals. This gives employees a foundation for setting meaningful personal goals for excellence. This information can be leveraged to improve processes for an entire department as well. For example, looking at a group of job descriptions for a department can identify overlapping areas of responsibility or areas where no one has been assigned responsibility for a specific function. When such descriptions are uploaded in a human resource management system, they can be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to foster continuous improvement.

Tags: human resource management job descriptions
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