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Creating effective job descriptions and holding employees to it

interview26236689.jpgA job description allows employees to see what duties their job entails. Many employers use it as a simple way to screen out potential employees that may not be ideally suited for the position. It allows employers to see what skills a potential employee must absolutely have and which ones they are willing to forego in order to find the right person for the job.

Job descriptions can also be used when you are have employee evaluations. If you have struggled with a certain employee, you can point out all of the things that they were hired to do and your disappointment with them as they have been unable to accomplish many of those things.

It is important to note that some employees look upon a job description as a legal document. This means you need to carefully write it and watch out for placing in any discriminating talk in regards to gender, race, religious preference, and age. You can have your legal counsel look over each job description after it has been written to make sure it is in compliance with discrimination laws.

As you are writing the job description, you need to use clear and precise sentences. It is important to clearly communicate each of the responsibilities the individual must perform in order to receive compensation. Depending upon the amount of detail you wish to include, adding some bullet points for clarification is a good idea. Write down all of the tasks, specific jobs, credentials, skills, and other attributes that are required in order to receive the job and to continue holding the position within the company.

A well-written job description should include the following:

  • The title of the position

  • Department in which the employee will be working

  • The individual that they must report to

  • The overall responsibilities of the job

  • Main areas of responsibility (management, etc)

  • Individuals with whom they may consult with (team they work with, etc)

  • Term of employment

  • Necessary skills and experience required


Depending upon the amount of time you wish to spend in training, you may wish to include educational requirements and experience requirements. This will allow you to screen out the individuals that may not be as qualified for the job. However, you need to be careful because this is a touchy area in which someone can file a discrimination lawsuit against you. There is a lot to be said for workplace experience so it's important to try and interview various candidates for the position, not just the ones with a Master's Degree.

The mistake some mangers make when they are writing a job description is that they rely only on the history of the job. When you are building a new job description, you need to look at the current and future needs of the business. Your goal should be to find an individual that can bring something new to the job and to help the company move up to the next level. If you only seek out a person that will help you get by, you are going to hire the wrong person.

Prioritize the list of responsibilities the individual will have. When you simply make a long list of job duties, it will be hard for an employee to know which ones are the most important and critical to their job. Make sure the tasks you require are doable. When you start making a list, it is easy to get carried away and before you know it you have built a job that few people can actually do. Clarify the responsibilities; this will make it easier to find the person that has experience in those specific areas.

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Categories: Evaluation, Hiring, Management Styles, Motivation,

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Posted by DF
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