Job Descriptions

Think of a job description as a “snapshot” of a job.  Its purpose is not to include each and every possible responsibility an incumbent may expect in the position.  Its purpose is to communicate clearly and concisely what the "essential functions" and "minimum requirements" (including physical requirements) are, and provide a snapshot or summary of daily duties.

The mistake many companies make is in creating vague descriptions with no qualifying requirements.  Not clearing stating the minimum expectations of skills or experience leaves the company open to allowing every candidate eligibility.  

It's not uncommon for a hiring manager to want someone with at least one year of experience.  In fact, even when the job description does not state that minimum experience as a requirement, hiring managers (and HR) often use it as a qualifying criteria anyway.  Therein lies the risk.  Examining your job descriptions and clearly stating what your true requirements are not only enhances the HR team's or hiring manager's ability to reduce the number of candidates considered "eligible," but saves valuable time in qualifying potential, viable candidates.

Example 1:
Position:  Warehouse Worker
Minimum Requirements:  Previous experience helpful.

Example 2:
Position:  Warehouse Worker
Minimum Requirements:  A minimum of one (1) year of previous experience in warehouse environment required.  Previous experience operating a forklift helpful.

A simple modification to the minimum requirement (adding "required") can make all the difference in the hiring process and candidate pool.

Educational requirements and experience requirements are the areas where inadvertent discrimination may occur.  Educational requirements must be a real necessity for the job.  If someone who lacks a specific credential but possesses equivalent job experience and could accomplish the work, the job description should be modified.

Regardless of the size or complexity of an organization, good job descriptions are vital management tools and important documents for many legal reasons. While they are not legally required, job descriptions are critical in supporting practically every employment action (hiring, compensation, promotion, discipline, and termination).

What are the TRUE benefits of job descriptions?

ITM will help you avoid costly recruiting, hiring, and retention mistakes by making sure you have accurate and industry/market competitive job descriptions. We work closely with you to prepare position descriptions and competency profiles for your highest recruited positions.