A job description (JD) is the basic document which gives a pictorial view of the job. I call it picture because it gives clarity to each person who reads it – the jobholder, department head, hiring manager, compensation and benefits manager, and administration and training manager. Though its most frequent use is in hiring, without a properly written JD, it is not possible to assess which candidate is the “right fit.” Just like a candidate with a CV which becomes the basis for determining whether to shortlist him/her for interview, similarly the JD becomes the basis for assessing the candidate.
All interview questions flow out of the JD items. Once a newcomer joins, it helps the department head to explain to the new joinee what is expected of him/her. To the compensation and benefits manager, it helps him decide on salary and other emoluments, and compare its relative worth in the organization.
To be complete, ideally a good JD should contain the location, reporting and hierarchical level of the job; educational qualifications, skills and competencies required to do the job; key accountabilities, goals and tasks to accomplish those activities; software and other system-related tools the jobholder needs to be proficient in.
Jobs sometimes become redundant and need to be revised or enhanced. This can happen with changing technology, processes or resources. A properly written JD makes it possible to communicate these changes.
Written down JDs make it possible to benchmark jobs against competitors. This exercise is carried to understand industry practices and assess whether you are overcompensating the jobholder to do a certain job or underutilizing him/her. A properly written job description is indicative of a properly designed organization.
• JDs should contain the required skills, competencies, goals, etc.
• Well-written job descriptions can lead to the best candidates
• They are also able to communicate the changes within the firm
Source: Geet Mala Jalota, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is an Independent HR Trainer and Consultant