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Writing job descriptions is not a particularly fun task, but the value the descriptions provide make doing it worth the effort. Job descriptions afford employers the opportunity to set the expectations of each role and outline the essential functions required of employees. Employees gain awareness of their job duties and how their contributions will be evaluated based on the role. While there is no law requiring a job description, they give employers the ability to avoid discrimination claims, target top talent, reduce turnover, and make interviews and performance reviews a snap.

Job descriptions should:

Help management improve organization structure.  Job descriptions help management understand who is responsible for what duties and identify opportunities for a more effective structure.

Clearly describe the responsibilities of the employee. One of the main complaints from employees is not knowing exactly what is expected of them. Vague descriptions not only harm employee satisfaction, but they also contribute to productivity problems. A good job description will tell the employee what they are responsible for, who they should report to, and how they fit into the organization. Job descriptions also serve as an extremely useful resource for performance reviews and evaluations.

Tell candidates what you are looking for. Include the skills, knowledge, and behavior characteristics necessary for proper performance of the job. Be realistic about the expectations to make sure your job description reaches and recruits the right candidates.

Cover your legal requirements for compliance purposes. Make sure you cover the essential functions of the position, either with or without accommodations. The description of physical requirements should be accurate to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, a person is qualified for a job if he or she can perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

So, what is in a job description?

  • Reporting Structure
  • FLSA Status (Exempt or Non-Exempt)
  • Company Name
  • Prepared Date
  • Summary of the position
  • Essential Functions of the job
  • Work Schedule (which will include onsite or remote)
  • Supervisory Responsibilities
  • Travel Expectations
  • Physical Demands and Environmental Conditions

While this seems like a lot, Resourcing Edge as created a brief Job Description Questionnaire to help collect this information. This process will accommodate one or two scenarios: common and unique positions.

Common Positions: If the position is a common role, Resourcing Edge will provide a sample job description for review. Common roles include positions such as: CEO, Executive Assistant, Office Manager, Receptionist, Registered Nurse, Care Giver, Cashier, etc.

Clients can adjust and edit this information as needed to fit the role.

The remainder of the questionnaire contains information to fine tune the job description to your company. This includes reporting structure, FLSA status, work schedule, work location, travel requirements, etc.

Unique Positions: For some clients, we recognize that staff may cover a mixed range of duties and responsibilities or unique job roles. Therefore, clients will provide the full questionnaire to define the role. When complete, our HR Services team will insert the information provided into our job description template.

We will also provide a separate Job Analysis / Physical Activities Checklist for physical demands needed to perform the job and environmental conditions with defined frequency (Never, Occasionally, or Constantly). This section will also be beneficial if an employee needs an accommodation due to a health condition. The job description will help with the interactive process that such laws require.

To kickstart this process, simply reach out to your Client Account Manager to request the questionnaires. Once the questionnaire is returned, a draft will be sent back for review, and then a finalized PDF copy will be sent back for your files. It really is that easy!

Toni Bates

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