Hiring and retaining a quality employee is difficult. That is why a good hire starts with an excellent job description. Job descriptions are crucial for hiring and retaining the best workers. Often employees are lead to believe a job is one thing only to be disappointed to find that the employment is not as satisfying and challenging. The result is an employee who is difficult to motivate. The Importance of Job Descriptions. Basically, job descriptions are written statements that describe the duties, responsibilities, contributions, and qualifications of a position, as well as the reporting relationship of a particular job. (Anonymous, 2009)
So the job description tells you what you actually need to do to perform well in the job. While the parts of a job description vary between employers according to one source the standard parts are: 1. Purpose: What is the job in the simplest terms. 2. Job duties or responsibilities: What should the employee be able to perform as part of the position? 3. Education required: List minimum amount of formal education. 4. Payroll experience required: the minimum amount of experience required to perform the job duties 5. Specialized skills: skills needed that are outside of the normal to perform the duties?
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Knowing what a job description is and what it contains is only part of the picture. A job description is important because it sets the tone for the entire work experience. They communicate to employees how a job fits with in the company as a whole. It allows employees to understand where their job stops and another starts. When a description is written poorly it leads to confusion and duplication or omission of work being performed and it can damage the entire communication of the department. (Anonymous, 2009) A well written job description is to the human resources professional what a glove and ball are to a pitcher in baseball.
Value of Receiving a Job Description with Reference to Staffing Needs Job descriptions are tools that start the employment process they guide the decisions being made when it comes to hiring staff and delegating duties. It is important for the job description to be prepared well because it is the “base” document for almost all human resource administrative activity that occurs in an organization.
According to Grant (1997) a well written document will accurately and completely reflect the design of the job. It has value as a tool for guiding such critical human resource management functions as job and organizational design, reward system design, employee staffing and training, and performance evaluation. Job descriptions help the payroll manager articulate the most important outcomes needed from an employee performing a particular job. (Anonymous, 2009)
Sample Job Description The job description is the blueprint of the design of a job. It should accurately and completely show how the organization expects the person doing the job to spend his or her time in the organization. (Grant 1997) Appendix A is an example of the job description I used before my deployment while working as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Eglin Air Force Base Emergency Room.
I believe this detailed example of a job description had just the right mix of direct description and flexibility allowing me to frequently use my personal judgment when performing the job. It covers not only the duties of the job but qualifications and supervision responsibilities. This description also breaks down specific job performance standards. These standards explain the duty, knowledge, leadership, managerial skills, judgment, professional qualities and communication skills needed to effectively do the job. I do not feel that there are any areas pertinent to my job that is missing from this description.
In conclusion a job description is important because it makes clear what the employer wants the employees to do. Job descriptions have value because they guide the critical human resource management functions of job and organizational design, reward system design, employee staffing and training, and performance evaluation. (Grant 1997) Also according to Grant (1997) beefing up the job description by incorporating the sorts of real-world expectations identified by operatives and managers alike improves the validity of the job description as a blueprint for the design of work and thus add considerably to its value as a tool for managing the human resource.
Anonymous (August 2009) Plan For Current and Future Staffing Needs by Writing Job Descriptions. IOMA’s Payroll Manager’s Report, 09(8), 15. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from Accounting & Tax Periodicals. (Document ID: 1798076091).