Effective Job Description
Helps Employees Attain Job Objectives

Effective job descriptions are measured by the extent these contribute towards accomplishment of your organizational mission and goals.

One of these are your recruitment goals. If you get good and committed people, - the right people - it is more likely that you achieve your goals and targets.

What does effective JD involve?

Job descriptions list out the duties and responsibilities of jobs, relationship with internal and or external parties, accountability, and authority given to the job holder.

Conduct job analysis in order to prepare job descriptions.

Duties are the day-to-day tasks which the job holder is required to carry out to the best of his or her ability. Most of these are usually routine in nature.

Duties are strategic, tactical or operational in nature depending on the level of the job position in the organizational hierarchy.

Decision making is a normal requirement in the performance of duties and responsibilities.

Responsibility carries with it accountability by the employee to someone higher over something that is entrusted. It implies trustworthiness.

HR People

In the case of HR people, their duties and responsibilities are related to activities carried out under the HR function.

They also oversee the preparation of the duties and responsibilities of everyone in the organization.

The internal relationship of HR people is with other people in the HR department, and line managers or front-line employees.

The external parties can include HR consultants to whom some HR tasks had been outsourced, contractors and HR service providers.

An example of the know-how required of HR people is the ability to carry out human resource planning.

The HR manager or HR professional is accountable for the effectiveness of the HR function.

The authority to "hire and fire" may reside with a board committee or the CEO.

In small organizations, the HR Manager or Line Managers may have the authority.

There are laws and procedures that govern termination of service. Familiarity with these is essential.

Preparation of Effective Job Descriptions (JDs) When preparing them, keep in mind the following matters.

  • Keep them concise, that is, short and to the point.
  • Identify and understand the reason why you are preparing them.
  • They must reflect the present and future expectation from your organization of the job holder.
  • Up-date them regularly. They are a photo-record of the duties and responsibilities at a particular time. You may find that in time they do not reflect the job requirements.
  • A badly-designed job descriptions does not benefit either the employee or your organization.

Components of Job Descriptions

  • The job summary describes why the job exists.
  • For example, The Human Resource Manager's job exists to ensure that the HR function contributes towards improving the financial position of the organization.
  • The duties and responsibilities list the main duties and responsibilities of the jobs.
  • Relationships indicate the connection of the job to other positions, within and outside your organization.
  • These include positions reporting to higher and within the HR department, for example. The external contacts are necessary in the effective performance of the HR jobs.
  • Know-how states what are required to perform the HR job.
  • These include experience, skills, knowledge, capabilities and qualification.
  • Accountability indicates the financial impact of the job such as that shown in the payroll.
  • Authority indicates the decision-making authority given to the job-holder.
  • For example, every HR matter requires the decision by a superior such as the Human Resource Manager. In some organizations, certain managers have the authority to hire and fire.

There are some organizations that include problems solving, special circumstances of the job and performance standards, problems solving and performance standards.

The know-how are normally stated in job specifications. If not, include these when prepare effective job descriptions.

Do HR Managers have Effective Job Description?

The Human Resource Manager's job includes duties and responsibilities that ensure JDs, in general, are prepared properly, that is, ensuring effective job descriptions are prepared.

If you are the HR Manager, it means verifying that every employee's job contributes towards accomplishing the mission and objectives of your organization.

Criticisms of JDs These are some of the criticisms.

  • It often happens that there is a failure to link job duties and responsibilities to business objectives.
  • Employees' duties and responsibilities are not updated to reflect changes to duties and responsibilities.
  • These do not truly reflect the strategic roles of employees.
  • These are mere lists of duties and responsibilities without considering how the jobs can contribute towards accomplishment of the overall objectives.
  • These cannot accommodate dynamic jobs. They are more suitable for routine jobs.
  • In some countries, job descriptions have male gender-bias. This may not count as effective job descriptions.

It has been said that automation is affecting the way JDs are drafted. It is also argued by some quarters that organizations that prepare generalized JDs undermine traditional JDs.

Some even believe that there will come a time when job descriptions are no longer required or relevant.

However, the preparation of JDs will remain an important HR activity as long as legal provisions, management needs and industrial relations considerations require the existence and preparation of such documents. As long as effective job description is prepared for every position, JDs will continue to have a place in organizations.

Link Your Human Resources JDs To Organizational Objectives

Until that time comes, if ever it comes, ensure that the task of preparing JDs is carried out properly.

Preparing effective job descriptions is part of strategic human resource management. Link these to the accomplishment of your organizational strategic plan.

Job descriptions have their positives and negatives. Click HERE to find out some of the them.

Privacy Policy

To Home Page