Detailed job descriptions: the best way to ensure a great job is done

Posted by on 20/09/2016

Apart from outlining the key purpose, relationships and responsibilities of each role, and providing clarity around who does what within the business, they are also effective recruitment, performance, training and development tools.

Ensure consistency across the business

Your position descriptions should include:

  • A brief position summary, outlining the role’s essential purpose.

  • Details of those the employee will interact with internally and externally and the nature of those interactions

  • Essential and desirable skills, experience and qualifications.

  • Key functions and responsibilities/accountabilities with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that clearly indicate how you’ll determine/measure/know the employee is performing as required.

  • Key behaviours expected.

  • Expectations relating to specific policies and procedures compliance

  • Unique position requirements/conditions of employment; and

  • Provision for signatures of the position holder and supervisor.

To get the right person for the position, and the right fit for the organisation, clearly brief those responsible for writing position descriptions on what you want to achieve. Equip them appropriately and train them for the task.

Include a quality-check step in the process to ensure reasonable consistency across the business.

It’s a good idea when you are both developing and reviewing a position description to do this in consultation with the position holder. This ensures that all elements are covered. It also gives your staff a level of ownership of the process.

Best practice includes having staff and supervisors/managers sign relevant descriptions and keep copies on file; and keeping them up to date so they retain their value.

You’ll achieve a healthy ROI if you use position descriptions as not only part of your recruitment process, but also in performance management and training and development activities.

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