Remember the tale of the “Three Little Pigs”? The trio of brothers each went off to build his own house. Brother #1 built his house quickly out of straw because he was more interested in playing and the result was an unsteady home. Brother #2 built his house of out of wood and while it took a bit more time than his first brother, his house was only slightly less wobbly and went off join his brother I goofing off. The third brother, investing significant time and labor, built his house out of brick so that it would be sturdy and lasting. We all know what happened – the big bad wolf blew the two rickety houses down, but could not blow down the Brother #3’s brick house.
Let’s apply this analogy to your business and how you employ people to work within your organization. You all have invested significant time building your company through investing in your employees ‐ and of course, you want the foundation to be strong – brick‐solid sturdy. Job descriptions are a critical part of the Human Resource foundation in your company.
Simply defined, a job description is a definition of the responsibilities, tasks, and requirements for a particular position. A job description can help you:
- Clarify Expectations: use job descriptions in interviews, new employee orientations, job coaching, performance appraisals, corrective action discussions, etc. Don’t assume that an employee instinctively knows your expectations – spell it out!
- Train Employees: Use job Descriptions to train employees in how to do their jobs – or to re‐train them corrective action is needed.
- Maintain Accountability: Use job descriptions to help maintain accountability. If someone says “I was never trained in that”, you can refer him/her back to the signed personnel file copy of the job description. In conjunction with a copy of training records, you can remind the employee of their responsibilities.
We recommend having a job description for each position in the company. For example, you may have the following positions in your company: Office Manager, Customer Service Representative, Dispatcher, Pest Control Technician, Account Representative, etc. Each of these requires its own job description. Specifically, any job description includes the following elements:
- Summary: Brief position summary.
- Primary Job Responsibilities: 8‐10 tasks that the employee would regularly perform.
- Minimum Qualifications: A list of the degrees, certifications, etc. that a candidate must have to be hired for this job. List what is really required and a bona fide occupational requirement.
- Physical Requirements: A list of any physical requirements you have for the job, including lifting requirements, use of computer, ability to crawl in tight spaces, or drive a commercial vehicle. These criteria must be listed in the job description.
If you would like a complimentary job description template for your company, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, we are glad to help you draft and customize job descriptions that are legally compliant and make sense for your company. You can reach us at 410‐505‐8723.
Build a “strong house” using solid job description building blocks!
© HR Strategy Group, LLC, 2010. All rights reserved.