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The Importance of Writing and Maintaining Job Descriptions



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If you’ve ever been on the search for a job, you’ve probably read some good and bad job descriptions. Good job descriptions are not only essential for potential employees to understand the demands and needs of an open position, but they are a must for employers to properly hold employees accountable to the roles they are hired to execute. For employers, writing and maintaining job descriptions must be an on-going task—meaning, it’s important to constantly review and update job descriptions on a regular basis. In the same way companies must re-evaluate budgets, workflows, and processes, they should also re-assess job descriptions at least annually to ensure those position requirements are up to date and consistent with the current industry trends.

Here are five key reasons companies should establish a good practice of writing and maintaining up-to-date and relevant job descriptions.

Quality Recruitment

A good job description will go far with an employer’s recruitment and onboarding efforts. Not only will the job description help a potential employee know if the position is a good fit for him or her, it will also guarantee the most qualified applicant pool for the employer. In the end, the more detailed and descriptive job descriptions can be, the better it will be for attracting and retaining high-quality employees who will love their jobs.

Establishing Expectations

A well-written job description will establish a solid set of expectations for employers to communicate to their employees. When employees have a concrete understanding of their responsibilities, they will work more efficiently and effectively in their respective roles. An awareness of expectations for employees also helps employers properly evaluate performance.

Employee Accountability

Especially when it comes time for a performance review or evaluation, job descriptions can help employers maintain accountability to a position’s needs and demands from employees. If a job description is vague or open to interpretation, it will be more difficult for an employer to address a lack of performance or areas of improvement when it comes time for constructive critique or review.

Promoting Productivity

When employees understand the specific demands of their jobs, chances are that productivity will be higher. Well-written job descriptions can be the key to employee motivation and happiness on the job, and it’s no secret that happy employees are productive employees who not only accomplish their required tasks but often go above and beyond.

Limiting Liability

Though there’s no law requiring employers to have them, job descriptions can serve as helpful legal documentation if an employee files a lawsuit against a company. In fact, job descriptions have been used successfully by employers against employees. For this reason alone, there’s an excellent case for employers to create and maintain the most accurate and updated job descriptions possible. Also, while job descriptions alone will not determine whether an employee should be classified as exempt or nonexempt under applicable wage and hour laws, they can and should help to justify an employee’s exemption status in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

As culture and technology constantly change the ways in which we work, is your business up to date with accurate and relevant job descriptions? The experts at LBMC Employment Partners are ready and willing to offer some helpful tips for developing and maintaining job descriptions that best fit your business needs. Contact us today to learn more!

Posted in: Employee Management, HRO, PEO
Tagged with: job descriptions, HR, PEO
The Importance of Writing and Maintaining Job Descriptions