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The Importance of Writing and Maintaining Job Descriptions

02/04/2019

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Most people assume job descriptions are written primarily for employees. However, the importance of job descriptions for employers cannot be underestimated.

For employers, writing and maintaining job descriptions must be an ongoing task. 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 current industry trends. It’s important to regularly review and update job descriptions on a recurring basis.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Importance of Job Descriptions for Employers

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

1. Job descriptions ensure you’re recruiting the best candidates.

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.

2. Job descriptions help ensure your expectations are established and met.

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.

3. Job descriptions support greater employee accountability.

Especially when it comes time for a performance review or evaluation, a well-written job description 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.

4. Job descriptions promote greater 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.

5. Job descriptions mitigate risk and limit liability.

Though there’s no law requiring job descriptions, they 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.

Let LBMC Employment Partners Help with the Heavy Lifting

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.

As your business continues to grow and evolve, are the job descriptions up to date, accurate, and relevant to your employees’ responsibilities? Our team at LBMC Employment Partners is 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!

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