The Value of Job Descriptions

Why Your Company Needs Up-to-Date Job Descriptions

Do you spend too much time dealing with HR issues? How would you rate the productivity of your employees? What is the employee turnover rate at your company?

The average turnover rate for workers in the US is 19%. For some industries and occupations, the rate is much higher. For example, 67% for car salespersons and 75% for fast-food employees. When you consider the time and cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees, turnover can be expensive.

Part of the problem is that employees–especially new hires–are often not aware of what is expected of them. One remedy for that situation is to have up-to-date and relevant job descriptions for each position in your company. Doing so will take some thought and effort up front, but the benefits are worth it. 

BENEFITS OF HAVING GOOD JOB DESCRIPTIONS

  1. A streamlined hiring process. Some people who are out of work will apply for every job they see advertised–even jobs they know little about.  Good job descriptions help potential employees know if they are suited for a particular position, and they provide a handy tool for hiring managers to use during the interview process.
  2. Better communication of expectations to employees. Most people work more efficiently and effectively when they have a clear understanding of their responsibilities.
  3. Greater employee accountability. Good job descriptions provide supervisors with a checklist for evaluating the performance of their employees and addressing areas that need improvement.
  4. Greater productivity. When a company’s employees understand the specific demands of their individual jobs and the role they have been asked to play, chances are good that the productivity of the entire organization will be higher.
  5. Reduced legal costs. Has your company ever been sued by an employee (or former employee)? Good job descriptions have been used successfully as legal documentation in lawsuits between employers and workers.

THE KEY INGREDIENTS OF A GOOD JOB DESCRIPTION

Maybe you have job descriptions. But do you have one for each position in your work force? Are they accurate, thorough, and up to date? A good job description should include the following:

  • A header – This contains the basic information: the place of business, job title, and department name. If the position is temporary or part-time, that should be included.
  • A job summary – If the job title is self-explanatory, you probably don’t need this. But if it’s not, a brief description of the position is helpful. One sentence is enough.
  • Duties and responsibilities – A bulleted list of the tasks the jobholder will be asked to perform.
  • Job qualifications – A list of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job. If there are specific requirements regarding education or work experience, these should also be included.
  • Signature lines – A place for both the employee and supervisor to sign.

USING JOB DESCRIPTIONS TO MAKE YOUR COMPANY BETTER

When it comes to job descriptions, owners should remember the following key steps:

  • Create strong documents for each position that spell out your expectations in no-nonsense language.
  • Make sure supervisors understand the descriptions for the positions in their departments.
  • When people apply for a job, give them a copy to look over while waiting for their interview. (They may change their mind about applying after they read it, but that’s not a bad thing.) Once the meeting begins, explain the contents thoroughly and answer any questions they have.
  • Give copies to current employees and offer to address questions or concerns. 
  • Use the documents to evaluate the performance of each employee on a regular basis.
  • Revise and update documents when job requirements change. A good time to do this is following the performance review, when you have had the opportunity to discuss changes with the employee.

Time spent creating or updating job descriptions will pay off in multiple ways. If you need help with this process, Bridwell Writing Services would love to assist you.


If you would like Bridwell Writing Services to create job descriptions for your business, click the red button and fill out the contact form.

If you operate a car dealership, fill out the contact form and type CAR DEALER SPECIAL in the Subject line.