Well Written Job Descriptions Are Worth The Effort

Category: HR Insider | Date: | Total Views: 4016

The very first step in hiring process is definitely constructing a proper job description. With every job being different in nature with different responsibilities, it is crucial to have different job description written for different job positions. Considering the significance of proper job description in getting the right candidates for jobs, Real Solutions Pvt. Ltd. conducted its 60th HR Kurakani on the topic “Job Description: How to Write” at Premier Insurance, Kathmandu. 

For any organization, job description can be and has to be written differently for different job positions. Since it is a communication tool that relays the job requirements to applicants, it must clearly specify core requirements of the position to the candidates. 

Traditionally, HR professionals in Nepal used to take references from Google in order to formulate a job description. So, job descriptions then couldn’t provide a clear picture of the work to be carried out under that job position. Not differentiating the job description & job specification was another major problems faced by HR professionals then. 

Also, the practise of providing job description during appointment for the job was also not prevalent and still emerging in context of Nepal. Analyzing these statuses of job description, the HR professionals moved towards identifying the impacts of having a proper job description before and after hiring an employee. 

According to Mr. Anil Shah, Managing Director at Dream EMT Consulting, “HR professionals in Nepal do not spend much time in formulating job descriptions, while this aspect requires much planning as it helps to decide if this the person is the one whom we would like to invest on.” The job description should also look for people qualified by experience rather than just by education, he added. 

“Job descriptions should be clear and easy to understand”, says Mr Tanka Bhattarai, General Manager-Human Resources at Shanker Group. “It’s not just about writing a job description. As a HR professional, you need to understand all the aspects mentioned in the job description of the subordinates to be hired.” he said. 

The discussion brought into light that formulating a job description is different in case of IT and development sector. While development sectors most often follow the job descriptions as provided by the donor organizations, rigorous need to change the job description is seen in the case of IT sector. With technology advancing at a rapid pace, the job description needs to be revised at the same pace with advancing technology.   

While these scenarios reflect the formulation of job description before hiring employees, organizations should also consider revising it during the employment tenure of the employees. Career development being one of the most influential factors in employee motivation, there is a need to revise the job description of the employees after certain period of time. 

Job description of the employees should be subject to continuous change & improvement, mostly after annual or semi-annual performance appraisals. However, changing job description depends on how dynamic the job is. For instance, if an employee is performing well all the tasks mentioned in his job description, his job description needs to be updated accordingly. 

Mr. Aashish Agrawal, Managing Director at Smartmobe Solutions highlighted the significance of internal resource mobilization in any organization. According to him,”If an employee is performing very well according to his job description, now he can be promoted or moved to different department with challenging jobs”. Updating existing job description calls for a need to explain what has changed and why. 

Likewise, the case is completely different in case of blue collar workers. Studies have shown that blue collar employees have the tendency to remain confined to their job description leading their behaviour to perform only the tasks mentioned in their job description. Thus, developing an effective job description for these employees still remains a challenge. So, what all steps can be taken to develop and upgrade job descriptions while motivating & retaining existing employees? How can we make most out of people who seem to be very competitive but do not perform as expected? 

A very crucial aspect here seems to be involving line managers or direct supervisor in the process of formulating job description from the very initial stage. The line managers should be given the job of formulating job description for his/her subordinates, while the HR should act as a facilitator throughout the entire process. Also, job descriptions should be formulated such that they can be measured easily. Finally, the JD prepared should be approved by the line manager, department head and the HR manager before being finalized. 

This will not only attract quality applications but will also empower the existing employees. In case of formulating job description for blue collar workers, the job description should cover every small detail that comes under their area of work. In order to avoid resistance to perform things those are out of their expertise, one can practise “Job Rotation”. 

Writing quality job descriptions are always worth the effort. The effort you put will definitely result in more understandable job descriptions that are useful to recruiters, applicants, employees, supervisors and to the organization as a whole.

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