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.