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The Importance of Clear Job Descriptions

Best Practices

Before delving into its essence, it’s first imperative to know what makes a clear and complete job description. 

Typically, it includes: a job’s key responsibilities, the activities the employee does, qualifications, requirements, preferred/necessary skills, and to whom the employee reports to (ex.: Marketing Manager for the Marketing Associate). Apart from this, the job description should also be inclusive of details on the company. Details may be the following, but are not limited to: the company’s mission, vision, goals, general culture, structure and benefits – including salaries.

In crafting these outlined details for job descriptions, immediate stakeholders in the company are guided not only in the recruitment process, but also during the employee’s work time when accepted. To illustrate, a clear job description can establish the role of the employee and his/her place in the company. Containing all responsibilities and qualifications required, a clear job description could give the employee a concrete direction to follow in his/her work. As work continues, this simple communication line then serves as a reminder of the employee’s responsibilities, and in turn, what the employer expects from his/her performance. In this light, it is evident that establishing expectations at the onset helps both the employer and the employee. In essence, it helps the company assess if the same expectations are, indeed, met, and likewise aids employees in determining whether their performance gives justice to what their jobs actually entail. Apart from expectations between employers and employees, departmental expectations and understanding are also established through such descriptions. Given clear roles and responsibilities, fellow employees from other departments may also have a clear comprehension of what employees from different departments do. This would help them know who and how to coordinate with other essential departments to perform collaborative functions. In this way, this would incite team coordination and engagement, and may even help other departments appreciate the value of employees belonging to departments outside of their own. Lastly, another benefit of a clear job description is its capacity to make recruiters develop talent acquisition strategies. In the process of outlining the different job descriptions and all components present therein, they may be provided with a better idea on how to go about the recruitment process as whole. After establishing the requirements and qualifications of an employee,  the recruiter may know what specific questions to ask during an interview, as well as what kind of candidates they are dealing with. Again, this enables the recruiter to also have certain expectations from the candidates.

Evidently, these simple, yet significant reasons are very much relevant to not only the recruitment process, but to the employment process of a company in its entirety. The key idea recurrent among all reasons is the fact that through mere words carefully articulated in job descriptions, a useful communication tool is already provided for both the company and the employees/candidates, strengthening their communication even before they start their actual work. Above everything, and amidst a time of ambiguity and uncertainty due to the impacts of the pandemic, it is of utmost importance that employees are transparently guided with a certain set of expectations to have a sense of structure in their own schedules, and a sense of what the company truly expects.