Accurate job descriptions are the foundation of every organization’s staffing efforts. Without clear, focused documentation of what each position does, you may struggle to hire and retain good employees or even undermine productivity.
Look at Everything
The solution is relatively simple: Regularly review your job descriptions to ensure they’re current and comprehensive. Check to see whether they list outdated procedures or other outmoded elements, such as software that you’ve since phased out.
If you don’t already have written job descriptions for each position, don’t panic. Ask employees in those jobs to document their responsibilities and everyday duties (this can be a good way to update search criteria too). Each worker’s manager should then verify and, if necessary, help revise the description.
Turn Information into Improvements
After you have updated your job descriptions, you can use them to increase organizational efficiency. Weed out the marginal duties from essential ones. Eliminate superfluous and redundant tasks, focusing each position on activities that generate revenue or eliminate expenses. You may be able to make improvements in other areas, too, such as:
Workload distribution. Are workloads properly distributed among employees? If not, rearrange them. You may find this necessary when job duties change.
Cross-training. Can your employees handle their co-workers’ responsibilities? In emergencies, and as a fraud-prevention measure, having workers who can handle each other’s jobs temporarily can serve an organization well.
Recruiting. Are you hiring people with the right skills? Up-to-date job descriptions provide a better road map for finding ideal candidates to fill your open positions.
Performance evaluations. Are employees doing their best? Detailed job descriptions allow managers to better determine whether workers are completing their assigned duties and if they’re meeting — or exceeding — expectations.
Get started soon
The longer you wait to review and rewrite job descriptions, the harder it will be to revise them. Once you’ve got them up to date, the task becomes much easier from year to year.