Posts Tagged ‘Job descriptions’

Painless Job Descriptions

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Are you a small business owner who does not currently offer written job descriptions? Then it’s time for you to take a page from the big guys’ employee manuals and get started! Most large companies provide written job descriptions to all employees upon hiring.  If they’re smart, they also update them frequently as each position’s requirements and responsibilities change. Here’s a good rule to follow: if large employers are doing it, I probably should, too. 


Let’s see how we can make this less painful! 


There are lots of online resources you can check out. But essentially, the steps are pretty clear. Before you sit down to write, think about the skills each of your employees already bring to their positions. What is Joe’s best skill? Communication?  How about Lindy—she’s great at following up with customers.  And Gary is a top-notch web designer.  Include any required education level, experience, or certifications for each position. 


List all the specific skills that keep your company running at its best—whether or not all of your current staff possesses them. See where we’re going? Job descriptions can give everyone something to shoot for—and help you hire the best new employees, too.   


Now think of the tasks each person performs, and how often.  Here’s where specificity is important.  Does Jamie need to lift 50 pounds occasionally, or frequently? Does Matt stand on his feet for four hours every day?  Don’t forget you asked Nicole to expand her customer service duties to include sales calls once a week. 


Being specific when writing job descriptions will ensure that each current and potential employee knows exactly what his or her position requires—no surprises! This could prove vital if an injury occurs, or an employee files a complaint.  


Now, just make a list of each position in your company. Match the skills required and the tasks performed to each position, and you’re done!  Provide each employee with their written job description—you’ll probably receive many grateful replies. Employees work best when they know what is expected of them—and they appreciate you letting them know. Ask for their feedback in case you overlooked anything, and revise accordingly.   


Once you’ve written job descriptions, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them!  


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