Job descriptions are an employer’s first communication with a potential new hire. Accurate job descriptions provide a basis for job evaluation, wage and salary comparisons, and an equitable wage and salary structure. In particular, well-written job descriptions should:
• Clarify who is responsible for what within the company and help define relationships between individuals, between departments, etc. By accomplishing this, they can settle grievances, minimize conflicts, and improve communications.
• Help the jobholder understand the responsibilities of the position, enabling the employee to assess the relative importance of everything he or she is accountable for, and also providing a sense of where the job fits into the company as a whole.
• Assist job applicants, employees, supervisors, and Human Resources (HR) professionals at every stage in the employment relationship, from recruitment to retirement. They provide information about the knowledge, training, education, and skills needed for each job, preventing unnecessary misunderstandings by telling employees what they need to know about their jobs.
• Help management analyze and improve the company's structure by revealing whether all company responsibilities are adequately covered and where these responsibilities should be reallocated to achieve a better balance.
• Provide a basis from which to determine whether a disabled applicant is otherwise qualified for the job and, if so, to assist in determining what accommodation would be required for the applicant to be able to perform the essential functions of the position.
Job descriptions are one of the primary documents that become a factor in employment litigation. They can make the ...