Home' micenet eMag : micenet August September 2015 Contents RECRUITMENT | JOHN HACKETT
ob descriptions define an employee’s
role and responsibilities and without
them it is not possible for someone
to properly commit to, or be held
accountable for their role. Job descriptions are
also crucial when recruiting a new employee
so that both the employer and applicants have
a clear understanding of the role.
A job description is more than just a duty
statement but should be seen as a multi-
purpose management tool. The best job
descriptions are simple and designed to
clarify and enhance understanding of what
activities employees undertake to achieve
certain outcomes for business owners,
management, and the employee themselves.
After all, it is the outcome of the tasks and
duties that matters.
Job descriptions will vary in the way they
look and their content, however, they should
• Job Title
• Business Unit or Section, if applicable
• Who Position Reports To
• Job Purpose Summary (ideally one
• Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities
• Dimensions/Territory/Scope/Scale Indicators
(the areas to which responsibilities extend
and the scale of responsibilities with respect
to staff, clients, territory, products,
equipment, premises, etc.)
• Date and other relevant internal references
The following tips will assist when
compiling a job description:
Job descriptions are essential for all people who work.
SO WHAT DO
• Try to cluster certain tasks into a smaller list of broader (but still specific) responsibilities.
• Job descriptions are not operating manuals so keep the descriptions of duties concise and
free of detailed operating instructions.
• Don’t include “Any other ad-hoc duties as directed by management”. This isn’t fair and no
one will ever be committed to or accountable for this.
• Do not put targets into a job description. These are an output and do not describe the job.
You must describe the activities required to ensure that certain targets are met.
• Be careful to adhere to relevant employment and discrimination law.
If you are recruiting to fill a role it is also important to formulate a personal profile to assist in
the advertising, search, and selection process. This section should include:
• Qualifications and experience sought (including specific skills, computer aptitude, literacy and
numeracy, commercial skills, management ability, etc).
• Personal and cultural qualities sought.
Therefore, the job description should go some way beyond the listing of a series of tasks or
duties and really requires management and ideally employee input, to decide just why the job is
needed, what precisely is expected of the employee, their internal reporting lines and
relationships, and against what performance criteria they will be periodically assessed. As well,
the culture of a successful business should be woven into a job description resulting in a
document that can be effectively utilised by both management and employees.
The problem with many job descriptions is that they fail to simply and succinctly describe
what it is that the organisation expects from the employee, how this will be measured, and how
these things link to the organisation’s vision and objectives.
A job description should also be a dynamic document that is updated when duties or other
requirements change. Of course, when an employee leaves, the job description can again be
used as the basis for their replacement and altered accordingly to reflect any organisational
restructuring, changed market conditions, etc.
Clear and concise job descriptions can greatly assist organisations in many ways. They can
help management in HR planning – recruitment and appraisals and determine pay levels and
staff recognition schemes. They can help management and employees to understand their roles
and their interrelationships, the organisation’s performance expectations, and they can provide
direction in identifying training needs. Job descriptions can offer a solid foundation to the
organisational structure, but remember they will need regular review and refreshing to reflect
changing business needs and circumstances. m
Contact John Hackett at Event Recruitment on (02) 9279 2019 or email@example.com .
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