Written by Mike Shapiro, President and Founder of Insights Consulting and Coaching
Most job descriptions give little or no guidance to the associate or the manager about the job. That's because, for all their wordiness, they focus mainly on the experience and qualifications applicants are expected to bring with them, and the activities he or she will engage in once they get the job.
Despite the dramatic increase in the use of outside resources -- contractors, vendors, consultants -- and the use of agreements with specific expectations about results and time, not much of that experience has been ported over to be of any help in setting the specs for work done by employees. Now, more than ever, it's critical to use every opportunity to be clear about what's expected of each position in your organization.
A clear understanding of each job within an organization is required to do just about everything that we do in HR and Compensation. From recruiting, evaluating employee performance, learning and career pathing to benchmarking jobs, succession planning and developing an equitable salary structure, these tasks all require reliable job information. When you look at job descriptions in this context, it’s obvious how critical this information is to an organization. But unfortunately, job descriptions are not living up to their potential and could contain a wealth of untapped information.