Write Effective Job Descriptions
Improve hiring effectiveness, bolster performance management, and ease compensation planning with robust job descriptions.
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- Job descriptions are the foundation of a variety of HR initiatives, from recruitment to workforce planning. They also drive job clarity for employees, resulting in greater employee engagement, performance commitment, and intent to stay.
- In addition to supporting HR initiatives and providing job clarity, job descriptions act as proof of legal compliance (or non-compliance) in labor law cases.
- The importance of job descriptions is frequently minimized or overlooked; they are seen as a “necessary evil” and pushed behind the “important” tasks. This second-class status has resulted in an ad hoc approach to the design and maintenance of job descriptions, and inconsistency is commonplace.
- Job clarity is rare for those employees with out-of-date or ad hoc job descriptions, often causing a reduction in engagement and commitment. Furthermore, inaccuracy in individual job descriptions creates an inability to make accurate job comparisons, which are necessary for a variety of crucial HR initiatives, including compensation decision-making.
Impact and Result
- A structured approach to job description design and maintenance is crucial to optimal business operation. This requires that a job description template is designed, guidelines are set, and training for both managers and HR staff is provided. In addition to driving effectiveness, this will streamline the job description creation process and maximize efficiency.
- To further maximize the effectiveness of job descriptions for all HR areas, the job description template can be designed to include competencies the organization has developed: core, function-specific, and/or leadership competencies.
- Roger Plachy, HR Consultant, Job Results Management Institute
- Sandy Plachy, HR Consultant, Job Results Management Institute
- Hector Deault, Compensation Specialist, HR Services, Corporate Services, The Regional Municipality of York
- Anita Orozco, HR Generalist, Sonneborn
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Get to Action
Make the case for job description diligence
Gain an organizational commitment to creating and maintaining comprehensive job descriptions.
Prepare to write job descriptions
Get the right people and information in place to drive optimal job description design and maintenance.
Populate individual job descriptions
Create a consistent, defensible approach to job description design.
Promote and maintain job descriptions
Ensure ongoing job description success with a commitment to tracking and maintenance.
Module 1: Make the Case & Prepare to Write Job Descriptions
- Make the case for a standard approach to job description creation and maintenance.
- Enable measurement of job description project success.
- Create a template for use in the creation of all job descriptions.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Gathered data to measure job description program success.
- Created a project team and customized the job description templates.
- Clarified the role of job descriptions in complying with labor laws.
|1.1||Determine data points to track project success.||
|1.2||Create a project team for the crafting of job descriptions.||
|1.3||Determine if you need competencies in your job descriptions.||
|1.4||Make a plan for job description storage and retention.||
Module 2: Populate Individual Job Descriptions
- Gather internal and/or external job information.
- Review and customize the job description template.
- Establish administration guidelines.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Gathered job information to assist your creation of individual job descriptions.
- Gained advice for completing all the fields of the job description.
- Drafted a process for completing job descriptions.
|2.1||Determine the internal and external data that will be used to gather job information.||
|2.2||Review the job description template and gain tips for effectively completing them.||
|2.3||Customize and finalize your job description template.||
|2.4||Establish manager process guidelines.||
Module 3: Plan for Ongoing Success
- Design a communication plan.
- Create and customize manager training material.
- Set rules around job description review.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Determined and outlined any necessary job description training and communication.
- Identified a timeline and key triggers for job description review.
|3.1||Create and customize manager training material on effectively completing job descriptions.||
|3.2||Identify changes in PESTL environmental factors that could impact job descriptions.||
Optimize the HR Department to Support the Organizational People Strategy
Build HR Capabilities
HR Delivery Models of the Future
Align the HR Function with the Organization's Global Business Strategy
Assess HR Outsourcing
Determine the Degree of Structural Centralization
Optimize Your Span of Control
Refine the HR Organizational Structure and Optimize Department Efficiency
Implement HR Shared Services
Reconceptualize Job Descriptions
Implement a Human Capital Growth Plan