As the manager or owner of a business, you know that one of the most costly mistakes you can make is to hire the wrong person. One of the first questions our recruitment team at HireSuccess Staffing asks when filling a position for a client is “Do you have a current job description?” Whether you have just had someone quit or have identified a position that you would like to get filled, to get the person you need the process must start with a solid job description.
Wikipedia defines Job Description as “A list that a person might use for general tasks, functions, and responsibilities of a position. It may often include to whom the position reports, specifications such as the qualifications or skills needed by the person in the job, or a salary range.”
To start the process of researching and creating a job description, you should identify the key people in your organization that can contribute. The manager of the position will usually be your best place to start and typically this group would include any employees currently performing the job. It is also a good idea to include employees who will be relieved of the tasks when you are creating a new position.
The process of creating a job description can be a daunting task and requires a thorough job analysis to be truly effective. A complete job description should include the title, objective, description of the tasks performed, working conditions, education required, knowledge, skills, qualifications, personality and the salary range. When considering working conditions, make sure to include the physical abilities and travel requirements. These two items are often overlooked and make a big difference in getting the right people to apply for the position. A final thing to remember about working conditions is to make sure that they do not infringe on the person’s human rights as determined by the Canadian Human Rights Act or any of the provincial acts. If you have any questions or concerns about the Human Rights acts in Canada, I would suggest consulting a lawyer.
Once you have collected all of the information you will need, it is time to write up the job description. To make this part of the process as easy as possible, I would suggest using a template. If you do not already have a template, you can find plenty of options on the internet. HireSuccess Staffing has a few job description templates on our website if you are looking for a good place to start. The biggest mistake made while writing a job description is that you create it around a specific person and not the position itself. We should all dream about the ideal employee, but we must also be realistic. Make sure that your hopes for the position, salary and education requirements are aligned with your industry, similar positions, local availability and the current economic conditions.
During the hiring process, the job description will serve as your guide to pre-screen potential employees, choosing your interview questions, determining what information you may need to ask references and ultimately guiding you to a decision on whom best to hire. If a solid job description was created, it can also be utilized after the person is hired in establishing guidelines so that employees and managers can understand their place in the organization, what responsibilities need to be completed and providing a clear direction in regular activities. Then as the new employee progresses in their new position, it is effective in identifying skills gaps, training opportunities, evaluating employee performance and helping to determine compensation structures.
The goal in hiring is to find the best, brightest and most qualified employee for the position. The job description is your road map to that destination.
Do you have job descriptions for all of the positions in your company? If not, why not?