Writing job descriptions can be seen as an administrative task that does not add much value to a company beyond informing employees of their roles and responsibilities. In many cases, a standardized job description is adopted and reused year after year. A small business can also forgo having employee job descriptions because employees perform tasks in different functional areas. This strategy might serve the company’s needs when it’s small, but it becomes complicated to manage when new positions are added.
Job descriptions can provide the foundation a growing company needs to ensure it has the right people in the right positions. When aligned to the company’s strategic goals, detailed and measurement-driven job descriptions can provide assessment, measurement, and development tools for the business and its employees.
Here are six ways the job description can be used to prepare your company for growth.
1. Strategic Organizational Development
Job descriptions should be detailed and descriptive with expected results tied to metrics. The responsibilities and metrics should connect to the company’s strategic and/or growth objectives and goals. When used that way, job descriptions become a tool that the company can use to evaluate the performance of the employee and the company. When all employees have job descriptions that are tied to the company’s objectives it is easier for people to see the bigger picture and understand everyone’s role within it.
2. Workforce Planning
If detailed job descriptions are aligned to strategic goals, they become an asset when evaluating what types of positions and people are needed to fill skill gaps or where staff is needed to reach certain goals, such as expanding into a new service area.
3. Hiring Process
From recruiting to the interview, the detailed job description guides you in selecting the most appropriate candidates. During the interview, the hiring manager shares expectations of the role and the hard and soft skills needed, which are identified in the job description. Without the detailed job description, the recruiting process will lack consistency in selection and evaluation of candidates. Hiring the right person is difficult but using the job description increases the likelihood that you will make the best hire.
4. Onboarding Process
Job descriptions should be used when new employees are hired, or existing employees are promoted to ensure they have been trained on the tools and processes needed to perform all aspects of their work. A formal onboarding process using job descriptions ensures everyone is trained in a consistent manner and that they understand the expected results.
5. Performance Assessment
A detailed and measurement-driven job description provides the necessary structure to guide employee performance assessments. The assessment uses the metrics in the job description to evaluate performance. Employee evaluations that use the job description are consistent and objective, and the data can be used to examine organizational trends and progress toward goals.
6. Employee Development
Employees will always need development, either to grow into another position or because they need or desire new or more advanced skills. It is easier to understand what knowledge or skills need to be developed when you rely on the data from the assessment as well as input from the employee. If the descriptions are aligned with company goals, the employee and manager can choose the development track that will both benefit the employee and accelerate reaching company goals.
Assessing Your Organization
When you align job descriptions with your company’s strategic goals and gather employee assessment data using the job descriptions, you have more data to assess your company’s overall performance. You can compare employee metrics with your business goals to see whether there are gaps in performance that might affect the company’s ability to reach its goals. This analysis enables you to make better decisions when assessing development plans, planning its workforce, and setting goals.
Detailed and measurement-driven job descriptions can help you ensure your company has the right employees aligned to achieve its businesses goals. If you need help evaluating your company’s performance and implementing best practices to help reach your goals, contact the Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership office at (602) 845-1256 or AZMEP@azcommerce.com. Its organization development experts help manufacturers reach their goals and build a strong foundation for success.