Do You Really Need a Job Description?

While there are a multitude of benefits to creating clear and updated job descriptions, the common theme underlying all of them is clarity. From clarity of qualifications and expectations during the hiring process to clarity of performance during evaluations to clarity for protection during employment lawsuits, the explicit outlines created by job descriptions can provide numerous benefits (Tyler, 2018).

A clear job description can aide many other duties performed by HR. A well crafted job description can attract the perfect employees to the company while simultaneously deterring the under-qualified ones. This reduces the workload of the hiring process from the HR side of things. Additionally, if an interviewee already has a good amount of accurate information about the job, the interview process can be streamlined and more productive. For my current position as a skills trainer at an inpatient facility, I didn’t fully understand what a skills trainer even was until a few weeks on the job. I would have hit the ground much more confidently if I had a better idea as to what the job was.

When evaluating employees, a clear job description provides a structured way for employers to communicate feedback and praise. In my current job evaluations, I receive a numerical score on each element of my job description. This is great because it allows me to reflect upon my growth and provide targets for improvement. Additionally, it creates structure and organization for evaluations which can otherwise be awkward conversation at times.

Lastly, clear job descriptions provide the company with protection during lawsuits. For jobs with high safety risks, job descriptions are an essential layer of informing employees what the potential risks are. This allows employees to take on the job fully informed. Additionally, clear hiring criteria can be a protection against discrimination lawsuits.

The only barrier to creating a job description is simply getting the gumption to do it and then keeping it updated and accurate. The job descriptions must be treated like a live document for them to be valuable. If only creating job descriptions was put into someone’s job description! With the benefits taken into account, it’s clear that creating well crafted job descriptions is well worth the time and effort they take.

Tyler, K. (2018, April 11). Job worth doing: Update descriptions. SHRM. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from

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