Job descriptions. They’re a pretty important piece of not only finding a good job for you, but for finding a good fit for your position. Mischaracterized job descriptions will eventually lead to both an unhappy employee and an unsatisfied employer. As businesses and technology evolve, so too does the nature of work. Jobs that, thirty years ago, functioned a certain way have adapted drastically to the changing environment of the industry. Keeping the job descriptions advertised to hire new employees up-to-date and in line with the reality of the employer’s expectations is critical to finding good fits, both for employer and employee.
My own experience with job descriptions is limited. Most of the jobs I’ve had have been clerical in nature, with job descriptions that are a bit vague, which has resulted in additional duties that were not really specified becoming mine to deal with. Often, they’re nothing too horrible or something I felt I couldn’t or shouldn’t be responsible for, but in plenty of instances, my job satisfaction was much lower because this was not quite what I had signed up for.
And that’s why detailed and up-to-date job descriptions are so important. Kathryn Tyler writes that “a great opportunity to update [job descriptions] is when you are hiring for a position,” or timing the rewriting of the documents “’to coincide with the performance review process,” (Tyler, 2013).
In my experience, being as explicitly clear as possible with your expectations for someone in a position you’ve hired them for is one of the best ways to bolster their performance in that position. So often, we tend to argue that something “isn’t my job” because it’s not listed in the position description, or because you never had to do it before. Making it very clear from the get-go exactly what you expect from your employees will go a long way in obtaining those results.
Tyler, K. (2013, January 1). Job worth doing: Update descriptions. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/pages/0113-job-descriptions.aspx