HR Management: Week 4

Student blog for MGMT 453- Human Resources Management

Instructions unclear… Why Job Descriptions Matter.

Why do job descriptions matter? And what are the consequences of not having accurate ones? The director of HR at Insperity says not keeping up-to-date job descriptions could result in negative employment claims and increased grievance reports.

While job descriptions seem trivial after the hiring process is over, they hold much more weight than they’re given credit for. Job descriptions empower future and current employees, as well as leadership teams to set clear expectations and measurable goals for individuals to accomplish. Job descriptions also give potential employees a sneak peak into the culture of the company. Is the work fast-paced? is there a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration or is it expected to work individually? The way that companies phrases the tasks and expectations of their staff offers insight into their values and structure, if they encourage quality over quantity, and how they expect their staff to interact with one another.

Here are a few examples of job descriptions that don’t make the cut:

But what IS customer service? It doesn’t say…

This job posting lacks a clear summary of what’s expected of this position, leaving potential hires unclear on what exactly they’re applying for.

I’m sorry, what?

This job posting is lengthy and difficult to read, possibly losing potential hires due to not being able to understand the actual duties of the job.

Aside from deterring potential employees, having inaccurate or outdated job descriptions can have legal implications, too. In an interview for SHRM’s HR magazine, Michael Kannisto states, “With the compliance environment and legal implications, the stakes are a lot higher for job descriptions to be crystal clear with essential responsibilities. If you have a measure of performance that doesn’t appear on the job description and you have a case brought against you, depending on the agency [involved], there could be punishment” . See the full article here,

So if we know what doesn’t work, was does?

Keeping job descriptions true to the positions they represent is a good way to start. Transparency is always beneficial in attracting employees and creates a culture of authenticity that will be transferred into the quality of work produced. In addition, HR departments should consider annually revising job descriptions to ensure they are still accurate, even asking current employees in those positions to give feedback on what the job truly entails. Bottom line, the description should match the job so that internally and externally, the company expectations for those roles are consistent and enforced.


O’Neill, H. (2017, July 6). 6 appalling job postings and what you can learn from them. MightyRecruiter. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from

Tyler, K. (2018, April 11). Job worth doing: Update descriptions. SHRM. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from

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