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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Value of Job Descriptions

As documentation for the task requirements of the job, the job description states what the jobholders do, how they do it, and why they do it.  According to Levy (2010), the job description typically includes "the job title and descriptions of the tasks and machinery involved, and it sometimes includes information about the working conditions and physical environment, social environment, and conditions of employment" (p. 69).  Job descriptions are usually derived directly or indirectly from the job analysis.  For employers, it important to have a detailed and accurate job description for each position because job descriptions serves as "roadmaps for recruitment, selection, and orientation" (Pavur, 2010, p. 119).  According to Pavur (2010), accurate job descriptions are crucial for filling new executive positions.  The search team must conduct a contextual job description and combine accurate job analysis with the leadership mandate in order to yield better prospects and a more successful executive.  An accurate job analysis and job description can improve the success of the newly hired executive (Pavur, 2010).  Job descriptions help maintain performance and efficiency in a corporation’s daily operation.  With accurate job descriptions, it is easier for the management team to rearrange the workforce in response to the market change.


Job descriptions can benefit employees as well.  Job descriptions help job applicants understand duties and skill requirements of the job thus the applicants can set reasonable expectations about the job.  Employees with accurate job descriptions can focus on the job tasks and improve the required skill set, which should improve performance and eliminate frustrations.  On the other hand, today’s workforce is dynamic and flexible.  Many of them would not mind if there is no job description.  In the fast-paced work environment, workers often are required to perform tasks beyond the job descriptions.  As long as training and support are provided, employees can survive and more forward without a job description.  Therefore I think job descriptions are of greater value to the organization than to the employee.

References

Levy, P. E. (2010).Industrial/organizational psychology: Understanding the workplace (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Pavur, E. R. (2010). Use job descriptions to support leadership. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 13(2), 119-122. doi:10.1080/10887151003776596

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