Create a Great Job Description
In this lesson, you’re expected to learn about:
– the different phases in the employment cycle
– human resource planning
– the difference between job analysis and job design
There are three phases:
• Establishment Phase
• Maintenance Phase
• Termination Phase
Once employment needs are established, it’s time to hire staff. Once staff are employed, steps need to be taken to ensure employees are satisfied and productive. The final phase of the cycle is managing what happens when employees leave the organization.
These three phases of the employment cycle are summarized in the following diagram.
• human resource planning related to business strategy
• job analysis and job design
• recruitment and selection
• employment arrangements (such as part-time, full-time), remuneration, agreements, and contracts
• training and development
• recognition and reward
• performance management
3) The Termination Phase involves termination management including entitlement and transition issues.
• Recruitment: attracting people to apply for the position in the business, undertaking internal and external recruitment.
• Selection: choosing and hiring the most qualified; testing and interviewing.
• Employment arrangements and remuneration: deciding on the type of employment contract (arrangements) and ways of paying employees (remuneration).
• It is the development of strategies to meet an organization’s future human resource needs.
• Planning for future personnel needs, taking into account both internal activities and factors in the external environment.
All organizations have to plan for the positions that inevitably become vacant. Employees retire, resign or get promoted.
Also, new positions develop as the business expands. Therefore, for most organizations, determining staffing needs is an ongoing process.
• the number of employees required
• their qualifications, including skills, previous experience, and knowledge .
• when and where these employees will be needed.
In other words, the organization must determine the exact nature of a job before it can recruit the right person to do it.
Job Analysis is a systematic study of an employee’s duties, tasks and work environment.
• actual job activities
• the equipment used on the job
• specific job behaviors required
• working conditions
• the degree of supervision necessary
1) Job Description: a written statement describing the employee’s duties, tasks, and responsibilities associated with the job .
2) Job Specification: a list of the key qualifications needed to perform a particular job in terms of education, skills, and experience.
Good job design takes into consideration the satisfaction of the employee’s needs. Jobs may be designed so they include a variety of tasks to keep employees interested and motivated.
In the past, job specialization — where production was broken down into distinct tasks that were performed by individual employees — often resulted in employee boredom and dissatisfaction.
To counter this effect, three job design approaches have been used based on intrinsic rewards — the good feeling that one gets from doing something well.
1) Job Rotation
Employees switch, for a period of time, from one job to another. This provides variety and gives employees a more comprehensive view of the organization or the production process.
2) Job Enlargement
Employees are given more things to do within the same job. This provides job variety and a greater challenge for employees.
3) Job Enrichment
Employees are given more control and independence over how they do their work.
Jobs that are designed so that they include a variety of tasks and give the employee some decision-making responsibility are more likely to lead to greater job satisfaction.
Greater job satisfaction in turn may result in lower employee turnover.
Working in teams is another way of improving employee satisfaction. In autonomous work teams, the team decides how and what work will be carried out among its members (without direct supervision).
The key to writing effective job descriptions is to find the perfect balance between providing enough detail so candidates understand the role and your company while keeping your description concise.
The job description is a critical document for every position. A good job description performs a number of important functions:
• It describes the skills and competencies that are needed to perform the role.
• It defines where the job fits within the overall company hierarchy.
• It is used as the basis for the employment contract.
• It is a valuable performance management tool.
• It accurately reflects the nature of the job and the duties being performed.
• It is free of gender or age implications.
• It is generic enough that it can be compared to similar jobs in the industry for the purposes of equity in pay and conditions.
• It is self-explanatory for recruitment purposes (in most online job searches, the job title is the main keyword searched).
• The job description should contain a list of the duties associated with the role, along with the amount of time expected to be dedicated to each task.
• This should be represented as a percentage (i.e. filing 20%, data entry 40% etc). Descriptions of duties should be no more than two or three sentences in length and should be outcome-based, containing an action, an object and a purpose (eg. ‘compiles monthly reports to allow monitoring of the department’s budget’).
• Roles in smaller companies may have more tasks associated with them but you should still aim to keep your list to around fifteen tasks or preferably less.
Skills and competencies should be listed separately from each other, as they are two quite separate things.
• Skills are activities the candidate can perform based on what they have learned in the past, or from qualifications they have obtained. An example of a skill is the ability to give effective presentations.
• Competencies are the traits or attributes you expect the candidate to display in the role. An example of a competency, on the other hand, is strong communication, which is an innate characteristic displayed by a person.
Rather than assigning a particular salary to the position, work out a salary range to include in the job description that is competitive with similar positions in other organizations and allows for variations in education and previous experience.
Obviously, this would need to be updated from time to time, in line with changing pay scales.