Hard-Working Job Descriptions

Hard working job desc.

The next time you sit down to write your employee job description, consider dedicating some time to ensure that the description is clear and comprehensive. A proper job description can increase your business productivity and minimize legal liabilities. Consider the following functions of your job description:

  • Attract your ideal candidate: Job seekers often self-screen through job descriptions, attract the most suitable candidates by providing them with comprehensive descriptions.
  • Organizational Management: Writing a job description can help you think through your organization needs, workload allocation, and division of labor. A clear job description not only helps the prospective applicant, but also your internal management.
  • Expectation & Accountability: Help employees understand their role and your expectation at the onset so they are not surprised during the evaluation. For example a clear job description should place different emphasis on tasks so the employee knows how to prioritize work time.
  • Set the Benchmark: Your job description should set the standard for the position. From a clear standard you will be able to reward employees who excel with minimal accusations of discriminatory pay (Equal Pay Act). You can also defend against unfair hiring claims with your standard. The benchmark also helps you assess your business progress and human resource needs.
  • Documentation: During performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, and termination planning, you should use the job description to document and support your rationale. Consistent documentation can be helpful in wrongful termination suits.
  • Exempt vs. Nonexempt: Under the Fair Labor Standard Act, you must pay nonexempt employees overtime for working over 40 hours a week. Your job description should indicate if the position is exempt or nonexempt.
  • Highlight Essential Functions: Under federal law (American Disability Act, Pregnancy Disability Act, Family Medical Leave Act, etc.) you are required to give reasonable accommodations to employees if they are able to perform the essential functions and to redistribute marginal functions. By identifying essential and non-essential functions in your job description, you avoid these types of law suits.
  • Physical Requirement: At some point, your employee may have to take some time off for medical reasons. A proper job description with the necessary physical requirements will help their doctor determine if they can safely return to work. It will also help you determine if you must place your employee on light duty or make other accommodations.

Your job description can be a useful tool for your business. Be sure to continuously use and update your job descriptions so that they can properly serve you. By incorporating the job description in different aspects of your business, from hiring and orientation to discipline and termination, you optimize the use of the description and give yourself numerous reminders to update it.

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