Why job descriptions are so important

Did you know per Employer Compliance Law you must have current written job descriptions for all employees?

Job descriptions are one of the most important pieces of documentation an employer must have! Why? Because they prevent lawsuits and increase productivity! In addition, they clarify and enhance communication between the employer and the employee and they are critical in supporting practically every employment action including: hiring, compensation, promotion, discipline and termination.  99.9% of the calls we get regarding employment issues wouldn't have taken place if there had been clear guidelines from the start.

Employers must comply with a growing list of employment laws and regulations.  If an employee or a government agency challenges an employment decision, the job description is one of the most important documents you will be required to provide.  Job descriptions help prevent wrongful termination lawsuits and charges of discrimination, they help set appropriate salary levels, help you to hire a highly skilled team and keep you in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and many other state and federal laws.

A good job description functions as a foundation for developing interview questions, carrying out performance evaluations, goal setting, salary increases and growth paths.  Having the right people in the right positions performing their responsibilities correctly is vital to the practice's overall success.  New hires should be given a copy of the job description during the interview process so they know what will be expected of them and if they are capable of performing all the duties required, or if training will be necessary.  Current employees should be given a copy of their job description as part of a team meeting or during a performance evaluation to ensure everyone is on the same page and to discuss any modifications.

When you are preparing a job description it is important that the following items be included:  

  • Position/Title
  • Employee status (exempt/non-exempt)
  • Who does the employee directly report to
  • Job Summary
  • Qualifications
  • Education and Experience
  • Certificates, Licenses and Registrations that are required
  • Physical Requirements
  • Work Environment
  • Competencies 

It is also extremely important to include the phrase “and other duties as assigned" in the job description.  This phrase gives the job description a little flexibility so that the employee can "work outside the box".
If you would like assistance in developing your job descriptions or would like us to review one of your job descriptions please contact us at info@amysmith.biz.