Bzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz. That's the sound of a busy bee. Click, send, click, send, click, send, new string, new search, click, send, click, send, all while rocking out to some good country music. Now that is the fun of being a busy sourcing bee. These days my desk is full from 1 side to the other with Job Descriptions galore, and highlighter gone haywire on every keyword, and key point in my VMS client's good and bad written JD's.
Ahh, the Job Description - welcome to recruiting 101. How many times have I in my HR career had the privilege of looking a manager square in the eye only to say - "No wonder your not finding what you are looking for (thinking but not saying - it's bad and could use some work) your job description doesn't list all your key skills." Oh, if I had $1 for every conversation along those lines I would be a rich man indeed. I can hear the song from "Fiddler on The Roof" If I were a rich man.....
But I digress. The point is, a job description is so paramount, so important, that every good recruiting effort I have ever known has the points and most important components spelled out succinctly, completely, and has input from - who else - the person working or already in the role. Job Analysis - the process of looking at a job from the inside out - that means - listing key duties, the key key KSA's or Knowlege, Skills, and Abilities, as well as educational components, that includes the technical environment, the key factors and then a good discussion with key stakeholders as to HOW THE JOB AFFECTS THEM. There is nothing more wonderful then a well written job description - it is like manna to a Staffing Professionals soul. IS IT SO HARD FOR A MANAGER TO TAKE THE TIME TO PUT ONE TOGETHER WITH THE HELP OF HR? I don't think so.
It is an important investment in time. Here is the point, if you have a very bad job description here is the outcome:
1. Wasted Time - recruiters looking for the wrong skill set. Manager interviewing very bad candidates.
2. Frustrated Stakeholders - bad fit in the job equals potential loss of revenue. Now that is an interesting thing - manager sees a metric attached to cost of hire - that's a big motivator to write a good JD.
3. Turnover increases - if you have to let someone go, good performers then become overwhelmed and may leave as the recruiting wheel becomes rusty.
4. Increased Liability - bad Job Descriptions can land you in court, a JD is the basis from which to base FLSA designation - exempt or non-exempt, assists in performance appraisal, etc. Can provide a basis to show compliance with OSHA etc.
Now contrast this with a good job description:
1. Lists every component of the environment - technical acumen required, skills, abilities, key traits, what the person NEEDS TO KNOW
2. Lists experience helpful to carrying out or being happy on the job.
3. Key duties to ensure understanding of the performance barometer - sets the tone for all performance/production expectations.
4. Assists in decreasing liability.
5. Saves time and energy - stakeholders have some input in the final Job Description product.
6. Lists Education necessary.
7. Lists the desired industry knowledge.
Now fast forward to the sourcing desk - if you as a manager knew your sourcer/recruiter had all the key words to find your talented A Player superstar based on a great Job Description, after going through the Job Analysis process - ie a key interview with the manager/HR to determine the above. A discussion with a person in the job to understand what they do from day to day - you can also implement based on your workforce/job analysis job sharing/rotation programs, implement rewards, and come to a good understanding. You are in compliance more often with a well written job description because performance basis/standards are set, it operates as a mechanism for understanding so much about the organizational effectiveness of your organization. Yes, a job description is like manna to the staffing soul. When I see a really good one, when I'm sourcing, I can find the talent quickly and then you can get your strong talent to market sooner rather than later. And who wouldn't want some measure of satisfaction from placing the right person in the right place at the right time. A well written job description is like the gasoline in a car - it helps it go, but if there isn't too much of a well written JD that is like being stuck in the middle of no-where without gas. So write that Job Description with pride. You'll be glad you did.