Formulating Effective Job Descriptions - Advantages and Limitations

  • Clarifies employer expectations; provides basis of measuring job performance and a clear description of roles and responsibilities.
  • Provides a structure and discipline for an organisation to arrange all jobs and ensure necessary activities and responsibilities are covered.
  • Provides continuity of role parameters irrespective of manager interpretation.
  • Enables pay and grading systems to be structured fairly and logically.
  • Prevents arbitrary interpretation of role content by employee and employer and manager.
  • Essential reference tool in issues of employee/employer dispute or for discipline issues.
  • Provides important reference points for training and development.
  • Provides neutral and objective (as opposed to subjective or arbitrary) reference points for appraisals, performance reviews and counselling.
  • Enables organisation to structure and manage roles in a uniform way, thus increasing efficiency and effectiveness of recruitment, training and development, organisational structure, work flow and activities, customer service, etc.
  • Many employers simply have not recognized that clear representations of what jobs entail are fundamental to aspects of careful personal management.
  • A common objection to the use of written job descriptions stems from concern about losing flexibility to manage, especially when technology or other conditions are fast changing.
  • Employers do not want their very written words to restrict their right to direct what workers do on the job or how they do it.
  • The legendary, “that’s not in my job description,” however, need not be a problem to any employer making reasonable assignments to workers.
  • Many employers do not use written job descriptions because the task of developing them is either too uncertain or the task is difficult to complete.