Posts Tagged ‘job descriptions’

JOB DESCRIPTIONS – ESSENTIAL TO THE HIRING PROCESS

January 9, 2013

JOB DESCRIPTIONS – ESSENTIAL TO THE HIRING PROCESS

Well-developed written job descriptions are essential to the hiring process for two reasons:

  1. They assist you in clarifying the skills or traits you expect an applicant to meet
  2. They help you defend yourself in court should you be sued over your hiring decision

In preparing a job description, the first step is to ask yourself why you need someone in that position and how the employee in that position would fit into your company structure or help you reach your goals. The next step is to determine what duties you will need that person to perform.

In making the determination about the job duties, it is important to distinguish between job requirements that are absolutely necessary (known as essential functions) and those job requirements that you would prefer in an ideal world, but that you can do without or could have someone else perform.

Essential job functions must be listed separately, because when considering accommodations under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), they are the functions that the applicant must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.

A common mistake employers make when preparing job descriptions is assuming that the day-to-day responsibilities of the job are adequately addressed by the job title alone. Although the job title may give you a general idea of what tasks an employee in the job might be expected to perform, the title alone does not answer questions about the details of an employee’s job responsibilities within your organization.

For example, in one organization, the HR Manager may do a little bit of everything, while in another organization, the responsibilities may be quite narrow.

Your job descriptions should provide someone who has no personal knowledge of a job with enough information to weed out unsuitable applicants and send only the best-qualified people on for further consideration.

To prepare a good job description, determine the major responsibilities and the percentage of time the employee will spend on each, and the qualifications the applicant must have to be able to perform the essential functions of the job. The job qualification standards must be:

  • Job Related
  • Consistent with business necessity

Qualifications should include: the required education, work experience, physical abilities, mental capacity, skills, licenses or certifications and other requirements such as judgment, ability to work under pressure, or interpersonal skills.

 

– HR Daily Advisor

 

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A COMMON MISTAKE IN DRAFTING JOB DESCRIPTIONS

December 4, 2012
Well-developed written job descriptions are essential to the hiring process for two reasons, says attorney Susan Fahey Desmond:    

  • They assist companies in clarifying the skills or traits you expect an applicant to meet.
  • They help companies defend themselves in court should you be sued over your hiring decisions.

Desmond is a partner at Jackson Lewis, LLP and she states:  “In preparing a job description, ask why you need someone in this position and how the employee in that job would fit into your company structure or with your goals.”  You then should determine which duties you will need that person to perform.

In making this determination, it is important to distinguish between job requirements that are absolutely necessary (also known as essential functions) and those job requirements that you would prefer in an ideal world, but that you can do without or could have someone else perform.

Essential job functions must be listed separately because when considering accommodations under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the state Fair Employment and Housing Act, they are the functions that the applicant must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.    

ONE COMMON MISTAKE
The common mistake employers make when preparing a job description is assuming that the day-to-day responsibilities of the job are adequately addressed by the job title alone.  Although the job title may give you a general idea of which tasks an employee in the job might be expected to perform, the title alone just doesn’t answer questions about the details of an individual’s responsibilities within your organization.

For example:  In one organization, the HR manager may do a little of everything for the organization, while in another the responsibilities may be quite narrow.

Your job descriptions should provide an interviewer who has no personal knowledge of a job with enough information to weed out unsuitable applicants and send only the best qualified people on for further consideration.

In preparing a good job description, take a survey of others who have done the job before or observe someone who is performing the job.  Determine which qualifications the applicant must have to be able to perform the essential functions of the job.  These qualification standards must be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Qualifications should include the required education, work experience, physical abilities, mental capacity, skills, licenses or certifications and other requirements such as judgment, ability to work under pressure, or interpersonal skills.

– California Employer Daily Newsletter

What is the biggest mistake in recruiting?

November 10, 2010

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE IN RECRUITING?

We are all aware of how legally dangerous the area of recruiting is and although there are a lot of potential mistakes – the biggest mistake is setting out without a clear picture of what you are actually looking for!  We need a clear and legal Job Description!

DID YOU KNOW?  Since the Americans with Disabilities Act, the government has mandated rewriting almost every description!

Applicants:
Let’s look at it from the point of view of the applicants.  They need to know what you are looking for to see if your job is a good fit for them.  If your Job Description of the open position is vague, you might see the really good candidates steering clear.  They will be able to tell that you don’t have your “act” together.  However, unqualified candidates will line up around the block! With a vague Job Description, almost all candidates can convince themselves that they are a good fit and are qualified for your job!

In this case, your pool of candidates doesn’t even include the best prospects and may be full of unqualified people that you have to search through.

The Evaluation Process:
Without a clear idea of what you are looking for, the evaluation processes are essentially meaningless. Your interviews will be more small talk and general beating-about-the-bush instead of actually having solid questions that relate to the job.  You may make a decision based on personality and likeability instead of if the applicant is really a fit for the position.

If you do make a job offer, what is the likelihood that you will end up with a well-qualified hire? Not high.

Start with a Job Description:
The bottom line is that if you have used a well-written job description to prepare recruiting materials, applicants can make a much more focused decision as to whether your open position is a good fit for them.  The better candidates will eagerly apply when they see a believable job description that matches their expertise.

Unqualified people will still apply, but most will screen themselves out and the ones who don’t won’t be surprised when they don’t advance to the next round!

Selection:
With a clear list of job skills, abilities, and competencies you need for your open position, you can prepare a list of questions to find out what you need to know about the candidates.

This article adapted from HR Daily Advisor