Job Descriptions: Why They Matter

Words have power. This is especially true when it comes to defining roles and responsibilities in an organization.

Therefore, it follows that up-to-date, accurate job descriptions form the foundation of every organization’s staffing efforts. Without clear, focused documentation of what each position entails and its corresponding expectations/objectives, you may struggle to hire and retain good employees. This may drastically undermine productivity.

Look at everything

The solution is relatively simple: Regularly review your job descriptions to ensure they are current and comprehensive. Check to see whether they list outdated procedures or other outmoded elements, such as software that you have since phased out.

If you do not already have written job descriptions for each position, you need not panic. Ask employees in those jobs to document their responsibilities and everyday duties. Each worker’s manager should then verify and, if necessary, help revise the description.

Turn information into improvements

After you have updated your job descriptions, you can use them to increase organizational efficiency. Weed out the marginal duties from essential ones. Eliminate superfluous and redundant tasks, focusing each position on activities that generate revenue or eliminate expenses. You may be able to make improvements in other areas, too, such as:

Workload distribution: Are workloads properly distributed among employees? If not, rearrange them. You may find this necessary when job duties change.

Cross-training: Can your employees handle their co-workers’ responsibilities? In emergencies, and as a fraud-prevention measure, having workers who can handle each other’s jobs temporarily can serve an organization well.

Recruiting: Are you hiring people with the right skills? Up-to-date job descriptions provide a better road map for finding ideal candidates to fill your open positions.

Performance evaluations: Are employees doing their best? Detailed job descriptions allow managers to better determine whether workers are completing their assigned duties and if they’re meeting — or exceeding — expectations.

Get started soon
The longer you wait to review and rewrite job descriptions, the harder it will be to revise them. Once you’ve got them up to date, the task becomes much easier from year to year.

Contact HBK for more business advisory suggestions through Patricia A. Kimerer, Director of Communications at pkimerer@hbkcpa.com

About the Author(s)

Established in 1949, HBK serves clients ranging from individuals to small businesses to multimillion-dollar corporations across the United States. We specialize in a wide variety of tax, accounting, assurance, and business consulting services which can help you achieve all of your personal and business goals.

Hill, Barth & King LLC has prepared this material for informational purposes only. Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or under any state or local tax law or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the matter.

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