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6 Common Problems Companies Face with Job Description Management & how to Fix Them

Updated: Feb 24

Who owns the creation and maintenance of job descriptions? Is it HR leadership? Is it talent acquisition? Is it compensation? The job description management process can be a mess.


Here are 6 common problems companies face and how to fix them.

Employees reviewing job description

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of job description management? Is it frustration? Annoyance? Chaos?


Many companies, large and small, struggle to have a defined process around the creation and management of job descriptions. Oftentimes the creation or updating of a job description is rushed by an internal leader because it is holding them up from achieving some other objective.


Talent acquisition needs to update the job description for requisition postings on job boards such as indeed.com, Linkedin.com and SimplyHired so they just write it quickly and push it out.


Front-line managers might be in a hurry to hire help, so they write the job description in an attempt to avoid delays in the hiring process.


Internally it can feel like a tug-of-war between all parties; who owns the creation and maintenance of the job description? Is it HR leadership? Is it talent acquisition? Is it compensation?


Effective job description management is crucial for companies to streamline their hiring processes, attract the right talent, and ensure clear communication of roles and responsibilities with both candidates and employees looking to advance their careers internally. This is also a key process in maintaining legal compliance within the organization when it comes to FLSA, EEO, ADA, and more.


However, internal challenges often arise when it comes to managing job descriptions within organizations. Here are some of the common problems organizations face with job description management and how to fix them.


Problem: Lack of standardization

One of the most prevalent issues companies encounter is the lack of standardization in job descriptions.


When different departments or hiring managers create job descriptions independently, inconsistencies can arise in terms of format, language, and required qualifications. In addition, sections can be completely missed resulting in either compliance risk, skill gaps when hiring, or both.


This inconsistency can confuse applicants and make it difficult for HR teams to compare candidates effectively. Think formatting is a minor detail?


Think again. Indeed found that 52% of job seekers found formatting, spelling, grammar, and style a very important factor in determining whether or not they would apply for an open position.


How to fix it: Standardized job description templates

To overcome the problem, companies can establish standardized job description templates that act as guidelines for creating job descriptions.


This ensures consistency across roles, ensures crucial content elements are not missed, reduces compliance risks, and facilitates fair evaluations during the hiring process.


 

Problem: Outdated and irrelevant job descriptions

Over time, job roles and responsibilities will evolve due to changing business needs, industry trends, and upgrades in technology.


By 2030 LinkedIn predicts a 65% shift in job skills just from the emergency of AI alone. However, companies often struggle to update job descriptions accordingly due to the uncertainty around who owns the initiative to maintain the job descriptions and keep them updated.


A lack of communication and process creates an environment where job descriptions fall out of date. Outdated and irrelevant job descriptions can lead to a mismatch between job requirements and the skills of potential candidates.


It can also lead to internal talent moving into a position that they may be unqualified for. This mismatch in expectations will reduce employee satisfaction and likely result in increased turnover.


How to fix it: Maintain one single job description inventory & regularly review/update job descriptions

Establish a centralized record of truth for all job descriptions in your organization. Version history capabilities in this database will be essential to ensure updates are happening and to know which version is the most current.


Regularly review and update job descriptions in collaboration with key stakeholders including people in HR, talent acquisition, compensation, and front-line managers at your organization to ensure they reflect the current needs of the organization. Collaboration between HR, hiring managers, and relevant stakeholders can ensure accurate and up-to-date job descriptions that align with the company's goals.


 

Problem: Lack of collaboration and communication

86% of employees and executives say poor communication is the primary cause for errors in the workplace.


Job description management often involves multiple stakeholders, including HR personnel, hiring managers, and department heads. A lack of collaboration and communication among these stakeholders can lead to inefficiencies and misaligned expectations not only for internal parties but for candidates who accept the role as well.


For example, HR may not be aware of new job position requirements, or hiring managers may overlook crucial information required for compliance in job descriptions.


How to fix it: Establish effective collaboration processes that record stakeholders’ feedback

Companies should establish effective communication channels, operating procedures and collaboration tools that enable teams to share their feedback while working toward the next published version. 



Utilizing tools that allow for date & time stamps on feedback will help gain clarity over time on which team member worked on which job description. Regular meetings and feedback sessions can facilitate better coordination, ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding job descriptions and requirements.


 

Problem: Lengthy and overcomplicated job descriptions

In addition to attracting the right candidates, the biggest job of the external job description is to get candidates to apply.


Job descriptions that are overly lengthy and filled with jargon can overwhelm candidates and discourage them from applying. It's estimated that job descriptions with 300 words or less received about 10% more responses.


Complex language and excessive detail can make it challenging for applicants to grasp the key responsibilities and qualifications required for the role. This makes it difficult for talent acquisition to bring in candidates. If a qualified, talented candidate doesn’t click that application button, the org's chances of landing that talent are zero.


How to fix it: Use bullet points, strive for clarity, and have a “talent acquisition” version of the job description

Companies should always strive for concise and clear job descriptions. But with recruiting this becomes even more important. Recruiters must get candidates to click apply - the job description has to stand out in a sea of noise.


Using bullet points and straightforward language can make job descriptions more reader-friendly and increase the likelihood of attracting qualified candidates to apply. In addition, organizations can develop a custom version of the job description used for posting on job boards externally that is more concise and focuses on key information only. By collaborating with other HR team members before posting, recruiters can ensure this version is also compliant.


 

Problem: Non-inclusive job descriptions laced with unconscious bias

Inclusive job descriptions will attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates. However, even when HR professionals have the best intentions to write job descriptions with diversity and inclusion in mind, unconscious bias can creep in resulting in sensitive language in the job description.


This could turn off qualified talent from applying for an opening and have a negative impact on your company brand. According to Indeed.com, using gender neutral inclusive language can increase the number of applicants by 42%.


How to fix it: Invest in AI language detection tools

AI tools like Grammarly have the ability to identify grammatical errors, detect poor tone and flag language that could be viewed as non-inclusive or offensive.


Utilizing a tool like this in conjunction with the a peer review process will enable HR teams to combat unconscious bias and write more inclusive job descriptions.


 

Problem: Lack of flexibility and adaptability

In today's fast-paced business environment, job roles and responsibilities often evolve rapidly. However, companies sometimes struggle to keep pace with these changes when it comes to job description management.


If new skills are needed or new technology is being used in a role that requires expertise, those requirements need to enter the job description immediately. A lack of flexibility and adaptability can hinder recruitment efforts and lead to a disconnect between job requirements and candidate profiles.


How to fix it: Establish collaboration tools & a process to raise changes needed to job descriptions

Adopt a dynamic approach to job description management where teams regularly revisit and update job descriptions to reflect evolving needs.


Utilizing collaboration tools can help make contributing to feedback easy and enable teams to flag outdated job descriptions. This will ensure that candidates are evaluated based on the most relevant criteria and will help eliminate skills gaps.


 

A defined process and job description management software can help teams improve JD management


Job description management can be a challenge, and without a process or tools to help facilitate it, it can feel impossible. However, developing a defined process while utilizing technology to help make the facilitation of that process easy can pay dividends for your recruiting, retention, and compliance efforts.


Mosh JD's job description management software allows companies to establish one record of truth for all their job descriptions. Equipped with collaboration tools, version history, and AI, Mosh JD is a simple tool that can help your organization eliminate the headaches around job description management.


Visit our website here to learn more and start improving your job descriptions today.

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