Job Descriptions: Their Often Under Appreciated Significance
Updated: Sep 11
70% of applicants who apply for a job on the desktop version read the job description from beginning to end. Job descriptions are still a significant piece of the recruiting and retention process.
Often job descriptions are seen as a cumbersome nuisance required in the recruiting process for compliance purposes, addressed by many internally with a “check the box” approach.
However, this kind of approach lends itself to unhappy and unqualified hires. In fact, according to SHRM, 72% of HR professionals say that a lack of well-qualified candidates is the top cause of their struggles with recruiting and retaining talent.
A job description (JD) is a detailed account of a position's tasks, duties, and responsibilities. It is an essential document for any company to maintain transparent work expectations and standards. Structured and up-to-date job descriptions for every job role are vital to achieving organizational performance goals and long-term objectives.
With the top 3 focuses for HR Pros in respect to talent being engagement (80% of orgs), retention (78%), and recruiting qualified candidates (68%), every step of the process, including job description management, must be approached with thoughtfulness and executed effectively.
A well-drafted JD provides a clear path for employees and employers to understand qualification levels, deliverables and to set proper expectations.
Here are seven reasons why the job description remains significant in your recruiting, retention, and employee satisfaction efforts.
7 Reasons Job Descriptions are Significant
#1- They Attract the Right Talent
A job description differs from a job advertisement, but recruiters and HR professionals use it as a guide for candidates considering the job. Potential candidates match their skills, experience, and qualifications to the job posting before applying. 70% of applicants who apply for a job on the desktop version read the job description from beginning to end. Ensuring the job description accurately portrays the requirements for the position will not only attract suitable candidates and reduce skills gaps but also help with hiring efficiency- keeping your recruiting team focused on only evaluating relevant candidates.
#2 - They Set Clear Expectations
A job description not only states work responsibilities but also sets clear performance expectations. It contains both qualitative and quantitative standards to achieve the desired results from a particular job role. Clear expectations and recognition of achieving those desired results translate to more engaged employees. 84% of actively engaged employees said they received recognition for their work after they went the extra mile. Satisfaction all starts with clear communication.
"70% of applicants who apply for a job on the desktop version read the job description from beginning to end." – Harver.com
#3 - They Help Establish Accountability
Managers can hold employees accountable for deliverables through a job description. It allows supervisors to call out team members for incomplete, delayed, or unaddressed duties. This can also help reduce bias and favoritism among teams by establishing standardized accountability guidelines all are held to equally.
#4 - They Harness Empowerment
A job description can empower employees to take the lead and bring their best work forward. It enables them to take charge of their deliverables and maintain performance quality.
"49% of candidates declining a job offer due to a poor recruitment experience" -LinkedIn
#5 - They Help Create Meaningful Work
A well-put job description helps create meaning and purpose. Employees can build a connection between organizational and personal goals through their work. It enables them to see their value and the change they make. According to Gallup, only 36% of employees are engaged in the workplace. A sense of one’s contributions being meaningful is key to keeping employees engaged. This can’t be accomplished without accurately understanding their purpose/role and how it fits into the team’s mission and vision.
#6 - They Help Gauge Employee Performance
Leaders can measure employee performance by comparing actual performance to job description standards. It helps managers compare expected and actual performance and give productive feedback to address the lack of results.
"40% of employees quit their jobs within the first year of employment" -Workforce.com.
#7 - They Help Identify Training Needs
Job descriptions help identify the gap between existing and required skills to perform work and meet expectations. Managers can develop training and learning plans for team members to equip them with the right skills. Job descriptions can also be utilized to create career paths for employees to demonstrate how they can achieve the next level of their career at your company.
Final Thoughts- Have Intention with Job Descriptions
With 49% of candidates declining a job offer due to a poor recruitment experience, every step of the process, including having a well-written, accurate, and thorough job description, has to be approached with intention and executed at the highest level.
40% of employees quit their jobs within the first year of employment. Strong recruiting, onboarding, and employee recognition programs are vital to hiring and retaining employees.
Job descriptions can often be underappreciated and overlooked but are a vital piece to that puzzle and should be approached with intention by company leadership. After all, setting expectations shouldn’t be a “check the box” process if we want to close the glaring skills gaps in our organizations.
Let MOSH JD help bring intention around your job description management process. Visit us now to sign up. MOSH JD