A Publication of WTVP

The value of job descriptions can be extremely beneficial when used to their full potential. Many organizations don’t value job descriptions enough because managers aren’t aware of their many uses. How would your organization respond if asked about how you value them? Do you have job descriptions? Are they up-to-date? Are they legally compliant?

What makes job descriptions a problem? If you’ve ever written one, you know they can be a bear to write. What should and should not be included? How do you keep them concise, effective and legal?

Job descriptions can be viewed as basic organizational building blocks which are absolutely vital, detailing who does what for whom in an organization. Taken together, the descriptions form the architectural plan of your organization. They also form the basis of both your hiring and performance management. Your employment ads are basically job descriptions dressed up to attract talent. And your performance appraisals measure achievement on the job as it was originally described.

A recent article on offers the following suggestions on key elements that need to be in any good job description:

In this day and age, it’s wise to have your job descriptions legally reviewed. The reason: a rejected candidate can always call them as evidence in a discrimination case. Anything in the description that hints at a preconceived desire to eliminate or favor candidates due to race, color, age, gender, religion, national origin or disability would work against you.

A crucial factor in the success of any job description program is the procedure for keeping descriptions up to date. Changes in jobs take many forms and occur for a variety of reasons. In order to keep job descriptions up to date, consider setting up a formal review program.

For a free resource on starting or updating job descriptions, visit This is a very helpful resource developed by the United States Department of Labor. IBI