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HR 101 – What to do when . . . You need to compile a Job Description – Part 4

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Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.

So far we have covered that the Job Description needs to be accurate and realistic. It has to outline the location of the job within the organization, the purpose of the job, the content, the relationships, authority, controls and checks. Both the supervisor and the staff member must understand and interpret it the same way.

Today we will examine some more of what must be in the Job Description and the first thing that we need to understand here is that the Job Description MUST be used as an interview guide. The candidate must match the basic requirements of what is expected in the Job Description. Remember, it must always be the “person” who matched the Job Description and not the other way around. So if the Job Description requires someone who has Matric, then interviewing someone who never finished school is not a good idea. You wouldn’t hire a medical student as the Chief of Surgery, so you shouldn’t hire someone who doesn’t have the right qualifications to do the job.

When your staff members are appraised, the Job Description should also be used as a tool to assess their performance. If the perception is that they are not fulfilling their obligations in any way, this could be established by checking to see what their requirements are and if the particular task, in question is listed, then you have a case. So make sure that all the tasks that are required to be performed are listed.

It also makes sense to list the tasks in order of importance or alternatively in some sort of logical sequence. Each task should have enough information with them to ensure that the incumbent (and the supervisor) understands the WHAT and the HOW of the job. When this is stated correctly, it becomes a measurable entity and it makes the requirement clear, concise and to the point.

Next time we will continue with some Do’s and Don’ts – tips when writing a Job Description.