The Job Description is the Foundation

Every training session I lead and every class I teach includes a discussion about the importance and relevance of the job description. For every position, in every company. With a job description comes an opportunity to outline expectations so that during one-on-one meetings with your employees you have an opportunity for discussing accountability.

The first time we use a job description is when we post a position internally and/or place an outside recruitment advertisement. By using the parts of the job description that outline our minimum requirements, we create an opportunity to cast a wide net so we can hire the right person for the job.

Once we’ve identified candidates for our open position, we present the job description in its entirety and dive deeper into qualifications, experiences, and attitude. We discuss expectations—both ours and those of the candidate. We also confirm that our candidate can actually meet the expectations of the job and we ask questions that allow us to make that determination.

After we’ve hired the right person, we present the job description again during on-boarding, discuss it further, and exchange signatures.

We now have a foundation on which we can build a solid employment relationship. Built into a job description are rich and meaningful conversations centered on accountability, learning and growth opportunities, and the hope and promise of a bright future—either with our company or with another. While we spend some of our time as supervisors and managers holding employees accountable to our expectations, we also have a responsibility to provide rich and rewarding employment opportunities.

If we train employees, treat them with respect and dignity, and give them meaningful work, they may likely one day leave us, and speak highly of their experiences with us.


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