Are Your Job Descriptions As Secure As You Think?

By JDXpert - April 03, 2016

You have hundreds if not thousands of Word-based job descriptions sitting in a company shared drive, so how do you monitor who can access them, who can edit them, and how safe they are from being lost or deleted?  If this reflects the current state of your job descriptions and the management of them, your job descriptions may not be as secure as you may think.  

It’s sometimes necessary to remind employees of their job duties and job descriptions can be a helpful tool to do so.  But if job descriptions aren’t easily accessible, employees and even managers don’t often go out of their way to find it.  That is why it’s important to have a central library of job descriptions so they can access their job description whenever a question about position duties arises. Now you might say, why not just put all of the descriptions on a shared drive?  Yes, it is important for employees to be able to see their job description, but do you really want them to be able to view everyone else’s description?  Oftentimes salary information can be found on job descriptions and some employees may feel offended if they see that they are not in the same salary grade as someone with a similar job.  To avoid this possible conflict, some HR departments may exclude this information from the description. But wouldn’t it be useful to be able to find all pertinent information about a job in one location?  Others may even consider creating multiple versions of a job description, one for employees, one for HR, one for recruiting, etc., but this task can be very time consuming and daunting.  An automated system for job descriptions allows you to store them in a safe environment and grant access to users of your choosing.  You can also easily create different versions of a job description or hide sensitive information from certain users. 

A common concern we see with new customers is the inability to keep Word-based job descriptions consistent.  Many of them state that managers would often alter the job description to fit their needs, resulting in multiple versions of a description that sometimes would not reflect the company image.  Although Microsoft Word allows you to change permissions of a document, it leaves HR with having to choose between making job description static and uneditable or keeping it open and susceptible to unwanted changes.  An automated job description management system allows you to collaborate with managers and other stakeholders during the revision process but gives HR control over what can be edited and what is approved.  You can keep sections completely open to edits or limit the choices an editor can make by providing them with a bulleted list to choose from.  

Data Security
Most of us have experienced at one time or another the frustration of accidentally deleted or saving over a file.  Although you can usually save yourself by reverting back to a previous version, if system protection is not enabled on your shared drive, you might be met with the dreaded response of, “no previous versions available.”  Most large companies do back-up their data about once or twice a day but others, not as often.  Or, as I’ve personally experience, IT may delete certain files after being instructed to make room on the shared drive.  

Knowing you have a safe and secure place to store your job descriptions is crucial to any job description management initiative.  Unfortunately Word-based job descriptions and shared drives just don’t provide enough protection against unwanted assess, editing, or data loss.  That’s why it is important to consider moving to a more secure automated system to manage your job descriptions.

What other security issues have you experienced with Word-based job descriptions?  If not, what have you done to decrease your vulnerability



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