Oh No!  Every Employee Has Their Own Job Description!

By Admin - April 24, 2019

One of the most tedious tasks in HR is developing the perfect job description. This task typically falls into the hands of the Compensation team, with the help of other stakeholders, such as managers or HRBPs. But what do you do when each individual employee has their own job description? Or conversely, what’s the best way to handle job descriptions that share the same job title and job code, but contain different tasks and qualifications and should actually be broken up into individual job descriptions? You want to incorporate all employees’ work but how do you do so in the least number of vetted and approved job descriptions?

​Position Description Questionnaires (PDQs) is a term that refers to a questionnaire given to employees with the purpose of gathering information about their job. However, this archaic and difficult approach has been given new life with JDXpert’s PDQ feature and can be highly useful in dealing with both of these disparate situations. Participants in this automated PDQ process, be they managers or employees, can each edit a version of a base job description. PDQ functionality enables stakeholders to each edit their own copy of a job description, creating a clear understanding of what each individual does. Then HR and Compensation can review and finalize the job description via a pre-defined approval process.

How would this work? In a Job Description Management System like JDXpert, the person initiating the review process for a specific job description (the reviewer) can invite single or multiple participants to review their own version of the job description in question (the PDQ). The PDQ participant can make whatever edits they feel necessary to make that PDQ as accurate as possible in relation to the participant’s own job within the organization.

Once the user has made their edits, the updated PDQs are sent back to the reviewer. So, for example, if an organization needs input from six managers responsible for a specific job description or six employees in a specific job description, the job description reviewer would receive back six different edited versions of that same job description from the PDQ participants for evaluation. As part of the evaluation process, the reviewer can determine which employees are in the same job and which may require a different job description. In a system like JDXpert, the reviewer can get a birds-eye view of all completed PDQs holistically in a side-by-side view, which allows the reviewer to highlight differences and gather a clear understanding of what the correct set of jobs for the group should be.

Once the evaluation is complete, the reviewer can determine next steps through a series of options:

  • If the PDQ submitted by a manager or employee is different enough, the PDQ can be saved as a new job description and go through its own approval process. 
  • If the PDQ is very similar to the base job description, the PDQ can be removed, implying that this person will be assigned to the original base job description.
  • Parent/Child hierarchy can also be introduced to manage the differences between the base job and other job descriptions needed to better describe the job descriptions for the selected group of employees. The user can create a parent job that would contain the data common to all versions of the job. This data would cascade from this parent to individual child jobs that would be created from the PDQs. Unique data originating from the PDQ would be added to the child jobs, allowing a full set of job descriptions for the group without creating redundant data.
  • The PDQ process can also be used to make the original base job more complete by pulling pieces from each PDQ. The job description reviewer can evaluate all the PDQs and can either select the values from each that they wish to incorporate into the base job description or move items between individual job descriptions created from PDQs.

Once the PDQ actions are complete and the appropriate edits are made to the job descriptions, JDXpert attaches each employee to the appropriate job description.

Trying to handle these situations manually is so onerous and tedious that few organizations have the gumption to tackle them at all, resulting in a “wild west” scenario where there is little or no governance over job descriptions. Employees or their managers can create their own job descriptions on-the-fly or use outdated versions, making effective talent management, compensation and compliance decisions virtually impossible. The use of JDXpert PDQs enables the organization to gather feedback from all impacted stakeholders as part of the job description review process, resulting in an end product that is truly accurate and captures the essence of the job description.

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