When it comes to job descriptions (JDs), we tend to think about their importance primarily during the recruitment process. However, JDs are also essential during onboarding and beyond. A concise, accurate job description helps get new employees started on the right foot and will continue to support new hires throughout their time with the company.
In most organizations, human capital costs account for up to 60% of total operating expenses. When you consider that the average cost of hiring a new employee is about $4,425 per hire, and the cost of losing an employee or hiring poorly is about 30% (or more) of the annual wage, there is little margin for error.
How Description Management Software Supports the Employee Lifecycle
Job descriptions are vital in every organization. They detail the expectations of the position, provide management and leadership with a point of reference to assess performance, and inform succession planning. Critically, JDs are also vital for compliance and are usually the first thing considered in dispute scenarios.
We all know why we need job descriptions to attract and recruit new candidates. Today, let’s look at a few ways job descriptions help after the candidate is hired.
According to a study published by VisualCV, 43% of candidates do not possess the right hard skills, and 29% don’t have adequate soft skills for the jobs they apply for. 24% of HR professionals are challenged to identify necessary soft skills, and 29% have difficulty separating essential from preferred qualifications.
During the training period, job descriptions provide a roadmap for employee development. They also detail how the employee’s role fits the bigger picture, both departmentally and company-wide. When new employees know that what they do contributes to the company’s mission, they are more likely to engage with the process and achieve long-term success.
According to a Ceridian survey, 46% of job seekers say that salary is a top factor influencing job decisions, and 58% will not apply to companies with a pay gap for any reason.
Suffice to say, fair compensation, and pay equity are critical in today’s ultra-competitive job market. Accurate job descriptions reflect the employee’s responsibilities, qualifications, certifications, etc., providing a basis from which HR can develop an adequate compensation package. The JD also justifies why certain positions are compensated the way they are in case compensation is called into question.
Job descriptions establish a benchmark for management and leadership to assess employee performance. This factor is key to determining how specific jobs contribute to organizational goals and help managers develop key performance indicators that correlate to the company’s broader culture and mission. HR will also refer to the job description during performance reviews. When core competencies and responsibilities are clearly laid out, it is much easier to gauge how well new employees are settling in.
JDs also provide the employee with boundaries and frameworks to work within and may help avoid burnout. 28% of employees today claim that burnout is a significant challenge. 51% worry that their manager doubts their productivity—especially in remote work scenarios. Job descriptions articulate performance expectations so that all stakeholders can get on the same page.
The Great Resignation has impacted just about every country in every industry worldwide. According to data released by Business Insider, Resume Builder, and Bonusly, one in four employees surveyed plans to quit their job this year, while 73% would consider it. These metrics underscore the urgency of employee retention, but the task is not always a simple one.
50% of HR professionals report difficulty in retaining their most valued employees. 87% consider retention to be a critical organizational priority.
When job descriptions are accurate and up to date, they clarify expectations for the employee and remove any ambiguity around the role. If a new hire is confused about their responsibilities, they are more likely to become frustrated, which inevitably leads to confusion, lost productivity, reduced engagement, and attrition.
Engaged employees are 59% less likely to change jobs, according to G2 data. Retention rates increase dramatically when employees are happy at work, and job descriptions play a big part.
A good job description helps your hiring team identify candidates who best fit the role. New hires will be more confident about their expectations and are more likely to stay with the company longer.
Company growth is a concern in every industry. Job descriptions help keep teams aligned to a common goal and provide a clear understanding of how certain positions help the company advance. JDs also inform strategic hiring decisions and can help HR connect certain roles and KPIs to organizational growth.
Job descriptions detail the potential for employee skills development, advancement, and career paths. For example, each specific responsibility included in the job description can have training opportunities or lateral skills attached to it. As the employee starts to leverage their options, it could put them in a position to move up into a more senior role or take on additional responsibilities.
HR compliance is a serious matter. Job descriptions help protect companies from litigation in the event a dispute is filed, but they usually prevent such claims from happening at all. An accurate job description provides the employee with irrefutable details about their roles, duties, and working conditions. The JD acts as an agreement between the employee and the company. As such, it is always beneficial for the employee to sign off on their JD so all stakeholders are on the same page.
Some of the areas where JDs support legal matters include overtime and other issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), accommodations for hardship or disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and any local and state regulations that may apply.
Job descriptions play a critical role in ensuring new hires have the best possible experience from the offer letter throughout the employee lifecycle. Managing JDs can be complicated, but the right software simplifies the process, helping you keep your staff happy and engaged.
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