Tell Us How You Really Feel About Job Descriptions

By JDXpert - October 14, 2016

Released last week, the tenth annual Compensation Planning Survey conducted by Buck Consultants, now Conduent, provides insight into how companies view and interact with their job descriptions. The 172 organizations participating in this survey ranged from small to very large. Although it would not surprise anyone at HRTMS, a majority of participants (63%) reported challenges in maintaining their job descriptions.  Participants (43%) also cited limited resources such as time or manpower and difficulty coordinating efforts with managers and other team members (33%) as top contributing factors. They also stated that there is a concern that job information is either outdated (23%) or inconsistent with the actual duties/responsibilities/qualifications of the job (23%).

So why are organizations experiencing difficulties managing their job descriptions? Much of it has to do with the fact that we are not using the most effective and efficient tools to manage them. A whopping 82% of those surveyed use MS Word to write and edit their job descriptions and 72% use a company shared drive to store them. In the past, Word or homegrown systems were the only choice when it came to managing job descriptions. But with the advent of Job Description Management (JDM) Software, organizations can create, edit and store their job descriptions in a more systematic way. This approach allows HR to not only maintain accurate job descriptions but also leverage this information across other HR processes.

The ability to transmit accurate job information across other HR areas such as compensation, recruiting, compliance, and performance is another benefit of a JDM system. Respondents felt that Compensation (23%), Recruiting (20%) and Talent Management as a whole (45%) were the HR areas most impacted by job descriptions. And you know what? They are totally right! Could you imagine trying to recruit an employee without really knowing what the job entails? Or attempting to compensate that employee fairly without first knowing the responsibilities and scope of the job? Or really doing anything in Talent Management without reliable job data?

Job descriptions also play a critical role in supporting your company’s compliance efforts. For example, the upcoming changes to the FLSA which was the topmost compliance-related concern surveyed organizations had regarding their job descriptions (56%). HR departments have until December 1 to verify that their jobs are classified correctly per the new overtime exemption rule that raises the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. Jobs that are already classified correctly, will make for a much easier transition. These are just a few reasons why changes must be made to the way job descriptions are managed.

While using a JDM system to manage job descriptions is not yet the norm, more and more companies are starting ponder the idea of an automated system. Last year when asked if they were familiar with Job Description Management software, only 26% of those surveyed chose yes, while this year, that number has more than doubled, with 62% stating a familiarity with JDM Software. This significant increase shows that people are becoming more aware of the resources available to help them manage their job descriptions.

​Are you considering making the change? If so, we’d be happy to help.



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