Setting Clear Employee Expectations

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If you’re getting ready to hire your first employee or you are having personnel issues caused by roles which aren’t clearly defined, you may need to create or update an employee job description. Every job description should contain certain information in order to remove any confusion on the part of employees and stand up in court should you be challenged by a current or former employee.

An effective employee job description should have these parts:

Job Title- This is the official job title as it appears in company records and reports.

Job Objective- Think of this as the summary. If you were to post this job for hire, the objective is a great way for the reader to quickly know if their qualifications fit this position.

List of duties and tasks- Every essential function should be listed in order from most important to least important. Be very specific. For example, entries like “other tasks as assigned by the management” are much too vague. This is also a good way to evaluate for yourself the scope of the job you’re asking somebody to perform.

Relationships and Roles- Does this job come with supervisory responsibilities? Does this person report to somebody else? If so, who? This section of your job description should clearly define where the person falls on the chain of command.

If you are posting this job on a hiring website or other job search portal, make sure to include items that detail the skills required for this job. Of course you know to post experience and education requirements but if the job requires heavy lifting, that must be included.

Also include salary range and anything else that can avoid a lot of unwanted resumes on your part. For example, not everybody would want to work for certain religious groups. If they know that ahead of time, you won’t have to evaluate their resume only to later hear from them that they have contrary religious views and wouldn’t want to work for you.

Other tips for a great employee job description:

  • Keep all statements brief and to the point.
  • Don’t inadvertently discriminate. Use both he/she or stay away from gender references completely.
  •  Try not to use words that are open to interpretation. “Frequently” “consistently” and “several” are just a few examples.

Employee job descriptions aren’t just for you but also for your employees and possibly a court should you be challenged. When in doubt, have an attorney read through your employee documents.