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The “Role” of the “Job Description”

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Human Capital Management is VERY different from the traditional “Personnel Management”. Primarily – it acknowledges that the people of the organization are ASSETS of the organization – that is – sources of revenue!.

Human Capital Management does not replace the processes that are part of “Personnel Management” – far from it. These processes remain and new processes are added to align the organization’s talent with the goals and strategies of the organization.

Employers and employees need to have a clear, mutual agreement about the expectations for the job, and the Job Description is a key document to achieve this.

Legal Aspects of the Job Description

Be very careful to adhere to relevant Labour Relations and Conditions of Employment legislation when compiling job descriptions, job adverts and person-profiles. In most countries this means that you may not specify preference for gender, race, culture, religion, or physical ability.

Job Descriptions should facilitate job-related interviews and evaluations, and should not provide anyone with the opportunity to “personalize” these procedures

That said, job descriptions are not operating manuals. Keep the descriptions of duties concise and free of detailed operating or processing instructions.

These are the domain of the organization’s procedures or operating manuals. If necessary, refer to these in a phrase such as “according to company procedures”, or “according to the operating manual/safety manual” etc. By referencing rather than including specific operating standards or processes, the headache of updating all the job descriptions when procedures change is avoided.