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Best Practices for Creating and Maintaining Job Descriptions


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Did you know that job descriptions form the critical foundation for all your talent assessment processes? In this video with senior talent management consultant Gordon Medlock, learn how you can more easily and effectively create and manage job descriptions and use them as the foundation for your strategic talent management programs. Areas covered will include:

What content goes into a good job description?

Organizations often wonder what to include in their job descriptions. Learn the essential contents and best practices from an experienced pro.

How do you convert lengthy tasks lists into concise job accountability statements?

Free yourself from lengthy task lists that are difficult to create, maintain and use. Medlock explains how to create richly detailed job descriptions that are concise and effective.

What's involved in a project to upgrade job descriptions?

Where do you start? What resources do you need? And how do you get buy-in and funding from your leadership?

In this session, you’ll learn:

- Why your organization needs concise job descriptions.
- How to create and automate your job descriptions using the Halogen Job Description Builder.
- How to upgrade job descriptions across your organization (where do you start, what do you need, etc.).
- How to maintain your job descriptions over time.

Published in: Business
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Best Practices for Creating and Maintaining Job Descriptions

  1. 1. #TMwebinar Speaker: Gordon Medlock Senior Talent Management Consultant HRIZONS Moderator: Connie Costigan Direct of Marketing Halogen Software Best Practices for Creating and Maintaining Job Descriptions
  2. 2. #TMwebinar Tools You Can Use Audio Control – A dial in number will not be provided. – The audio will come through your computer speakers or headphones. – Check the internal volume on your computer, external speakers or headsets.
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  6. 6. HOW JOB DESCRIPTIONS CAN BE A STRATEGIC TOOL FOR YOUR TALENT MANAGEMENT PROCESSES Presenter: Gordon Medlock, Sr. Talent Management Consultant, HRIZONS Moderator: Connie Costigan, Direct of Marketing, Halogen Software
  8. 8. TOPICS 1. Job descriptions as the foundation of your integrated talent management (ITM) infrastructure 2. Current state of job description (JDs) 3. New paradigm for JD management 4. Creating dynamic job descriptions that truly support all your ITM processes 5. How to leverage technology to build, manage, and integrate JD content with ITM processes 6. Project management vision and challenges when upgrading your JD content © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  9. 9. JOB DESCRIPTION CONTENT Job Description - Job Info - Job Summary - Org Requirements - Working Conditions - Physical Demands Qualifications - Education - Experience - Certifications / Licensures Competencies - Organization Values - Behavioral - Job Specific RECRUITMENT - Job info - Job summary - Qualifications -Competencies * Job Requisitions ONBOARDING - Job expectations - Org requirements - Org values - Job specific competency proficiencies OBJECTIVES - Competencies PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT - Competencies DEVELOPMENT - Job summary - Qualifications - Competencies CAREER PLANNING - Job Info - Job Summary - Working Conditions - Physical Requirements - Qualifications - Competencies SUCCESSION - Job Info - Job Summary - Qualifications - Competencies TALENT MANAGEMENT COMPENSATION - Job Summary * Benchmarking Jobs - Job Description * Job Analysis TALENT MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT PROCESSES © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  10. 10. CURRENT STATE Most organizations currently do not link JD content to most of their talent management processes. • Poor JD quality and/or outdated content • Overwhelmed at the thought of upgrading 200, 500, 1,500, or 3,000 job descriptions • Lack of enabling technology to manage JDs and upgrades of content • Not viewed as an integral component of ITM strategy © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  11. 11. CURRENT STATE (CONTINUED) Silo mentality of job description ownership and management: • Lack of alignment among key stakeholder groups • Usually ‘owned’ by compensation and legal with focus on job leveling and pricing of jobs • Some coordination with recruitment for job postings • Limited to no interaction with other talent management areas • Poorly defined and controlled processes for creating, editing, and approving new or revised job descriptions © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  12. 12. CURRENT STATE (CONTINUED) Focused on compliance and not on strategic talent management: • Structured to comply with EEO, ADA, FLSA, FMLA, fair hiring and compensation practices, and other industry- specific standards • Protection of the organization against potential employee law suits © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  15. 15. 7/29/2014 • Written to support the full suite of talent management processes, not only recruitment and compensation • Managed in an online JD management system • Easily accessible to employees and line managers for ongoing performance and talent management • Available to managers and HR professionals to build, revise, approve, and manage JD content NEW JD PARADIGM © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  16. 16. USES FOR JOB DESCRIPTIONS IN NEW PARADIGM • Recruitment • Populate external job postings from system-generated JDs • Communicate job details to candidates • Structure knock-out questions to narrow candidate pool • Create interview questions based on job description content • Onboarding • Communicate job expectations • Enable employee buy-in and acknowledgement of JD • Structure onboarding orientation and training © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  17. 17. USE CASES (CONTINUED) • Performance Management • Performance reviews reflect job description content • Career Management • Display of job progressions and requirements for internal career development • Learning and Development • Skills and competencies linked to jobs/roles • Required proficiency levels associated with jobs/roles • Links to learning and training programs to focus development planning © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  18. 18. USE CASES (CONTINUED) • Succession Planning • Analysis of potential successors based on job-related competencies and skills • Gap analysis of competency and skill assessments related to required proficiency levels for the job/role • Workforce Planning & Deployment • Position management, including number of required positions by area and related skill and competency requirements • Analysis of employee skill and competency proficiency levels and experience in relation to position requirements © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  19. 19. NEW PARADIGM REQUIRES ENABLING TECHNOLOGY • Management of large amounts of data related to job description content • Ability to automate and streamline processes to create, edit, and approve jobs and job descriptions • Providing easy access for new hires and employees to acknowledge job descriptions • Integration of job-specific competencies, skills, and other criteria with relevant ITM processes and applications © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  20. 20. JD TEMPLATE SECTIONS - BEST PRACTICE • Job Information • Job Title; Job Code; Job Family; Level; FLSA Status; Pay Grade; Reports to • Job Summary • Job focus, purpose, scope of responsibility; used for compensation, recruitment, onboarding, and career development • Job Responsibilities or Essential Functions • Recruitment, Performance Management • Option to include key performance indicators (KPIs) • Competencies • Recruitment, Performance Management, Employee Development © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  21. 21. JD TEMPLATE SECTIONS - BEST PRACTICE (CONTINUED) • Education / Certifications / Licensure • Experience Required • Succession planning, recruitment • Skills Required • May be coordinated with development, learning, & training, deployment, and workforce planning • Physical Requirements • Working Conditions • General Requirements & Disclaimer Statement © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  22. 22. TEMPLATE DESIGN IN TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  23. 23. WORKFLOW FOR JD EDITS AND APPROVALS © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  24. 24. WORKFLOW FOR JD EDITS AND APPROVALS © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  25. 25. WORKFLOW FOR JD EDITS AND APPROVALS © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  26. 26. Employee Access to View Job Descriptions for Career Development © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  27. 27. CLARIFYING LINKS OF JD CONTENT TO ITM PROCESSES • What JD content will populate requisitions for job postings? performance review forms? talent reviews & succession planning? • Use cases for competencies, skills, and responsibilities? PerformanceReview JobResponsibilities JobResponsibilities © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  28. 28. Direct Import of JDs into Requisitions for Job Posting © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  29. 29. Targeting What JD Content to Include in Performance Reviews © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  30. 30. Populating Reviews Directly from JDs © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  31. 31. THE SPECIAL CASE OF JOB RESPONSIBILITIES • Three possible formats – pros and cons: • Task Lists • Essential Functions • Accountability Statements • How will they be used throughout your ITM processes? • Recruitment? • Performance Management? • Career Progressions & Development © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  33. 33. JOB RESPONSIBILITIES – BEST PRACTICE FOR ITM • Include up to three most important responsibilities in job summary • Limit total number of responsibilities to no more than seven • Use a short name to accurately label the responsibility • Write a high-level description that identifies what is essential and the “so-what” or intended purpose • List related tasks under the appropriate responsibility to clarify measurement criteria © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  34. 34. 1. START WITH JOB SUMMARY • Sample job: Registered Nurse / RN • Core Job Responsibilities included in description © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  36. 36. 3. INCLUDE THE ‘SO-WHAT’ OR PURPOSE ‘What’ (action verb + phrase) ‘Why’ (result /benefit /value) © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  37. 37. 4. DEFINE TASKS / MEASUREMENT CRITERIA Itemize the tasks required to successfully deliver expected results © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  41. 41. ADDITIONAL WAYS TO LEVERAGE JOB RESPONSIBILITIES • Performance Management– • Can be directly assessed as part of review process • Option to include only the top priority responsibilities in review • Basis for generating job-specific goals which are then assessed in review process • Basis for defining job-specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which are then included in review process © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  42. 42. INCLUDING COMPETENCIES AND SKILLS • PROBLEM: • Often job description projects are managed separately from competency modeling projects – creating the problem of how to integrate them • SOLUTION: • Integrate competency modeling and job design strategies from the outset © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  43. 43. COMPETENCY MODELING STRATEGY –BEST PRACTICE • Include core competency profile to support mission, values, and strategic objectives of the organization • Create high-level executive and managerial competency profiles to apply to positions at those levels • Create function-level, job family, and/or job- specific competency profiles to apply to managerial and staff jobs • Identify commonalities across jobs where applicable © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  44. 44. EXAMPLE – BEST PRACTICE CORE COMPETENCY © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  45. 45. COMPETENCIES VS. JOB RESPONSIBILITIES • Executive and managerial jobs are often defined as much by their competency profiles as by their job responsibilities • Performance ratings for these jobs are often based on competencies and performance goals rather than job responsibilities • Job responsibilities become more important for performance management for staff positions © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  46. 46. INCLUDING SKILLS • Skills are often listed in job descriptions to indicate threshold requirements at the time of hire • They may also be used for employee development, learning, training, and staff deployment to identify skill requirements and related employee proficiency levels • Identify the ITM use cases for skills when creating your job templates • Link required skill proficiency levels to jobs to optimize processes for employee development, learning, and training © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  47. 47. SKILLS/COMPETENCIES CHECKLISTS • Healthcare and other highly related technical industries often require demonstrations of skill or competency proficiency as part of onboarding. • These skill/competency checklists are typically handled separately from the formal job description • They should nonetheless be closely coordinated with job descriptions to ensure alignment. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  48. 48. COMPETENCIES LINKED TO RESPONSIBILITIES © 2014 Halogen Software Inc. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  49. 49. REVIEW OF COMPETENCIES –BEST PRACTICE • Don’t repeat the same competency checklists for ongoing competency assessment • Identify mission-critical competencies related to the job • Patient Safety focus • High Risk • New technologies and procedures • Add new mission critical competencies to the annual review process • Add to job description if it significantly modifies the essential functions of the job © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  50. 50. DYNAMIC JD THAT DRIVES ITM • Start with Job Summary to establish focus, scope, & level • Create well-defined job responsibility statements • Include summary description with the ‘so-what’ or purpose • Group tasks under job responsibilities with well defined performance measures • Identify required experience and skills with associated proficiency levels • Identify competencies that differentiate superior job performance and use those for assessing and evaluating talent across all your ITM functions © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  51. 51. READINESS QUESTIONS • Current State: how mature are your current JD content, process, and technology? • Desired future state: where do you want to be in terms of leveraging JD content for performance/talent management? • What resources do you have to invest in the process? © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  52. 52. COMMUNICATE STRATEGIC VISION 1. Establish an executive steering committee to communicate the strategic ITM vision for your job description upgrade project and to oversee the project 2. Create an effective change communication plan to ensure executive sponsorship and line management buy-in for the project 3. Create a strong core project team with the right competencies and abilities to promote and drive the project © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  53. 53. PROJECT MANAGEMENT VISION • Project Management Plan with well defined process • Standards for job description re-write and validation effort – including best practice job descriptions • Solution Design to ensure job structure, content libraries and overall content design meets organization’s business needs • Knowledge transfer throughout each phase of the project • Manage re-writes • Manager approvals • Ongoing administration of content in the system © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  54. 54. EXPECTED PROJECT RESULTS(TYPICAL) • Redesigned job description content is of much higher caliber • JD content managed efficiently in enabling JD technology platform • Streamline number of jobs by 25% or more • Increase HR visibility and value with “internal clients” • Increase employee/manager engagement with the performance review process and other ITM processes • High levels of end-user acceptance of both technology and content • Greater ownership of the job description content on the part of the employees – they helped create it • ROI of HCM technology investment(s) maximized © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  55. 55. TO ENSURE SUCCESS YOU NEED . . . • The right team in place to design the JD templates, streamline jobs, and build out the new JD content. • Strong project management leadership. • The right tools, templates, and resources to ensure optimal design and integration with your ITM processes. • Sufficient resources and line manager engagement to build out and approve the new content. • The right enabling technology to get the job done and to manage content going forward. © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  56. 56. THANK YOU! Gordon Medlock, Ph.D. Senior Talent Management Consultant HRIZONS Email: Connie Costigan Director, Marketing Halogen Software Email: © 2014 HRIZONS, LLC
  57. 57. #TMwebinar Join our next Webinar! Content: The Mojo of Corporate Learning Tuesday, July 29, 2014 Webinars start at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific Register for all upcoming Talent Management Webinars at