Recruiting – Using the Job Description as a Tool
I’m assuming you want to locate the best talent for your open position. In the recruiting process, the job description’s purpose is to guide you through the stacks of resumes to find the right candidates to start the interviewing process.
The job description captures the essential functions of the role, the required qualifications to perform the responsibilities and where the position fits in the department’s structure.
Large companies perform a thorough analysis of every position within the company. Job descriptions are not just for large companies though, they work within the small company environment as well. A great resource for managers in small companies is the Society for Human Resource Management.
The negative of job descriptions is that in this fast-paced work environment, where job changes occur rapidly….managers add or subtract job responsibilities based on business needs. Even with the potential downside, a job description is still a good tool in your recruiting efforts to communicate the performance expectations for the position.
Job descriptions are also used to evaluate performance at the end of the year…that subject is for another topic. For now, this post is focusing on how to use the job description as part of the recruiting process.
Here is a basic job description format:
Location of the position
Job Status (exempt or nonexempt)
Job status is how you pay an individual…important to evaluate the status of a role as this could evolve into a potential legal issue. The government has criteria that establish how you can pay an employee.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.
Non-exempt means it is hourly position and is eligible for overtime. The federal law states you will need to pay overtime for hours worked over 40 during a week. California has more stringent overtime eligibility policy…overtime starts on hours over 8 during the day. So check what your specific state’s rules are regarding overtime.
Exempt means the position is a specific salary amount no matter how many hours the individual works during the workweek. In order for the position to be considered “exempt” from overtime, the essential functions of the role needs to meet criteria tests provided by the FLSA.
Read the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or check with an employment lawyer if you have further questions regarding the correct status of a position.
Summary of Position
A brief description summarizing the purpose of the role and the results expected from the individual filling this role.
Major responsibilities – describe the essential functions of the job. It’s a good idea to estimate the approximate percentage of time of a 40-hour week that the individual will perform each task.
Job qualifications – describe the minimum amount of education, skills and experience that is necessary for the individual to perform the tasks. You may want a person with higher education, but if the position doesn’t call for the additional education, you can’t legally refuse to hire an applicant based on education alone.
Before starting the recruiting process, evaluate whether the candidate can perform the essential functions with or without a higher education degree.
Skills – here is a basic list of skills that employers look for in a candidate. You can use this list to base your interviewing questions. Just ask open-ended questions around situations where, for example, communication or teamwork was important and how did they handle the situation.
Communication Teamwork Initiative
Organization Problem Solving Creativity
Attributes – create a list personal characteristics that support the individual in successful in this role.
Ability to deal with pressure Commitment Presentation
Adaptability Reliability Enthusiasm
Environmental conditions – here you describe whether the individual needs to stand all day, lift heavy objects, mix chemicals, etc. If the work environment for this position is based on general office duties, then your conditions would be normal sitting, PC viewing, etc.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) reviews essential job functions to insure that individuals with disabilities are not being discriminated against.
Management responsibilities – what is the extent of the person’s authority? Also include a list of positions that report to the individual performing this role.
Suggestion – Review your job descriptions whenever you have an open position.
The Recruiting Process
Recruiting – What is the Job All About?
9 Basic Steps in The Recruiting Process
Employee Referral Programs
Recruiting…Asking the Right Questions
What Do You Need From Your Recruiter
Check out this brand new book on “Recruiting the Best Talent” that guides you through the recruiting process.