Adina – This is Not an Ab Fab Job Description

“Bubbles’ Job Description”

"Sally Balwin"

Recruitment | HR | Business Development

Unfortunately, Adina is not alone in the way she considers job descriptions (refer YouTube video above).

When I ask Business Owners/Managers (and not just Small Business Owners/Managers) if they have documented Job Descriptions for all roles in their businesses, too larger number reply “Oh I don’t have time to do that – besides I know in my head what I need them to do”.

Interesting, I think, and then raise the logical question “so in relation to your XYZ position, what do you need them to do?”

“Well” is the reply, “I need them to do this, this and this” which is more often than not the technical aspect of the job (eg, bookkeeping for a Bookkeeper position or computer configuration for an IT position).

“Terrific” I say, “and how do you want them to treat your customers? What sort of relationship with the other staff and you do you wish them to build? What sort of employee do you want them to be? What sorts of things do you want your people to be saying about you and your business to others who maybe looking for work?”

Statistics indicate that recruitment of employees costs approximately 2 ½ times the salary of the position (actual costs of advertising etc, time to consider applicants and interview, training of new employee, potential overtime for others to do the work whilst recruiting, loss of productivity whilst new employee reaches full performance etc).  Further, benchmarks also support that it can take close to 12 months for an employee to be working at full productivity and that, employers can expect to hold onto an employee, on average, for 2-3 years.  In other words, we invest for 12 months to bring a new employee to peek performance to hold onto them for another 1-2 years.

Job Descriptions (particularly when documented) are sound tools for businesses to:

  • group work that needs to be done in the best possible way;
  • identify both the technical skills and knowledge required as well as the customer focus and personal attributes sought;
  • strengthen the chance of employing the right person for the right job and thereby reducing the chance of turnover;
  • market a business as an Employer of Choice as a way to attract better candidates than the competition; and
  • be the foundation for performance processes.

Can I suggest that investment in well thought out documented Job Descriptions is not a significant cost to a business.