We found details in BLR/HRhero’s HR Guide to Employment Law, written in part by Desmond, who is a Partner in the New Orleans, Louisiana office of Jackson Lewis LLP.
In preparing a job description, ask yourself why you need someone in this position and how the employee in that job would fit into your company structure or goals. You will then want to determine what duties you will need that person to perform.
In making this determination, it is important to distinguish between job requirements that are absolutely necessary (also known as essential functions) and those job requirements that you would prefer in an ideal world, but that you can do without or could have someone else perform.
(Essential functions must be listed separately, because when considering accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, they are the functions that the applicant must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.)
One common mistake employers make when preparing job descriptions is assuming that the day-to-day responsibilities of the job are adequately addressed by the job title alone. Although the job title may give you a general idea of what tasks an employee in the job might be expected to perform, the title alone just doesn’t answer questions about the details of an individual’s job responsibilities within your organization.
For example, in one organization, the HR Manager may do a little of everything for the organization, while in another the responsibilities may be quite narrow.
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To prepare a good job description, take a survey of others who have done the job before or observe someone who is performing the job. Determine what qualifications the applicant must have to be able to perform the essential functions of the job. These qualification standards must be:
Qualifications should include the required education, work experience, physical abilities, mental capacity, skills, licenses or certifications and other requirements such as judgment, ability to work under pressure, or interpersonal skills.
Job descriptions … Critical, yet all too easy to back-burner. What’s the state of your job descriptions? Concerned they might not be up to date and ADA-compliant? … Actually, with BLR’s new program, they are.
BLR has now released its collection of 500 job descriptions, formerly only available in the classic, but shelf-filling, Job Descriptions Encyclopedia, in a program called SmartJobs on CD. That's cause for celebration—your job descriptions are a click away from being done.
And we’re talking about virtually all of them, covering every common position in any organization, from receptionist right up to president. They are all there in BLR's SmartJobs.
Throw your keyboard away—More than 700 prewritten, legally reviewed job descriptions ready at the click of your mouse. Use as is—or easily modify, save, and print. Try BLR's remarkable SmartJobs program at no cost and also get a free special report! Download Now.
These are descriptions you can depend on. Our collection has been constantly refined and updated over time, with descriptions revised or added each time the law, technology, or the way business is done changes.
BLR editors have taken apart every one of the 700 descriptions and reassembled them to be ADA-compliant. And now they've added pay grades for each job, based on BLR’s annual surveys of exempt and nonexempt compensation, as well as other data.
According to our customers, this is an enormous timesaver, enabling them to make compensation decisions even as they define the position.
SmartJobs also includes an extensive tutorial on setting up a complete job descriptions program, as well as how to encourage participation from all parts of the organization. That includes top management, employees, and any union or other collective-bargaining entity.
Very important these days are the updates included in the program as a standard feature—essential at a time of constantly changing laws and yes, emerging technologies. And the cost of the program is extremely reasonable, averaging less than 66 cents per job description … already written, legally reviewed, and ready to adapt or use as-is.
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