Why Job Descriptions are Important?

As we have worked with our clients to assist them with establishing compensation structures over the past 47 years, job descriptions are where we start and the foundation of “getting it right” when it comes to employee pay.  There are also several other job description benefits listed below that employers should take advantage of with their employees.

Recruitment – once a pool of qualified candidates has been identified, a job description can be sent ahead of the phone and/or in-person interview.  Asking job related questions from the job description will assist the recruiter to determine who is best suited for the position.

Onboarding – a great way for the immediate supervisor and new employee to ensure both parties are on the same page together is to review the job description (especially job summary, duties, skills to be used/developed and goals to be accomplished) as a part of the onboarding process.

Job Valuing – since jobs can vary from organization to organization, it is important that job descriptions are created and maintained for what each employee is supposed to actually be doing.  In addition, a job description can be internally valued by using a job rating/valuing system such as our Johanson Group copyrighted 15-factor job valuing program creating a job point value for each position.  This process helps to create an internal value and is integrated with outside market data to establish a minimum, midpoint and maximum salary range.  This approach is very valuable when you have a hybrid or unique position where no market data exists for it.

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt – Based on how the job description is written, the employer can make a solid determination on whether the positon is exempt from wage and hour laws.  In addition, our job valuing system assists with determining the proper classification for each position within the organization.

Performance Appraisal – When it comes time to sit down with an employee to discuss how he or she is doing in the position, whether informally throughout the year and/or formally once a year, using the job description and the goals that were established for the review period can be beneficial for both parties.

Promotion Consideration – If a position is open and the organization desires to select the best internal employee, the job description can be provided to all potential candidates and used during the interviews to select the best individual for the position.

ADA – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t require job descriptions, but any organization with 15 or more employees is required to have a listing of job functions and job specifications that describe the position from a physical and environmental standpoint.  Job descriptions with the ADA terminology will be beneficial for determining whether an appropriate accommodation can be made for someone with a disability.

Safety Sensitive – Several states have passed medical and/or recreational marijuana laws and some positions within an organization will have a requirement where marijuana can’t be used.  Listing this requirement on the job description gives notice to potential and existing employees.

Learn more by visiting www.johansongroup.net or www.dbsquared.com or request a free consultation by visiting https://www.dbsquared.com/consultation-request-2/.

Useful Job Descriptions Pay Dividends

Alan G. Crone, Attorney with Crone Law Firm, PLC wrote an article in the HR Professionals March issue titled, “The Business Case for Compliance”.  Mr. Crone, with over 25 years of employment law, mentions in his article that he is often asked what lessons he has learned that HR Professionals can apply to lessen or mitigate employment lawsuit and litigation expenses. Alan recognizes that employment law is complicated, ever-changing and hard to manage with employee and employer value differences.  He states in the article, “There are no simple solutions, however I do suggest three simple strategies as a great start, that if you follow them you will reduce the number of employment related claims, complaints and lawsuits:
  1. Draft and maintain hyper-accurate job descriptions;
  2. Communicate clearly the company’s expectation for employees and confront them when they do not live up to those expectations; and ,
  3. Refocus compliance efforts as training rather than as discipline.”
This article continues with Mr. Crone going into more detail on how these simple strategies can be applied with good common business sense and thorough application.  As human resources professionals for our respective employers, what are the dividends we can expect by implementing a useful job descriptions strategy as noted in Alan Crone’s article.
  • More informed candidates
  • Improved staffing and compensation decisions
  • Accurate and current job descriptions
  • Positive impact in management decisions
  • Greater defensibility
  • Compliance with ADA – reasonable accommodations
  • Compliance with FLSA – Exempt / Non-exempt (duties and responsibilities)
Mr. Crone completes the Job Descriptions section of his article with the following statement, “Top-notch job descriptions will create operational efficiencies, less lawsuits, better hiring decisions, more focused training and discipline, and less turnover.” As human resources and compensation consultants and software providers, we support Mr. Crone’s advocacy for comprehensive, consistent and compliant job descriptions.  The time spent with bringing dated job descriptions to a current and accurate status will pay dividends for internal and external stakeholders.


If you would like more information about DB Squared products click here: https://www.dbsquared.com/products/.

If you would like more information about how DBSquared can help you, click here: https://www.dbsquared.com/contact/.


We at DB Squared are thankful for our clients that have continued to use and provide suggestions for our current software programs DBCompensation and DBDescriptions. DBCompensation has been around since 2005 and the last update in January 2017 was the 10th and DBDescriptions has been updated several times based on client input. We maintain above a 90% retention rate and our clients tell us that they are very appreciative of the quick technical service and software education/how-to support.

For 2018, we would like to move DBCompensation from a Microsoft Access-based platform to SQL or some other program that would allow the software to accommodate larger employee populations and other data with increased speed. We continue to have requests to pull out the copyrighted Johanson Group job valuing/job rating portion of the program as an independent function and to develop a performance appraisal program tied to the job descriptions and essential duties for each job title within our client organizations.

As for DBDescriptions, we are considering adding another 400 to 900 pre-loaded job descriptions to the web-based program. This would increase the ‘ready-made’ job descriptions in DBDescriptions to 1500 or 2000. These ready-made descriptions can be modified or our clients can still start from scratch to build their job descriptions. We are also thinking about offering a Spanish conversion feature for an additional fee.

We wish all of our current clients a Happy and Festive Holiday Season and may 2018 be one of your best years.

Is Your Job Description Software Unaffordable?

A majority of the job descriptions used in organizations and businesses across America are developed and maintained in a Word.doc file format. This means that the job descriptions are typed and usually follow a predetermined paragraph heading format.  Without an automated job description questionnaire template, this process can become lengthy and it fosters inconsistency based on the creative nature of each person tasked with typing the job description content.  

Take the Time to Write Job Descriptions – It’s Worth the Effort

We came across a good article about job descriptions written by the classification and compensation team with Purdue University. The compensation professionals stated that well-written job descriptions are more useful than poorly prepared job descriptions and that job descriptions serve a multitude of purposes. Employees, supervisors and human resource professionals utilize job descriptions as a key HR tool for optimization of human capital attraction, retention, performance and planning. Please note who uses the descriptions and how they use them as shared by the Purdue University classification and compensation team.