The Year of Current Job Descriptions

My twin brother and I have worked as and with Human Resources professionals for over 30 years. We know about the importance of job descriptions for our client organizations and yet we know that job descriptions are placed on the back burner due to a lack of urgency and their time-consuming nature.

Usually when a food item is placed on the back burner, it has been set aside to either bring back to the front burner or to rest while the remaining meal is prepared. Job descriptions tend to be placed on the back burner and then brought forward to cook awhile when other pressing HR issues and initiatives have been handled or when they become a front burner company effort due to outside regulatory audits.

We believed that 2013 would be the year of current job descriptions because of increasing wage and hour internal audits, unfair pay equity audits and OFCCP reviews. Please note the content of an internal client email concerning a job description action plan due to a recent wage & hour internal audit.

Shared Client Email:

“As you know, the Management Action Plan we agreed to as a result of the 2012 Wage & Hour Internal Audit includes the following specific items:

  • The Compensation/HR Department will implement a bi-annual process to review the exemption determinations by XYZ Corporation with 50% of the firm’s positions in scope for the first year review and the balance in scope for review in the second year.
  • The Compensation/HR Department will enhance the primary repository for job descriptions.  The repository will be enhanced to include a system of codification that memorializes when a specific baseline job description includes additional duties and competencies that would substantially make it distinct from any prior “baseline” job description that may have been in place and may also remain in place for certain parts of the workforce.  As these changes are made, they would automatically trigger an exemption determination review to ensure on-going compliance.

Our current job description repository is simply a shared folder containing Word documents.  We have explored the option of housing job descriptions in our “Big Named HRIS Software”, however, doing that will require quite a bit of development work for IT and for us.  We have also considered storing job descriptions in an “Online Market Pay Studies Website”; however, that makes them available only to the Comp Team.  We needed a tool that would support and facilitate the review of 50% of our jobs (230+) by May 31, 2013.

We found an alternative in a 3rd party vendor that is relatively inexpensive.  DBDescriptions offered by DBSquared, LLC costs $295 per user (we anticipate having three team member users, one user – total cost ~$1,000 per year). This subscription allows for:

  • Electronic collaboration with managers
  • Facilitation of review and version tracking
  • Pre-loaded job description templates that are DOL and OFCCP compliant
  • Tracking job descriptions by job codes used in our HRIS system
  • Tracking and sorting job descriptions by other fields, e.g., FLSA status, level, practice/department

An automated online job description writer has been developed so you can move your job descriptions from the back burner to the front burner. It has been programmed based on years of HR experience and software technology user-friendly flow processes.