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8 Reasons Position Descriptions are the BOSS of all HR Documents

8 Reasons Position Descriptions are the BOSS of all HR Documents
As a business owner or manager, you may think you have a million more important things to do than write a position description for every role in your company.

Particularly in small business, where there is a need for flexibility within the scope and responsibility and daily duties of each individual, to meet the fluctuating needs and demands of a fluid business structure, these 'structured' documents can often seem limiting and unnecessary.

However, accurate and detailed Position Descriptions, in my opinion, are the most important document to have in your business, when it comes to managing staff, and here is why:


1) They create structure as we all know, where there are no rules people instinctively will make up their own. Position descriptions which are clear, appropriately detailed and cover the nature, scope, and duties of the role, as well as the expectations around behaviour and performance standards create a working 'rule book' for your employees.

2) They set the boundaries you know that feeling you have when an employee oversteps the mark, just a little, not enough for you to say something but enough for it to drive you mad? Well, a clearly written position description can put an end to that and provide you with a clear rule book to come back to and correct the behaviour.

3) They improve efficiency - They allow you to structure the business according to what needs doing and how it should be done, in the most efficient and effective way. Without clear Position Descriptions which are prepared prior to hiring and reviewed regularly, many businesses find themselves working around the people they have, and what they can or are willing to do, not what the business needs.

4) They provide clarity - for you as a business owner or manager having position descriptions for each role allows you to understand where any gaps lie in your business, and where you may be needing to allocate skills, experience, and expertise as you grow.

5) They provide guidelines - for both staff and managers when it comes to performance expectations and managing poor performance. By having clear definitions within a position description around the expectations of what roles are to be performed, and how this is to be done, you have a tool to use against which to measure performance and manage appropriately.

6) They create certainty - Certainty for employees is crucial, they fundamentally want to know what is expected of them, and then how they are going in comparison to those expectations. This helps employees feel confident and comfortable with what they are required to do, and how this is to be done. Many employees thrive off this sort of reassurance around the employers expectations of them, so having these in place is a simple way to provide that structure and certainty for your staff.

7) They increase the success of any recruitment campaign - By having an up to date and accurate position description in place prior to commencing the recruitment campaign, you are much much more likely to appoint an appropriate candidate, because you have clarity around what you need in the role, and what skills, experience and expertise are required to fulfil these requirements.

8) They provide the framework - for your regular and structured performance review process. The position description is the key tool through which you can easily assess your employees performance, and implement appropriate career development pathways, and training and development opportunities based on this.

Ready to get started on creating your Position Descriptions but not sure what to include? Grab your Position Description checklist here.


Author:Kristy-Lee Billett
About: Kristy-Lee has worked in the field of HR and recruitment since 1999. She holds undergraduate qualifications in Psychology, a Masters in Human Resource Management, is an Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Connect via:LinkedIn

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