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Job Descriptions

3 early insights for HR managers on the state of job descriptions in 2020

By Jon Spratt on July, 7 2020
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Jon Spratt

Our annual State of Job Descriptions survey is underway, and we’ve heard from HR professionals across North America about their own job description process.

It’s time to reveal some early insights from the data.

  1. Job descriptions are still eating up a lot of time for HR professionals.

In our research so far, we’ve found that over 60% of respondents say they take 2 hours or more on every job description. That’s a lot of time that could potentially be spent elsewhere.

But when you start to think about the different pieces involved in assembling job descriptions, it’s not a huge surprise that those without great tools or processes in their organization are spending a long time. First there’s the research and consultation with other stakeholders; then there’s the actual writing of the job description; and then, of course, the approval process, which can sometimes ground things to a halt as various members of the organization share their input.


  1. Nailing responsibilities is the toughest part.

We’ve asked our respondents to identify the sections of job descriptions that are most difficult to get right. The early results show that getting the responsibilities section of a job description correct is the most difficult, with over 60% of respondents thus far identifying it as a pain point.



  1. For most people, there’s room for process improvements.

We also asked our respondents to rank themselves and the organization: “How do you feel about your company’s current job description process?”

Respondents were asked to rate their process on a scale of 1 (“it’s a drag”) to 5 (“it’s great as it is.”)

Thus far, only 6% of our respondents are giving their job description process top marks. On the other side of the coin, 73% are saying that it’s a 3 out of 5 (“ok but could be better”), or worse.

12% abhor their process, giving it a ranking of 1 out of 5.


Share your insights!

Take our State of Job Descriptions survey to let us know how your job description process looks. In exchange, we’ll send you a free job description of your choice, plus you’ll get first access to the completed report when it’s ready. Take the <5 minute survey here!


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Post last updated: January 6, 2021