Why Free Job Descriptions Sometimes Fall Short

January 29, 2018 Caitlin Leishman

Are your employees able to accurately describe what their official job duties are? Many organizations that use free job descriptions have employees that struggle when asked to define what their job officially entails. Some even have vague or misleading job descriptions that mostly refer to ‘performing additional tasks as required’ or other uninformative statements. Another common issue is a failure to attract job applications due to poorly worded or confusing job descriptions.

While free job description creators are a quick, basic solution that work for some companies, they have their shortcomings for organizations that require a more strategic approach to hiring and selection.

In order to attract the best applicants and ensure your employees are performing to their best potential, you need to ensure that your job descriptions are informative and provide a strong foundation for successful performance. By moving beyond free job description models and transitioning to a competency approach, you can attract and manage talent more effectively.

How Can You Use Competencies in Your Job Descriptions?

Competencies are the building blocks for competency-based talent management, and define the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for success in the workplace. By using competencies in your job descriptions, you gain a significant advantage over other organizations. Free job description creators tend to simply list the tasks required of a position, but with competencies, you make applicants and/or current employees aware of the skills and behaviors required to successfully perform these tasks.

This allows interviewers to more accurately describe job requirements, help managers implement more effective feedback, and also provides a significant benefit to employees, in that they understand more accurately how suited they are to a position. Due to an increasing trend of moving away from task-based job structure, competency-based job descriptions are becoming more and more common.

The Benefits of Competency-Based Job Descriptions

Overall, here are the main benefits of incorporating competency-based job descriptions into your HR practices:

  1. Improved interviewing: Competency-based job descriptions can be easily transformed into behavioral interview questions that effectively identify a candidate’s ability to perform a job.
  2. Improved job ads: Make a better first impression with applicants by giving them a more accurate sense of what’s actually expected on the job.
  3. Guided development: Align learning opportunities with the behavioral indicators for each competency in a job description, giving employees a clear learning path.

An easy way to incorporate competencies into your job descriptions is to use HRSG’s CompetencyCore Job Description Builder, which gives you the ability to create and manage effective job descriptions.

We offer a variety of customized competencies created in house by industrial-organizational psychologists and competency experts. These competencies allow you to create a job description for any of your unique business needs, whether you need to highlight technical expertise, require certain behavioral characteristics, or are looking to train future leadership.

To learn more about our Job Description Builder or our competencies, contact one of our experts today! 

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