Effective Job Descriptions

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A job description serves as a road map for both the employer and the employee to clarify the duties and performance that are expected in exchange for wages. 

What should be included in a well-written job description?
  • Basic job duties – what the employee will be doing on a regular basis
  • Essential functions of the position – the reason that the job exists
  • Minimum skills and requirements – education, certifications or experience that is necessary to perform the job duties
  • Expectations for job performance – whether the employee will be expected to work with others or independently to accomplish job duties and meet deadlines

In addition, the job description also helps determine whether the position is exempt or non-exempt from overtime under the “duties test” of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Misclassifying employees who perform non-exempt job duties and not paying overtime when it is due may result in substantial fines for the employer. Caution: just because an employee is paid a salary (instead of hourly) this does not make them exempt from overtime.

Identifying essential functions of the job in advance is critical to evaluating whether or not reasonable accommodation can be made to allow an otherwise qualified applicant or employee to perform the job duties. If the accommodation would substantially change the nature of the job, the employer may not be required by state or federal laws to modify the position.

How does a job description help manage employee performance?

A job description is also important when addressing and documenting performance deficiencies with an employee.  Clearly communicating duties and expectations in the job description makes it easier to hold the employee accountable for job performance.

Job descriptions should be updated regularly, at least once a year, because job duties change as the company grows and the employee learns new skills. Job descriptions should also be revised before recruiting a new employee to improve the likelihood of finding the right candidate for the position.

An HR professional can help you with all of your human resource needs. 

From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.

For more information about our accounting and human resource services, contact Next Level Solutions at info@nextlevelsol.net or (225) 330-8347.