To help employees properly distribute their efforts by studying the time percentages and priorities attached to tasks, incumbents can learn how they should use the hours in the day. They can see how they ought to divide their time and effort among different tasks. The job description aids motivation by guiding worker allocation of limited energies.
By preventing worker resistance to assignments.
The job description makes clear up front what the worker will have to do for the organization during their employment. When employees are first hired they are often given limited assignments. They may be assigned only those sets of tasks that urgently need addressing or they may be put to work on only the easier parts of the job. The company may intend to expand the employee's assignment to the whole job, or to shift the person to another part of the job for which he or she was hired, later on. Frequently employees resist these changes because they have become set in the routine they started with. Sometimes they will question whether the new assignment is what they were hired for. Job descriptions handed to the person when first hired will tell the individual what the whole job is like and allow the worker to anticipate a potential future shift. Knowing ahead of time what tasks will be encountered can mentally prepare the worker for new assignments. When the task demand is actually encountered, it does not generate shock, disappointment, anxiety and accompanying low morale and resistance.
By detecting opportunities for the job to be adapted to individual personality.
As mentioned earlier, the degree of specificity in job design can be detected by analysis of the job description. If employees' work assignments are relatively ambiguous, this indicates opportunity for them to shape their jobs, to a degree, to fit their unique needs and personal characteristics. When workers can mold work to match their own personalities, they generally experience more job satisfaction.
By clustering jobs to facilitate the administration of rewards.
Jobs that are alike in the demands they place on workers can be grouped together. One type of pay/benefits package can then be established to reward incumbents effectively in all jobs in that cluster. Expensive individualized packages need not be developed for each different job (or each different employee) if all are quite similar on critical design dimensions. The cost of designing and administering rewards can thus be reduced.
By comparing internal wages and salaries with external wages and salaries.
Job descriptions do not only help determine internal equity in pay as discussed earlier. By comparing wage/salary data, gathered by survey for jobs outside the organization, with the wages/salaries of like jobs within the organization, management can also determine whether or not adjustments may be in order--adjustments needed to boost employee satisfaction and aid the organization in attracting and retaining its labor force.
To acquire the right people to work in an organization you need to compare the skills, talents, and capabilities of candidates with the kinds of demands placed on the workers in the workplace. The job description tells you what you need to look for in candidates. It helps you effectively match a potential employee with a suitable job. There are a great variety of specific uses for the job description in the area of employee staffing.
For developing person specifications.
Person (job) specifications are statements about the skills, abilities, knowledge, experience, and education one needs to possess in order to perform well in their new role. By studying the duties and responsibilities in the job description, the analyst can infer which skills are relevant and what level of each skill is required to meet performance standards. Once these standards have been established, then information about the degrees to which candidates possess these skills can be gathered and assessed relative to the required degrees (levels). Candidates can thus be objectively compared. Also knowing the set of all skills for the organization allows management to assess how well the labor available in a given labor market matches organizational requirements.
For job posting and preparing job ads.
A quality job ad should indicate the major responsibilities associated with the position. The job description gives this information. When an opening comes up in an organization, the job description for that opening can be posted for inspection by other employees who might be interested in applying for the job, and the job description can be consulted by management for preparing job ads or other recruiting literature for newspapers, technical journals, the local employment service, and so on. To assure ad validity, consulting an accurate and up-to-date job description is a must. Only with a valid ad can the organization ensure that qualified people apply for the job.
For designing application blanks.
For job application blanks to be worthwhile and valid they need to incorporate questions of applicants that relate to the requirements of the job. To determine useful questions about relevant education and experience requirements, consulting the job description is absolutely essential. The job description tells what the employee will have to do for the organization. Application blanks should ask questions of applicants that will give the analyst information on how well the applicants can do what they would be hired to do.
For guiding questioning during candidate interviews.
Interviewing is an often-used means of screening candidates but it seldom, in practice, is a very valid exercise. As with application blanks, interviews should focus on relevant questioning with questions designed to find out how well candidates can likely perform tasks for which they are being considered. Interviewers would do well to have at their ready disposal job descriptions to help them formulate job-relevant questions. Structuring interviews with questions derived from analysis of the job description and questions that probe candidate potential for performing specific tasks tends to result in a much higher success rate in selecting the best candidates for jobs.
Also following the job description in the questioning of various candidates tends to standardize the interviewing process across a variety of candidates. This results in more objective comparison of candidates.
For determining needed personality traits.
From analysis of such factors, one can isolate the personality trait profile a person ought to have for maximum performance and satisfaction. Whether one should be aggressive or laid back, people oriented or independent, emotional or even tempered can, like skills and knowledge requirements, be inferred from the job description.
See the following articles for more information: