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Why Do You Need Job Descriptions?

March 15, 2023by Barbara Flynn0

Often, business owners ask, “What is a Job Description?”

Job Descriptions are written documents that define each position in the company. They are the core of every position in an organization. Job descriptions are helpful because:

  • It makes recruiting for the position easy.
  • It would be difficult to determine compensation for the position.
  • It is the best way to have written communication regarding expectations you have of them.
  • Helps to ensure the position is properly classified to avoid any compliance issues with the government such as exempt status, workers’ compensation, determine legitimate minimum qualifications.


What is the structure of a Job Description?

There are five parts to a job description:

  • Heading – Title, who the position reports to, the department and FLSA status
  • Summary – An overview of the duties of the position (i.e., Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers)
  • Job Duties – Lists the essential duties and responsibilities of the position.
  • Job Specifications or Qualifications – Education; experience, math skills, reading skills, writing skills, computer skills, licenses
  • Special Demands – Work environment and any special physical demands


What are legal ramifications of mistakes in Job Descriptions?

  • Written incorrectly, employers can have issues with various governing agencies:
    • Department of Labor – Proper classification (exempt vs nonexempt from overtime)
    • Equal Pay Act – Comparing jobs, pay values and gender
    • Equal Employment Opportunity/Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – Company pay values and protected classes
    • Occupational Safety and Health Act – Working conditions/environment – lifting, climbing ladders, etc.
    • Americans with Disabilities Act – Defining the essential functions of the job
  • Issues can arise if the job description is vague, inaccurate or incomplete.


How does a Job Description protect me?

  • A properly written job description will help employers in litigation matters.
  • They help in determining worker’s compensation classifications.
  • They help with disciplinary matters.
  • They help with unemployment matters.


How and where can I get them?

  • Consult an HR Professional who knows and understands the process. Don’t follow “Do It Yourself” Guides. That’s when you can get yourself in trouble. You know your business; let the experts take care of the areas of the business you are unfamiliar with.

Barbara Flynn

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