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Best/Next Practices in Job Description
Design & Management
About Don Berman
Professional Services Leader - HRTMS
 Since 1989, Don Berman has spearheaded the
introduction and adoption HR and talent management
applications and technology driven best practices at
large and mid-sized companies throughout the U.S. As cofounder and Professional Services Lead, Don has helped
guide HRTMS Talent Management solutions toward a new
Job Description-centric model that resulted in HRTMS
Jobs--the leader in Job Description Management.
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Best/Next Practices in Job
Description Design & Management
presented by Don Berman
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Why Managing Job Descriptions
Is the Single Most Critical Issue for Strategic HR
Identify and
manage bottom
performers
Identify and
retain top
performers
Protect your company
Benchmark/Evaluate
from regulatory
jobs to compensate
sanction
employees fairly
Develop an
equitable salary
structure
Protect your future with
effective succession plans
Motivate employees with
engaging Career Paths
Evaluate employee
productivity &
performance
Recruit the right people
A clear understanding of the Job is Required to:
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Identify Employee
Training Gaps
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Are Your Job Descriptions Ignored?
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Why Job Descriptions Lag Behind
•
•
People think of them as documents/paper
No one person can complete them
– HR knows how to write them
– Comp/Compliance have concerns
– Managers/Stakeholders know the
details of the job
•
People don’t know where to start
– Especially for new Jobs
– Lack of content
•
No Structured way to go about it
– Different formats/focus
•
Everything else is more important
– Recruiting, Performance Reviews,
Compensation, Market Pricing
Despite the fact that none of these can be done well without an effective Job Description
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Job Data
Central to HR/Talent Management
• A Robust up-to-date job
description repository can
ensure that all aspects of your
HR and talent management
activities are reading from the
same hymn book.
• So the top talent you hire,
thrive and produce to grow
your business while insuring
compliance with regulatory
bodies.
Career Pathing
Succession
Training
Performance
Management
System/
Process
Compliance
FLSA, ADA,
FDA, Joint
Commission
Job
Description
ATS/Recruiting
Process
Compensation
Plans &
Salary
Structure
Corporate
Culture
Future Plans
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Customers
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About This Presentation
•
•
Although we provide recommendations -- Not an Ivory Tower
Based on what our clients are doing
–
–
–
–
–
Components they are using
What they are using them for
Samples/Guidelines
Statistics
Screenshots/document snippets for context
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We See Job Descriptions Differently
• Job Descriptions
 Cater to the lowest common denominator
 Consist of blocks of dense, opaque text
• Job Repository
 Leverages conversations with Stakeholders
• Collects all the info you need
• Controls who can see what
 Provides information to those that need it
• Folks in other roles, hiring managers, recruiters, Compensation, OD
• Other systems: ATS, Performance Management, HRMS
 Turn blocks of text into Data Points
• That you can search/query/interface with other systems
• Change the way you think about Job Descriptions
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Looking for a cookbook?
• Not One Size Fits all
• What’s in your Job
Description depends on:
Career Pathing
Succession
Training
Performance
Management
System/
Process
Compliance
FLSA, ADA, FDA,
Joint
Commission
Job
Description
ATS/Recruiting
Process
Compensation
Plans &
Salary
Structure
Corporate
Culture
Future Plans
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The Agenda
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
General Guidelines
Legal Consideration
Job Description Elements– What/How/Why
Competencies, Skills, and Essential Functions
Collaboration
Content
Job Descriptions and Job Posting
FLSA Determination
Reusable Components (Inheritance)
Organizing Job Descriptions
Similar JDs/Consolidation
Access
Historical Job Descriptions
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General Guidelines - Job
• It’s about the Job
 Everything in your JD must be about the Job
 Resist using JD to describe an individual or personality traits
• Upbeat personality
• Excellent customer services skills
 For ADA Include only relevant necessary requirements
• If the item is not absolutely necessary to do the job
– Leave it out
– Include it as a Non-Essential function
 Future of the Job
• Look forward to the what may be needed down the road
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General Guidelines - Language
• Clear
 Avoid flowery overwritten and vague verbiage:
• “…responsible for communicating any internal issues of importance to
any of the constituencies involved in the company’s day-to-day
happenstances, in formats including, but not limited to daily updates,
weekly publications, annual reports.”
Vague, Confusing, Does not describe what the person will
actually do
• “Handles internal communications regarding company decisions and
accomplishments on an as needed basis”
• Reasonable/Truthful
 Avoid Hyperbole “On call 24/7”
 Don’t Glamorize the JD
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General Guidelines – Language cont.
• Use language that points to desired results
• That indicates how success can be measured
• Without exaggeration uses powerful/influential
language
 “Through the use of direct marketing, candidates must be
able to build and measurably grow sales to a sustainable
client base.”
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Legal Considerations
• Don’t discriminate by:
Age
Race/Religion
Marital Status
Gender Specific
“…Youthful energy…”
“Must be able to work on Yom Kippur”
“Travel Requires unmarried…”
“Previous experience as a waitress”
• Don’t undermine at will employment
“This is a permanent Position”
“…prides itself on employee retention”
Don’t Mention unless Temp
Omit. Implies ongoing employment
• Don’t make promises you can’t keep
“…performance will be rewarded”
“…will lead to training opportunities”
“…supervises a staff of trained professionals”
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Legal Considerations cont.
• Don’t violate Applicants Privacy
“…Ability to function without sleep…”
“…single able spend full energy on the job”
“…must have “blue state” mentality”
“…candidate must not have other work commitments”
• Don’t create FLSA Classification Problems
– JDs are not required but essential function are usually central in any
dispute
“…Supervise 2 employees/can hire and fire”
“Eligible for overtime pay”
“This is an exempt position”
“…Salaried position”
“…Will supervise department”
Omit.
Don’t use these terms or
Discuss this topic
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Legal Considerations cont.
• Protect against FLSA wage and hour lawsuit
In an article, Beware 'Misclassification Creep' in Employee Exemption, Littler Mendelson
shareholder and co-chair of the firm’s wage-and-hour practice group, Lee Schreter states,
“It’s easy enough for companies to ask their employees to sign off on their job descriptions
during their periodic performance reviews, so there is both mutual understanding and, for the
employer, well-documented proof that the employee knows where they stand. That kind of
evidence, I believe even the courts will be hard-pressed to dismiss.”
 Compliance - Job Description Acknowledgement
•
Healthcare (Joint Commission)
•
All Companies (FLSA)
•
Bio Tech (CFR Part 11)
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Job Description Elements
• Job Attributes
 Job Indicative Information
 Organization Information
•
•
•
•
•
•
Description/Summary
Essential Functions
Qualifications
Physical Demands/Working Conditions
Competencies
Scope
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Job Attributes
• Indicative Information Typical Elements

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

Job Code
Job Title
FLSA Classification
Grade
Date Created/Revised
Reviewed by
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Job Attributes
• Organizational Information –

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

Business Unit/Region/Division, etc.
Reports To
Locations
Departments
Supervision Exercised/Received
Managers/Employees
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Description/Summary
Overview of Job, used as a synopsis, for market pricing and
recruiting. Used as a hook to draw in the reader.
• Sample Guidelines
 Short statement that states why the job exists
 Short statement that describes the role and how it supports the
company’s key objectives using specific measures of success
 Elevator Pitch for the job
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Description/Summary
Concerns for Description/Summary
• Blank Page Syndrome
• War and Peace Syndrome
Remedies
• Feedback/Revision Process
• Text Limits (75 words)
• Spell Check
• Leverage Content
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Definition of terms:
Essential Functions, Skills and Competencies
• You have competencies (measurable/acquired over
time)
 Knowledge, behavior, characteristics, aptitudes and/or strengths
that are needed to perform and excel.
 e.g., Problem solving
• That allow you to learn Skills (acquired quickly)
 Something tangible you can know or learn
 e.g., Event Planning
• That you can apply to accomplish Essential Functions
 Daily tasks that need to be performed.
 e.g., Manages logistics for major corporate events. These include:
“town hall” meetings and webcasts, investor relations…
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Essential Functions
• AKA Duties, Responsibilities, Accountabilities…
• Used for:
 Performance appraisal.
 ADA – Can an employee with a disability perform these
functions; if not, what accommodation can be made?
 Recruiting/posting
 FLSA, Affirmative Action and Joint Commission
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Essential Functions
• Sample Guidelines
 What they do, not how they do it. If it’s less than 5-10%, should
not include unless it is a highly critical function
 Statements that describe the main areas in which the role holder
must produce results in order to achieve the purpose of the role.
They start with a verb and describe the end results rather than
duties or activities or broad, vague statements. These
responsibilities should be limited to the six or seven most important
ones and put in descending order of importance.
 Begin each task statement with an action word (verb), which
describes a specific kind of behavior. Then describe what, how
and why each task is performed.
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Essential Function (More…)
Template for Building Essential Function Statements
Result To Be Achieved
“Control Expenses BY”
Action (using Action verb)
“Analyzing department budgeting and accounting reports”
Means to measure success
“To keep monthly expenses below 10% of Revenue”
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Essential Functions
• Information captured
 Description of Essential Function
 Also
•
•
•
•
Percent of Time
Frequency
Level
Weight
These can affect FLSA Determination
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Essential Functions
Other options for Essential Functions
• Additional Responsibilities
 Used to generalize JDs
 Used to define responsibilities that may not be used for all
employees in a job
 e.g. Work Nights/weekends, perform a location/business unit
specific task
• Entity Specific Functions
• Required Responsibilities
 For All Jobs
 Mission/Vision
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Qualifications
• Used for recruiting, career pathing and compliance
• Sample Guidelines:
 “We educate our managers that they need to determine
the minimum and preferred education/certification, skills,
and experience required for the job so that HR can legally
defend why an applicant is or is not hired. ”
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Qualifications
• Most Common Information captured




Education
Experience
Skills
Licenses/Certifications
(Joint Commission)
• Also Captured
 Technology/
Software Skills
 Languages
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Qualifications
Category
Item
Details/
Other
Required/
Preferred
Proficiency
Other
% Using
Education
Level
X
X
~ 100%
Experience
Level
X
X
~ 100%
Skills
Skill
X
X
Lic/Cert
Lic/Cert
X
X
Technology
Tech Skill
X
X
X
~ 10%
Languages
Language
X
X
X
~ 10%
X
~ 90%
Timeframe
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~80%
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Physical Demands/Working Conditions
Used for ADA situations to determine if an employee is capable
of performing in the job
•
•
•
In conjunction with Essential Functions
Used to determine what
accommodations can be made
Most Common Information captured



Physical Demand/Working Condition
Description
Frequency
Weight (for weight related items)
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Physical Demands/Working Conditions
Process for determining physical demands/working
conditions Items
• Industry specific
 Corporate/Healthcare/Manufacturing
• Often culled from disability claims over time
• Reviewed periodically to evolve over time with
changes in job equipment and ADA.
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Physical Demands/Working Conditions
Category
% Using
Physical Demands
~ 100%
Working Conditions
~ 100%
Physical Demands with weight requirements
~80%
Coordination/Visual Acuity
<10%
Essential Physical Requirements
<10%
Bloodborne Pathogens
<10%
Cognitive Requirements
<10%
Emotional Effort
<5%
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Competencies
•
•
•
•
•
•
Measurable/score-able
Used for performance reviews
Most use in conjunction with Essential Functions
Corporate – Behavioral
Healthcare - task related due to regulatory requirements
Number Limited
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Competencies
Category
% Using
Core Competencies
~20%
Departmental Competencies
~50%
Position Specific Competencies
~60%
Leadership Competencies
~40%
Customer Service/others
<10%
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Scope
• Generally, help gauge impact of the job on an
organization
• More specifically





Job Evaluation
Grading
Compensation
Participation in bonus plan
Aid in FLSA determination
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Scope
Some examples are:
Freedom to Act
Problem Complexity
Impact
Supervision Exercised/
Received
• Financial Responsibility
• Budget Responsibility
•
•
•
•
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Scope
• Job Evaluation - Factors used for leveling are dictated by the
leveling methodology various IPE(s), Hay or homegrown Excel
Point Factor System
• Some examples are:






Nature/Area of Impact
Creativity
Internal/External Contacts
Project Management
Business Expertise
Leadership
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Collaboration
•
•
Collaboration is the key to effective job descriptions because the
knowledge needed is embedded in multiple Stakeholders.
Typical participants are:
 Hiring Manager
 HR Generalists
 Compensation
•
Track changes paradigm
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Collaboration
•
Collaboration must be flexible, allowing stake holders to reach out to
other contributors on the fly:
 Upper-level Managers
 Department/Entity/Location Leaders
 Other SME’s
•
Ad hoc Reviews Provide simplicity/flexibility
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Collaboration Best Practice – Stake Holders
Keep it Simple
• Allow managers to make requests simply from their perspective
• Empower HR Business partners to route for further approval

Manager
Selects Descriptions
Mark-up Process
HR/HR Business Partner
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Collaboration Best Practice - Oversight
Step 1 Reviewer(s)
Step 2 Reviewer(s)
Step 3 Reviewer(s)...
HR/Compensation
Final Approval
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Content
• Sources of Content




Stakeholders
Client Job Descriptions
HRTMS Content Library
Client libraries/data from other systems
• Content Applied to





Summary
Essential Function
Competencies
Skills
Less often,
Qualifications
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Content-Search
• Search Content





By Job Description
By Job Family/Function
By Occupation
By Saved List
Standard Statements
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Content-Promoting Consistency
• Standard Statements
• Reusing/Refining Existing Content
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Job Descriptions and Job Posting
• Low hanging fruit for integration
• Automate or cut and paste
• Attended/background integration
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Explore the Web for Job Postings
Explore Postings
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FLSA Questionnaires
• DOL Questionnaires
• State or other Questionnaires
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Inheritance
Inherit Data from Parent Job Descriptions
• Typically Essential Function, Skills, Certifications, Competencies
• But could be any Job Description Element
Changes to Parent auto populate to children
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Inheritance - Uses
•
Generic Jobs

•
Entity

•
Nurses, Accountants, etc.
Department, Division, Business Unit, Location etc.
Job Classification



Job Family/Function
Exempt/Non-Exempt, EEO
Arbitrary Classification
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Organizing Job Descriptions (View)
• Filter JDs By Entity/Other attributes

Business Unit, Department, FLSA/EEO Classification, Job with openings, etc.
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Organizing Job Descriptions (Job Families)
• By Job Family/Function
• Career Paths
• Related Jobs
• Side-By-Side Views
 Career Matrix
 Qualifications Comparison
 Scope Factor Analysis
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Organizing Job Descriptions (Analysis)
• Best Practice – Matrix Explorer
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Organizing Job Descriptions (Consolidating)
Relationship between Job Codes(HRMS) to Job Descriptions
• Many (Job Codes) to one Job Description
 Often Driven by concerns due to Legacy JD Management
 Facilitated by entity specific Elements
• One (Job Code) to One Job Description
 Best Practice for Repository
 But Some Clients want a 1:1 ratio of JDs to employees
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Similar Jobs/Identification
• Identify jobs that are similar enough to be candidates for
consolidation
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Similar Jobs/Consolidation
• Consolidate Job Descriptions/Create Parent Job Descriptions
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Access
• Provide access to:
 HR/Compensation
 Managers
 Employees
95%
50%
HR/Comp
5%
Only
Managers
Managers
Stakeholders
Stakeholders
Employees
Employees
Employees
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Keep a Record of Historical Job Descriptions
• Defend Hiring Decisions
• Protect yourself against Regulatory Audit
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Wrap up
If you stop thinking of a Job Description as being
limited by the restrictions imposed by documents:
• You’ll see that a Job Description Repository can:
 Drive Performance, Compensation, Recruiting, Succession, and
Training
 Job Descriptions are the logical centerpiece of your Talent
management Landscape
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What Did We Miss?
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Questions
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How To Contact Us
Don Berman
don@hrtms.com
Ashley Robinson
ashley@hrtms.com
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www.hrtms.com
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