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Pros & Cons of Detailed Job Descriptions

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A job description is something that can help hiring managers find good employees, but creating detailed job descriptions is something that many managers put off, according to online business legal resource NOLO.com. While an outline of your available position seems like a useful tool, there are pros and cons of job descriptions that every employer should weigh before releasing a job outline.

Assists in Finding Qualified Employees

A detailed job description can help an employer to find qualified employees for open positions. Posting a detailed list of job requirements and employee credentials can encourage qualified employees to apply while discouraging those that do not possess the proper backgrounds from submitting their information. A detailed job description can help to reduce the time it takes to find the right employee for the job.

Defines Position for the Rest of the Company

When a company starts to grow, the influx of new employees can sometimes make things confusing for long-time employees. By using detailed job descriptions, all employees can have an understanding of what is expected of each position. As new employees are added, their role within the company is well-defined by their detailed job description. This also helps to maintain the organizational structure as employees and managers can keep tabs on who new employees report to and where the new positions fit in the company's structure.

Limits Employee Growth

A detailed job description can tend to limit the ways in which an employee can grow and develop within the organization. Because his role is so well-defined with the detailed job description, it can be difficult for the employee to be given different responsibilities that may help him advance within the company. Management may not want to deviate from the detailed job description, and this creates a situation where the employee may not be able to advance from his current position.

Reduces Employee Contributions

If a manager uses a detailed job description to determine how she will utilize the talents of her employees, then she could be missing out on skills the employees have that fall outside the detailed description. Because the detailed job description offers the manager a definitive road map on how to delegate responsibility, she may miss out on all of the additional talents her staff has to offer.

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About the Author

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.