Well-defined job descriptions provide a foundation for all your human resource (HR) processes and decisions. Their value is not often recognized in smaller organizations, especially in startups, where change is a constant and roles evolve quickly.
When defining the responsibilities within your startup, think about the work that needs to be done and how best to organize that work, to get the most value from your investment in people. Job descriptions can and should be a foundation for talent management.
A good job description will:
Job descriptions should capture the key elements of a job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of daily tasks. Keep them general enough to allow for some flexibility in the assignment of new tasks without needing to update them.
A single job description can apply to many employees, provided the following elements are essentially the same:
As part of your HR strategy, use a consistent job description template (see below) to ensure all necessary aspects are considered. In Ontario, every organization with 10 or more employees is responsible to comply with the Pay Equity Act, so it is wise to align with these requirements from the beginning.
Write as clear a job description as possible. It should include the following information:
When organizing your ideas to prepare a job description, it can help to follow a template. The document below is a sample template for a job description.