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Incomplete Job Descriptions

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

This overlooked topic relates to hiring as well as employee performance and management--not to mention the overall wellness of your organization. Yes, it’s time to talk about incomplete job descriptions.

So why is the job description so important? Well, for starters, it’s the first step in hiring RIGHT. It defines a person’s role in an organization. It sets expectations for day-to-day activities as well as longer-term results. It can improve employee retention and satisfaction rates. It’s also a legal document that can aid in defending decisions regarding hiring, advancement, and terminations. That’s a lot of power packed into two short pages, right?

Here are the hallmarks of complete job descriptions:

Job Title, Department, Report To, and Classification. These elements go a long way toward defining an employee’s role in the organization. And don’t forget to include Direct Reports where applicable. It doesn’t need to be a complete org chart, but this little section provides a snapshot of the chain of command. Knowing where you stand is empowering. And empowering your employees is one way to build a strong and vibrant organization.

Mission Statement or Company Overview. Because it’s important to know what you’re a part of and what your shared purpose is. Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression with your corporate culture. Enough said.

Position Summary. This section is an opportunity to define the goals and purpose of the job, which plays a big part in a person’s organizational role and sets expectations for performance and results.

Key Responsibilities. The main course, if you will. What are the specific activities and responsibilities of the job? This should give a clear picture of regular job duties and cover all aspects of the job. While this section can’t possibly be an exhaustive list of all activities associated with the job, it should touch on all aspects of the job (please try to avoid “all other duties as assigned”), and should in turn be related to the position summary and the job title. A Maintenance Mechanic who is expected to keep the books is perhaps NOT a Maintenance Mechanic, for example.

Required Knowledge and Skills. Self-explanatory, but I will say this--if it says required, make sure it’s required. You can find yourself in hot water if you list a requirement during the recruiting phase while incumbents with the same job title don’t have that knowledge or skill. In that case, make it clear this item is preferred.

Education/Experience/Certifications/Licensure. See above!

Signature Block. Both the employee and the manager should sign and date this document. If the job description changes or an employee changes roles, what are you going to do? That’s right-- sign again!

Working Conditions. Super important! This is probably going to take up that whole second page. It needs to cover lifting and various other physical requirements. Is the environment climate controlled, very hot, very cold? Is it dusty? Contact with chemical agents? Heights? What safety equipment is required? Protect your employees. Protect yourself.

The LMC Group provides HR support ranging from self-service to full HR outsourcing. We can help you manage your most valuable resource: your employees. Contact us at for more information.

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