Making sure job descriptions are current may not always be on your radar. Here are 5 reasons why up to date job descriptions are essential.

Of all the important tasks that are included in the hiring process, making sure that job descriptions are up-to-date may not always be on your radar. However, if your employees have been in the same position for a while, it’s highly unlikely that their job descriptions are exactly the same as when they were first hired. Over time, employee duties may have shifted, teams may have melded, and new positions might have taken on essential tasks.

It may seem like a trivial part of HR, but outlining and updating job descriptions is an important piece of preparing for future hiring objectives, cultivating current employee productivity, and ensuring long-term workforce sustainability.

Here are five important motivators for using current job descriptions:

1.) Improve Recruiting Results

Writing and organizing job descriptions should start with leadership, managers, and HR personnel coming together to understand what skills and personality traits are needed for a candidate to succeed in their position. Putting together the perfect job description can be tricky–especially when one position spans multiple domains.

Creating an accurate, concise job description begins with identifying an appropriate title, which duties will typically be performed, the vital skills required, what kind of personality is desired, as well as a salary range. If the position in question is currently filled, be sure to ask this employee for input and feedback.

A well-organized and current job description will:

Always be up to date. An effective job description is a living document and should shift and change as often as your company does.

Ensure that the right people apply. When requirements are meticulously outlined, it can help to prevent the wrong candidates from applying for a position where they’re not a good fit, saving HR time and resources.

Help HR understand your workforce “big picture.” For many organizations, HR and leadership don’t always get a lot of face time. Taking the time for all levels within the organization, including HR, to understand what is required of each position can help to paint a better hiring vision for the company at large.

Contribute to a positive company culture. When job descriptions include a personality and relationships aspect in addition to skill set, your organization is better able to identify new hires who will add to a positive company culture. Learn more about the importance of cultivating a positive company culture.

2.) Help Determine Salary

When determining a fair and reasonable salary range, factors such as a candidate’s level of experience, their skill set, an organization’s reputation, and your company’s location should be taken into account, but what about the job description?

When attempting to compare your organization’s salary offer to those offered by other companies hiring for a similar position, having a detailed job description can come in handy. Using a site like, you can search through existing, comparable job descriptions by other organizations and get a realistic estimate on an equitable salary to offer.

3.) Encourage Employee Training and Development

Using updated job descriptions helps to give employees a clear vision for their position and the priorities at hand. A current job description that outlines what is expected from the position can also aid in employee training and development activities, such as measuring employee performance, determining skills gaps, and providing guidance for continued learning.

4.) Boost Employee Productivity

When job descriptions are crystal clear, employees know exactly what tasks are expected of them and can prioritize accordingly. When job descriptions are up to date, staff and managers can better communicate objectively about each employee’s performance and productivity.

As job descriptions are revised, it may become clear that an employee has too much on their plate, or perhaps, not enough. When updating job descriptions, managers may choose to shift an employee’s tasks around to help the employee to be a more efficient part of a team.

For more ways to boost productivity, read Avilar’s new white paper “Energizing Performance Through Competency Management.”

5.) Enhance Workforce Sustainability

No matter what size company you have, workforce adjustments are bound to happen. Whether they’re planned, such as layoffs, dismissals, succession planning, or something unexpected, such as the sudden departure of key staff members, having up to date job descriptions are essential for reorganizing when workforce changes occur.

Detailed job descriptions support HR in conducting competency-based recruitment which goes hand-in-hand with competency management – two key activities that reinforce your organization’s long-term workforce sustainability. Learn more about competency management on our blog.

Ready to start a conversation about your company’s competency or learning management needs? Contact us.