What it is:
Job description sets out the purpose of a job, details where the job fits into the organization structure, outlines the main accountabilities and responsibilities of the job and the key tasks to be performed. Effective job descriptions help you avoid the scenario of employees saying “I didn’t know that was my job?” or “I don’t know whom I am directly reporting to”! It allows you to realistically and consistently establish job content and appraise performance against measurable criteria.
With detailed job description, Organization defines where the job is to be positioned in the organizational structure. It shows who reports to whom. Also, new employees will rapidly become more effective because their duties and responsibilities are not left to guesswork and chance. In the area of recruitment, it provides essential information to potential recruits (and the recruiting team) so that they can determine the right kind of person to do the job. Detailed job descriptions help you to hire the right candidate first time around since you have clearly assigned and fixed the responsibilities and authorities of their position. It will also enable you to have a solid understanding of what you are seeking in a potential candidate. Legally speaking too, the job description forms an important part of the binding contract of employment. The appraisal defines objectives based on the job description and provides the basis for evaluation of job fit.
Agent of Basic Clarifications:
In a nutshell, Job Description clarifies employer expectations for employee, provides basis of measuring job performance, provides clear description of role for job candidates, provides a structure and discipline for company to understand and structure all jobs and ensure necessary activities, duties and responsibilities are covered by one job or another. Furthermore, it also provides continuity of role parameters irrespective of manager’s interpretation, enables pay and grading systems to be structured fairly and logically, prevents arbitrary interpretation of role content and limit by employee, employer and manager. It serves as essential reference tool in issues of employee/employer dispute and for discipline issues, provides important reference points for training and development areas, provides neutral and objective (as opposed to subjective or arbitrary) reference points for appraisals, performance reviews and counselling, enables organisation to structure and manage roles in a uniform way, thus increasing efficiency and effectiveness of recruitment, training and development, organisational structure, work flow and activities, customer service, etc.
A Startling Discovery! The Nigerian Haulage Services Industry
With the aforementioned fundamental advantages that comes with detailed and effective job description, it is therefore an amazement to come across organisations where many employees are still not clear about what the expectations are concerning their job or whom their direct reports are. We have come across one where many simply don’t have the slightest inkling about whom they are supposed to report to. Some have lost the best potential hires simply because they could not properly articulate what they want from such candidates. In some others, it’s been tales of career stagnation for many employees simply because the organisation lacks the essential benchmarks against which to measure their performances on the job.
The malaise listed above is prevalent in the haulage and logistics industry in Nigeria. We have not yet come across an industry that pays little attention to job description as much as the haulage sub-sector in this part of the world.
In response to a number of enquiries that we have received concerning this particular issue and in continuation of providing information that are useable for your business, we will in the next few days among other things bring to you detailed job descriptions of some positions pertinent to your operation as haulage services providers.
Professionals advise that any job description containing 20-30 tasks is actually more like a part of an operational manual, which serves a different purpose just as lengthy details of health and safety procedures should not be included in a job description. Instead, what organisations do is put them into a health and safety manual, and refer to this in the job description.
However, it is instructive to note that organisation may defer in the way they allot responsibilities to certain jobs or in how they chose to define the line of reporting depending on their peculiar needs and focus. What we will be providing however offers a template or rough sketch of what each job entails and may also serve as a rough guide to helping you come up with better and more improved version.
We look forward to receiving your thoughts on this topic.