By guest author Judy Slutsky, who is Goldbeck Recruiting’s Certified Professional Human Resources consultant with widespread public and private sector industry experience.
Writing a Job Description
A well written job description is a critical human resources document that is often used as a communication tool between employers and employees to have ongoing dialogue about job expectations. Job descriptions can be used as a basis for evaluating employee performance.
- The job description provides a clear delineation between roles in an organization, notwithstanding cross-training functions.
- They typically include:
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI);
- Key Behavioural Indicators (KBI);
- Training and development requirements.
- Where a job classification system is in place, the job description would include a set of compensable factors for which the company is willing to pay such as skill, effort, responsibility, working conditions, innovation.
- Jobs grouped in each classification would typically contain common KPI and KBI as these jobs would be considered similar in nature.
- Job descriptions can be reviewed for updates on an annual basis or when there are organizational changes such as when an employee assumes a new role, or there is a change in business direction, or a new business opportunity arises.
Key Performance Indicators:
- Are measurable statements that can be used to evaluate employee performance;
- Are aligned with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives;
- Are realistic and attainable given the employees skills, experience and timeframe to achieve them;
- Do not typically outline a strategy.
Key Behavioural Indicators:
- Are measurable statements or contain words which describe outcomes;
- Articulate the most important and desired behavioural skills for the candidate to be competent in a role;
- Are aligned with and demonstrate organizational values;
- Differentiate highly sought-after candidates in a competitive market for talent.
Writing a Job Posting
- A job posting is a critical human resources document and communication tool for employers to reach out to prospective employees about their business needs.
- Job postings typically includes:
- a job title that accurately reflects the work being performed;
- reporting relationships;
- the most critical key performance indicators in the position (10-12 KPI);
- the most highly valued key behavioural indicators desired in candidates (12-14 KBI);
- hard and soft skills required for an employee to be fully competent in the role;
- educational requirements;
- training and development expectations;
- employment details.
- A job posting can be used as:
- a basis for evaluating the most qualified and best fit of those candidates applying for a position;
- criteria to evaluate employee performance in the probationary period;
- the employee’s job description.
Establishing a Salary Range
There are several considerations when establishing a competitive salary range for future employees, as well as when conducting salary reviews for current employees.
- An internal company salary review involves the analysis of internal salary data over a time period (3-5 years) to help establish current and previous annual salary ranges and criteria:
- Identify a high, mid and low point for annual salaries with corresponding criteria on employee education, skills, experience at each of the three points;
- A salary range can be established for each position using these three points and criteria;
Factor in the total compensation offered to employees at each point: signing bonus, performance bonus, company bonus, commission, cost of living increase, group health and Company benefits.
- Internal salary reviews can also include an analysis of the total compensation provided for hourly, temporary and contract employees.
- External salary surveys for specific job positions typically consider the industry, region and company size, to name a few factors. An external salary survey can be one tool used to define a fair and competitive salary for the employees of a Company.
- External salary surveys can be used as a tool to help establish a benchmark or an average/median salary for a specific position.
- An employer may choose to offer current and/or prospective employee’s a salary outside of an established salary range in order to retain high valued employees and/or secure the desired talent in a competitive job market.
- Companies offering a competitive salary range including an attractive total compensation package set themselves apart as an employer in a competitive job marketplace.
The employee’s first 3 (or 6 months) in a new job position is typically designated as a “probationary period”. It is a best practice in human resources to conduct either one or two formal probation reviews within the probationary period.
Why invest in a formal probation review? The key benefits to the business and the employee include:
- Fair and equitable human resources practices;
- Provides a framework for managers to gauge and guide a new employee’s performance;
- Supports new employees with a roadmap on what success looks like in the Company.
A Formal Probation Review and Process
- The employer develops a written probation review template to outline the performance expectations (KPI) and behavioural indicators (KBI) defining what success looks for the new employee during the probationary period.
- The KPI and KBI identified on the job posting can be used as a basis for evaluating employee performance in a probation review.
- The employer prepares the probation review form with employee input and agreement on the KPI and KBI identified as performance criteria.
- A probation review form can include numerical ratings for each KPI and KBI.
- Both employer (employee performance assessment) and employee (self-assessment) complete the review form, independent of each other.
- It is a best practice to involve a third neutral party (internal HR person, external HR consultant) to conduct the review and prepare the final review form.
- A heads-up probation review (first review) is used to outline the performance expectations required within the probationary period with time for the employee to make performance improvements during the probationary period.A heads-up probation review provides a formal opportunity for the employee to identify additional support they require from the Manager and/or the Company to succeed in the position.
- A final probation review (end of the probationary period) is the formal meeting to identify the Company’s decision on whether the new employee has passed the probationary period and is accepted as a permanent employee.