The notion of having your employees write their own job description might sound a bit…edgy. As the big boss, it’s been your duty to create the “next step” in expanding the business and that, of course, starts with the job description of a new hire. Outsourcing that to your employees sounds like weaponized laziness.
In reality though, our experience shows that having employees foot the load can be beneficial to all three parties; the employer, the employee and the candidates.
Let’s dig into why.
It’s Much More Accurate…
The importance of the job description for hiring future employees is not always placed high on a company’s priority list.
The end goal often overshadows the process of filling a position, so cut-and-copy job descriptions are usually the answer for most. In a somewhat funny comparison, 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, while only 36% of the applicant can say the same (Allegis Group, 2016). With the cut-and-paste style, you’ll often get generic tasks and skills which could be applied to any job in any company. You want to get as specific and concise as possible to find the best person for the job.
It’ll also help in the length of your job description. In a study done by the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of job seekers quit in the in the middle of the application because of their length or complexity (2016). Your employees who are currently in the position will know what the job precisely entails and what is essential to include, removing any unneeded copy. Perhaps what was once accurate a few years or even months ago, could now be outdated or changed.
A concise, straight to the point job description, is critical in increasing the conversion rate from viewer to applicant. There’s no incentive for your employees to load it with jargon and fluff.
…Which Means A Better Applicant Pool
For the applicants, having an accurate and full picture of the job in which they are applying for will generate higher quality and better-fit candidates.
A proper job description should paint a selling-picture for the applicants. They identify the employee characteristics and other qualifications for the job. What are the real responsibilities in the grand scheme of things? Where can you grow within this job and department?
A job description should not only state the job’s task but also the overall company’s culture to give the applicant a better idea and mental view on how (and if) they can fit into that culture. Company culture is one of the driving issues for employee engagement around the world, according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends (2015).
The only people who can appropriately speak on the matter of culture are your employees, who ultimately make-up it.
They Will Be More Engaged
In a shocking study done by Gallup News, 70% of US workers are not engaged at work (2017). The cost of these disengaged employees can cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually (The Engagement Institute, 2017).
The cause of this is not necessarily the job itself, but rather if the person fits the role (and earlier noted, culture). When you have an accurate description of the position you want to fill, with the more accurate applicant pool, you’re aiding the future employee to be more engaged in their work because of the fact that employees who use their strengths, skills, and abilities on a daily basis are six times more likely to be engaged at work (Gallup, 2015).
And Creates a Culture of Contribution and Trust
Increasing employee involvement through the hiring process also gives the current employees a sense of responsibility for the company’s growth and future (Harvard Business Review revealed that 58% surveyed said they trust strangers more than their own boss – seriously). By giving the employee ownership of a fairly critical task for the company’s future, there is a level of trust involved that will likely be reciprocated.
Communication is key in a team and though being open about the hiring process is one thing, taking it a step further and letting your current employees contribute to the process will result in a much more trustful culture.
So… Let Them Write!
Although many other factors may contribute to employee engagement and attraction, fixing a simple, yet critical piece of your company, such as the job description, can help. Having highly engaged employees can increase overall productivity by 21% (Gallup, 2013) – while that might sound like a stretch, we’ve found that it really isn’t. The trust capital you build by engaging employees directly in your human resource growth is palpable.
By letting your current employees write it, your company will have a much more accurate description which will result in more engaged and happier employees overall. It is a win-win for everyone.
20+ year marketing veteran with a mix of big brand experience like Microsoft and Amazon, startups and small mom & pops.