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Job Descriptions: A New Opportunity for HR Technology Innovation

Job descriptions have long served as a foundational element of an HR department’s daily operations. This is largely due to the organization needing a common lens and framework through which to hire, evaluate, develop and compensate employees. And in fact, one of the few items in the HR toolkit that has been able to serve as that lens is job descriptions. In the absence of these standardized role definitions and qualifications, organizations place themselves at risk of potential litigation and regulatory compliance violations, and even greater potential damage to the business in terms of its ability to hire, retain and motivate the workforce. A blueprint that clearly describes what a job entails—and what success in the role looks like—is indispensable in any people-centric organization.

But there are challenges that cannot be overlooked and should not be minimized when it comes to maintaining job description accuracy across departments. Different functions within the organization can have unique conceptions of roles, even when they are similarly named or theoretically equivalent. These challenges rise to an acute level when we consider that many of today’s current, cutting-edge roles were scarce or non-existent just a few years ago. Descriptions for jobs such as Data Scientist, Employee Experience Leader, Brand Storyteller or Chief Medical Officer can vary across companies and industries, or even across business units within the same organization. Furthermore, the descriptions and responsibilities for these roles are still being fine-tuned in most organizations.


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About the Author


Mark Smith

CEO and Chief Research Officer
Ventana Research

Mark Smith is the CEO and Chief Research Officer of Ventana Research and leads the firm’s global market agenda for business and technology. Mark is a digital technology enthusiast who loves the art and science of market research and advisory for educating and inspiring technology buyers and suppliers. With over 30 years of experience in the technology industry, Mark is a subject matter expert in enterprise software and innovation for digital business.