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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

Steve Goldberg Image Circle

Steve Goldberg

VP and Research Director
Ventana Research

Steve Goldberg is responsible for the human capital management (HCM) research at Ventana Research. Steve guides HR and business leaders to manage their workforce to gain competitive advantage and value from their investments. He covers the major areas including candidate engagement, employee experience, HRMS, learning management, payroll optimization, talent management, total rewards management and workforce management.