Job Descriptions: The Anchor of Human Asset Management Strategy

November 18, 2017 Joanne Flynn


Job descriptions are the unsung hero driving the Performance Management process. If the performance management process is fundamental to HAMS, then job descriptions are the mighty little, obscure engine driving the whole process.

How important are job descriptions in Human Asset Management Strategy (HAMS) and how can those often forgotten job descriptions be so important? Because if they are only used as HR tools for job branding and compensation, then they are misnamed. If that’s the case, they should be called job categories. Here’s what they should really be doing.

Where in the organization are job descriptions parked?

What is the real, dynamic driving force behind our friend, the job description? To analyze this, we start with where job descriptions are parked. Job descriptions can live in HR, but that should only be their part-time home. Job descriptions should live full time and be relevant to every functional group in any organization, without exception! Job descriptions are the foundation to determine what a job does, how an organization works, how it grows, if it can grow / compete, and / or if it will stagnate. Most importantly, job descriptions must not only live in the operating functions, they need to be relevant and referenced continuously. As a consultant, I have frequently heard these answers to the question, “Can I see your job descriptions?”:

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