Could you send us job descriptions for all 1,000 of your jobs by next week?

Because DCI has noticed an increase in the number of OFCCP requests for copies of job descriptions, we thought this might be a good time to discuss the importance of job descriptions. From an audit perspective, job descriptions can be a double-edged sword. If they are written with sufficient detail, they can provide support for a contractor’s assertion that selection criteria are job related or that a merit variable used to explain compensation differences (e.g., graduate degree, security clearance) is indeed an important factor in establishing starting pay. If however, job descriptions lack sufficient detail, the OFCCP may argue that there is no documentation that a contractor actually considers a variable to be useful for job performance.

Though job descriptions we have seen vary from one paragraph to five pages, a detailed job description can be used for many purposes including employee selection, training, compensation, performance appraisal, and workforce planning. Writing a job description requires a clear understanding of the job’s duties and responsibilities, and thus, can take a substantial amount of time and effort. A detailed job description should include the following sections:

  • Job title
  • Brief summary
  • Work activities
  • Tools and equipment used
  • Work conditions
  • Work performance (dimensions used to evaluate performance)
  • Compensation information (e.g., salary grade)
  • Job competencies: Knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs)

by Yesenia Avila, M.P.S., HR Analyst and Mike Aamodt, Ph.D., Principal Consultant, DCI Consulting Group

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