In a Hot Market—Keep Your Job Descriptions Hotter

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 08/02/18
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.

hardhats-2Today’s A/E industry HR professionals fuel their firms’ staff growth, client acquisition, and project quality. They have more responsibility than ever, so it’s easy to forget a foundational HR requirement: current job descriptions.

Job descriptions feed the firm’s critical recruitment efforts, sets the table for training and skills development, and provides for fair evaluations and compensation. A design firm’s job descriptions matter because they:

  • Offer a jump start to critical job postings

  • Establish sound performance goals

  • Lead to a firm’s career mapping and development plans

  • Point toward individual staff training and certification needs

  • Allow you to benchmark against the competition

However, the job description can feel like just another one of those forms that inhabits a file on your desk, serving no real purpose. Jobs change rapidly, new responsibilities are assumed, but the job description sits there, gathering dust. Does it really serve any purpose in today’s business environment?

And since there are no state or federal laws that require such a document, is it necessary?

In fact, job descriptions also fill many important requirements for your firm’s management and for current and future employees. A properly prepared job description can:

  • Provide a starting point for ads and internal notices needed to fill open positions

  • Give a clear picture of a position’s purpose and essential functions

  • Provide a basis for performance evaluations

  • Help in planning and analyzing your firm’s organizational structure

  • Define relationships between employees and supervisors

Written properly, the job description defines the necessary requirements of the position: i.e., what essential functions does the job require? What should the applicant know about the requirements needed to do the job?

Vickie Oakley, a consultant with PSMJ Resources, calls the job description “the first line of defense” for the employee and the organization. “It tells the employee what they will need to know to perform the job proficiently when hired,” she says. “It answers the question, ‘Is this the right position for me?’”



Many firms find themselves still using inconsistent, outdated, or incomplete job descriptions. Whether you know your job descriptions are ready for an overhaul or simply wish you could benchmark your job descriptions against industry norms, the process can be daunting. 

PSMJ's just released A/E Job Descriptions contains hundreds of real job descriptions—over 1,000 pages of actual forms—from firms just like yours! This value-packed reference guide gets right to the point with actual job descriptions from CEO to billing specialist, and everything in between. PSMJ does the leg work for you and you won’t spend countless hours re-inventing the wheel or run the risk of creating useless and irrelevant job descriptions.

Learn More Now


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