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A Response to HR After a Job Description Is Inaccurately Written

by Jill Leviticus

An inaccurate job description can affect your department’s ability to recruit and retain employees. If your company relies on its human resources staff to write job descriptions, inaccuracies can occur when the writer isn’t fully aware of the position’s scope. Addressing your complaints in a written response will provide a record of your complaint and attempt to correct the problem.

Follow Procedure

Determine if there is a procedure in place to address job description inaccuracies. If your company uses a formal error reporting process, obtain and complete the required forms. Speak to your supervisor regarding the steps you should take to inform HR of the problem if your company doesn’t have a formal process. Find out to whom you should address an email or memo regarding the inaccurate job description. In some cases, one HR staff member might obtain information regarding duties and tasks and pass the information on to another employee who serves as the writer.

Explain the Problem

It’s important that HR understands exactly why the wording of the job description will cause a problem for your department. You might explain that the inaccuracies will affect your ability to recruit the most qualified candidates when you have a job opening. The Foster Thomas website notes that an inaccurate job description also can have legal ramifications if an employee is fired for not performing a task that wasn’t included in the description. Job descriptions are also needed to establish compensation ranges, determine if the position is exempt or non-exempt, or determine if a disabled applicant is qualified to fill a position.

Identify Inaccuracies

Include a list of the inaccuracies in your email or memo, starting with any inaccuracies in title or job class. If multiple inaccuracies exist, list each under the heading that corresponds to that section, such as “summary statement,” “responsibilities” or “experience required.” List all inaccuracies, no matter how small, and also note any typographical errors. Note any missing sections or the omission of certain responsibilities or tasks. Ask another employee who is familiar with the job to review the description to ensure that you report all inaccuracies.

Corrections and Follow-up

Provide a list of suggested corrections that will make the description accurate. If it’s important to word a specific section in a certain way, explain why the wording must be used and how the use of different wording can affect the meaning of the sentence. The Business Management Daily website advises that it’s important to use precise language that clearly states what the employee must do when writing job descriptions. Offer to meet with HR to discuss your concerns and suggestions. Be sure to keep a copy of your original email or memo for your records. When you receive a corrected job description from HR, use your original correspondence as a checklist and note if all changes have been made.

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