How to write a compelling Job Description (JD)

Job Descriptions(JDs) are one of the most important components of the staffing process. It is therefore essential to take the sufficient time to craft the most compelling Job descriptions for the different positions in the organization.This is even more important when posting job advertisements.

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Photo credits:adult-architect-blueprint-416405

What are the key sections in a Job Description?
A specific Job Title
The Job title should be specific enough using key phrases that can be easily understood by the applicant.
For example Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Research Assistant, Program Associate
A high-level summary of the main duties/tasks.
What do the day-to-day activities of the employee look like? Who does the employee directly report to? A Job description needs to outline clearly what the expectations in terms of core duties and responsibilities. The task should be precisely described using action verbs such as coordinates, develops, supervises, etc. depending on the position.
For example:
 Performing all logistical arrangements in the organization
 Preparing periodic financial reports
A description of the required skills, experiences and competencies
How many years of experience are required? Which hard skills and soft skills is the potential employee expected to possess?
Skills are the expertise or activities the employee is expected to perform as part of the job, whereas competencies are traits or attributes that the employee is expected to display.
For example:
 A minimum of three years’ experience in a similar role
 Possess excellent writing and communication skills
 Competency in effectively working in a multi-cultural setting
A description of the company values
Every organization has a well-defined vision, mission, and core values. It is essential for the Job Description to define the company values which makes sure that the staff duties and the potential staff are aligned with the company’s vision.
For example:
 The company’s objective is geared towards promoting social change and transforming communities
 The company values professionalism and ethical leadership
A detailed list of special requirements or physical minimum requirements
Some positions require special skills or minimum physical requirements. These should be clearly indicated in the Job descriptions in order to minimize the number of unqualified applicants.
For example:
 At least 21 years of age
 Minimum height of 160 cm
 Physically fit for the role
As a hiring manager, you have managed to make the best Job descriptions for the vacant positions, how is the JD important after the advertisement?
Job Descriptions can be used to form the foundation of the interview questions
In order to realize the match between a candidate’s set skills and the organization needs, the hiring managers should set the interview questions based on the Job description.
Job descriptions can be used to develop compensation plans
Determining compensations (salaries, wages, benefits) can be a hard task for any management. However, a job description helps to ensure that the compensation reflects the level of qualification and responsibility bestowed on the employee. On the other hand, an employee can also use the Job description to negotiate for the salary or a pay-rise.
Job descriptions can be used to decide the areas of training and development
Since the Job descriptions outline the roles and responsibilities as well as the company values, they can be used as the focus when conducting orientations, training, and development. This will ensure that the staff is assimilated into the company’s culture from the beginning. Not only that, in the case where the employee does not meet the expectations after employment, a Job description can be used as a good reminder.
Job Descriptions are a crucial measure of Performance Management
Performance Management is an essential requirement in all sectors. By having a well-detailed Job Description, employers easily communicate the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and hence ensuring effective performance Management.

How do you ensure Employee Satisfaction in the organisation?

Employee satisfaction can be described as the extent to which employees in an organization are happy and contented with the current work environment and how much it fulfills their desires and needs at work.The goal of every Human Resource Manager is to ensure the highest employee satisfaction in the organization.

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https://flic.kr/p/TopEyw

 

Employees give a reflection of the company to the public.Whether the employees are happy or unhappy with their work environment, this clearly shows the true state of the company.It is therefore crucial for the company to maintain its brand, not just by being concerned about the welfare of its customers and products or financial projections, but ensuring that the needs of the employees are well met.

So what are the ways of improving employee satisfaction as the management?

Occasionally surprise the employees

As the management, it is good to get creative at breaking routines in the workplace.This doesn’t mean the big things like pay-rise.It’s the small things such as buying coffee for everyone, getting them inexpensive gifts, organizing a surprise inexpensive get-away etc.This is all to create that feeling of being valued and appreciated.

Create Opportunities for growth and skills expansion

The best way to do this is providing training for the employees to gain new skills and challenging them to utilize the skills they have by taking up new responsibilities.By doing this, employees feel more motivated as their skills are utilized and appreciated by the management.There is nothing as frustrating as feeling stagnant and losing the morale to work due to lack of opportunities for personal growth.

Advocate for good health

Most companies pay heavily for the healthcare of their employees, especially for stress-related illnesses.Insurance schemes are not the only solution to this.The ultimate solution is educating the employees on health issues and providing the necessary support system.The best way to do this is by holding health seminars, equipping the staff kitchen and where possible having gym packages for employees.These practices will encourage employees to make the right health choices and become motivated knowing that the company values their well-being.

Encourage Social relations

Employees need to get creative ways of promoting social connections at the workplace.One of the basic ways to achieve this is by creating an open-space policy.This policy enhances the relationship between employees and between the management and employees as well.

The other way to promote the socialization is through celebrations such as birthdays and lunch shared in the office.Birthdays are important days in every person’s life and by celebrating birthdays at the workplace, a greater bond is formed and the employees will feel more motivated.

In conclusion, the easiest ways to motivate employees is by making them feel valued in the organization.Everyone loves to be celebrated and to be an effective manager, you should work on occasionally creating such opportunities that bring the office together.How much are you doing to motivate your employees?It has got nothing to do with how much revenue the company is making.It all has to do with the experience created.

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Photo credits: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/708442

How do i quit my job gracefully?

Many a time, when joining an organization, we never visualize that one day we shall leave the organization. Sadly, we all know goodbyes are the most difficult moments in life. How do you quit the job without offending anyone? How do you ensure that you maintain a good relationship with your boss and co-workers even after you have left?

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https://www.pexels.com/photo/313690/

It’s never easy and will never be easy to quit regardless of the position, but here are some guidelines to help you leave gracefully:

Review WHY you want to quit and WHAT the impact is

Sometimes it could be too much work pressure or having a bad boss that could lead you to consider quitting. However, one thing that you should ensure is that you are making a sober decision and you are sure of its impact. No matter the reason for quitting, what is important is understanding what this means especially to you.

Is there another job offer in waiting? If the answer is yes, then you need to weigh the two options and determine which is the best. If not, are you ready to stay without a job? Do you have the savings to sustain you as you continue with the job search?

Once you are sure of WHY you want to quit and WHAT the impact is, then you can consider HOW to quit.

Abide by the company’s contract

The contract you sign when joining the company normally dictates the notice period in case you want to leave. In most cases, this is a period between two-weeks and one-month notice. It is important to respect this company policy and give a notice in advance. By doing this, you will not only maintain your good reputation by the organization, but it will also ensure a smooth transition as they look for your replacement.

Write a Professional resignation letter

Remember you wrote a nice cover letter expressing your interest in the organization at the beginning? In the same way, it is really good to write a well-polished positive letter to your employer. In the letter, it is respectful to emphasize on your growth with the company and how this has been beneficial to your career journey.You also need to include when your last day at work would be. It is important to note that you are not obligated to state the reasons for leaving or where you are going to unless it is significant for the company and yourself.

It is advisable to personally deliver the letter to your employer. However, you need to be open-minded for a positive or negative feedback as not everyone responds to change in the same way. If this is not an option, due to unavoidable circumstances, you could forward the letter via email and then make a call.

Ensure you follow all the clearance protocols

Most jobs require clearance when leaving the organization.In order to maintain your reputation, you should ensure you get clearance and hand in all the company property at your disposal.

Create a smooth transition for your replacement

Just like you needed a smooth transition when reporting for your job for the first time, ensure it’s easy for the next person. All the records should be updated and pending reports submitted.You should also train the next person if your employer has already identified who takes after you.

Sometimes one can leave a job very bitter due to some experiences in the workplace. However, whether you are angry with your boss or co-workers, this is not the right time to say negative things. Keep note that you need references in your next job and you should quit in such a graceful way that the organization will desire to hire you back.

 

 

Are internships worth the time?

Getting a full-time job in your industry is the joy of every person in their career journey.However, in the real world, internship opportunities are more common and available to students and recent graduates than permanent jobs.Is it worth the time to apply for that internship?

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Photo credits:  https://flic.kr/p/23zqFAt

The answer is yes, and here is why:

Internships provide a real-work place environment

Through an internship, one learns to apply the skills learnt in the classroom, to the workplace.There is a difference between learning the skills theoretically and applying them at work.The more internships you do, the easier it is to learn more about your most prefered industry.By having good knowledge of the organisations and the industry, you get an upper hand when it comes to being employable.

Internships help you analyse what job suits you best

By taking up an internship, you are in a better position to analyse and realize your passion.Most people are disappointed after getting a full-time job and realising that is not what they expected.Therefore, this is a good chance to realise your career path and the expectations of your employers.

Work ethics are portrayed more by internships compared to Good grades

When faced with a dilemma between choosing an employee with very high GPA and zero internships and one with a good GPA and many internships, an employer will go for the one with internship experiences.Having this experience shows that the candidate has a commitment to the industry and that one has the interpersonal skills and ethics required in a work environment.

Internships give a chance to make an input

Being an intern does not necessarily mean that your work is only to take instruction.As an intern, you have the chance to exercise your soft and hard skills as well as add value to the organisation.By asking the right questions and becoming a problem solver, you become an asset despite not being a full-time employer yet.

Unpaid internships are equally important

Everybody wants to be compensated for work done, but most internships end up being unpaid.As an intern, the burden would be high trying to cater for daily costs and at the same time delivering efficiently at the workplace.However, by turning down an unpaid position, you lose the chance of getting that experience.In addition, internships provide the referees who play a big role in recruitment for positions either in the host organisation or in the future.

In conclusion, no matter how tough it may be to do internships, search, apply and take up internship positions whether paid or unpaid.The experience and the connections made are worth it and very relevant to your CV.

SOFT SKILLS AND WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT

My CV and Cover letter are excellent, and I feel well prepared for the Interview, but what else will my potential employer be looking for?“You ask.
Soft skills!Yes, they are very important!”

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Photo credits:http://www.yourtrainingedge.com/the-gap-in-soft-skill-training/

Soft skills can be defined as intangible personal attributes that help in efficiently carrying out tasks and dealing with people.Some of the most sought-after soft skills by employers are Excellent Communication skills, analytical/critical observation, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving and leadership.

 

Communication skills-Both written and oral skills are critical skills to have in this modern day.It’s often assumed that jobs such as journalism, marketing, Public relations, teaching or sales are the only ones that need good presentation skills, but that’s not true.

Picture a well-acquitted engineer, who can efficiently carry out his task, but cannot clearly explain the procedure taken and why.In the same way, an accountant should be in a position to elaborate on the figures and give adequate financial recommendations to the organisation.

Analytical/critical observation-One thing that is very important to all industries is being attentive to details.This skill comes in handy when it comes to analysing trends in reports-which is important for good decision making and suggesting solutions.Secondly, by being attentive to details, you will avoid making mistakes(wrong diagnosis, wrong analysis of figures, technical mistakes etc.) which can cost an institution and that is why employers are looking out for such people.

Teamwork-Every organisation operates as a team and that is why it’s important to get people on board who possess excellent interpersonal skills.These are people who are applying synergy and know how to coexist with fellow colleagues and achieve the objectives of the organisation.No matter how much of an expert you are, you need to know how to work efficiently as a team.

 

Adaptability- Changes happen every day both in an industry and within an organisation.An employer is searching for a person who is flexible enough in case of a big change such as the market trend, an organisational structure change or even daily changes such as impromptu meetings.Some people would rather complain about how they did not see it coming, but you need to learn to push yourself to easily adapt to changes in your daily life.

Problem-solving skills– Every employer is looking for an employee who is not part of the problem but part of the solution.By being a problem solver, you become a valuable employee as you are able to identify a problem, and instead of complaining, you take the action.

Leadership-As much as an employer is picking out an employee to be under him/her in terms of hierarchy, employers are looking out for leaders-People who have goals and can work with others to achieve it.Every organisation needs someone who is a good decision maker, takes initiative and most importantly believes that they are leaders.

Soft skills boost your hard skills and are not necessarily a replacement as the expertise in your field is equally important.However, without the necessary soft skills, it is impossible to excel in the workplace both through achieving tasks and coexisting with fellow workers.

The best thing about soft skills is that despite taking a lot of effort to master the skill, everyone has the potential to gain the skill through interest.You can acquire communication skills by practising your writing and public speaking.Interpersonal skills can be achieved by becoming keen on people’s behaviour and being more aware of your own personality.Finally, leadership can be attained through reading the right materials, attending personal development programmes and exercising your leadership skills by taking up challenges.